Speech Pathologist Files Lawsuit over Texas Law Prohibiting Israel Boycott

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Texas: Bahia Amawi, a speech pathologist, lost her job at an Austin-area school district for refusing to sign a pledge required by the state not to boycott Israel.  She filed a First-Amendment suit in a Texas federal court in a bid to have the state law struck down and the anti-BDS (boycott, divestiture and sanctions) pledge removed from the school district’s employment contracts.  Amawi called it “baffling” that a law would “protect another country’s economy” at the expense of the constitutional right of free speech for US citizens.  Texas is one of 26 US states that have enacted legislation forbidding the state from contracting with anyone who supports a boycott of Israel. -GEG

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.

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Frank Pomeranz

The Times of Israel did not include that misleading four panel map of Israel and Arab Palestinians areas. You added that from another biased source. In the first panel you equate (The British Mandate of) Palestine to Palestinian Land. WRONG! There was no Israel prior to 1948. In the second panel you attribute mych of modern day Israel as Palestinian Land. WRONG AGAIN! Absent a treaty with any Palestinian entity all of modern day Israel, Gaza and Judea & Samaria (West Bank) reverted to Israel.