A speech pathologist, who reportedly lost her job at an Austin-area school district for refusing to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel, is suing the state of Texas in a bid to repeal a law targeting the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement.
According to a Monday report in The Intercept, Bahia Amawi filed the First Amendment suit in a Texas federal court, in a bid to have the state law struck down and the anti-BDS pledge removed from the school district’s employment contracts.
Amawi worked with the local Arabic-speaking community at the Pflugerville Independent School District since 2009, on a contract basis. She told the news site that the district renewed her contract each year without incident, but when she received the documents for the 2018-19 school year in August, Amawi said it included a new clause requiring that she “not boycott Israel during the term of the contract,” and refrain from any action “that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel, or with a person or entity doing business in Israel, or in an Israel-controlled territory.”
Amawi, who is of Palestinian descent, told The Intercept that she could not sign the new contract “in good conscience.”
“If I did, I would not only be betraying Palestinians suffering under an occupation that I believe is unjust… but I’d also be betraying my fellow Americans by enabling violations of our constitutional rights to free speech and to protest peacefully,” she said.