Journalist Abby Martin Sues the State of Georgia Over Law Requiring Pledge to Israel, a Foreign Country

Abby Martin, Youtube
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Journalist and filmmaker Abby Martin was scheduled as a speaker at a conference at Georgia Southern University on February 28th. Martin refused to sign a contract mandating that she agree to not boycott Israel, as it violated her constitutional rights.Her speech was canceled. She responded by filing a lawsuit against the State of Georgia with the help of The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.

There are 28 states that require loyalty pledges to Israel in order to do business with the state governments. In addition, last December, Trump passed legislation that effectively criminalized the Boycott Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to put pressure on the Jewish state through economic action. The law mandates that any public institution would be subject to losing all funding if the government deems that they are not doing enough to stamp out anti-Semitism which, includes criticism of the Israeli government.

After refusing to sign a pledge of allegiance to the state of Israel, the state of Georgia shut down a media literacy conference featuring journalist and filmmaker Abby Martin at Georgia Southern University. Martin had recently released a documentary critical of the Israeli government called “Gaza Fights for Freedom.” Now she is suing the state, claiming the decision is a violation of the First Amendment. Along with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF), today she filed a federal free speech lawsuit against the university system of Georgia.

Martin was dismayed by the university’s decision: “This censorship of my talk based on forced compliance to anti-BDS laws in Georgia is just one level of a nationwide campaign to protect Israel from grassroots pressure. We must stand firmly opposed to these efforts and not cower in fear to these blatant violations of free speech,” she said.

Twenty-eight states have already mandated loyalty pledges to Israel as a means to outlaw dissent. But in December, President Trump passed legislation effectively criminalizing the Boycott Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to put pressure on the Jewish state through economic action, along the lines of the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa. The law mandates that any public institution would be subject to losing all funding if the government deems that they are not doing enough to stamp out anti-Semitism, which, it explicitly states, includes any criticism of the Israeli government. In December, MintPress reported that the British government under Boris Johnson is planning to introduce similar legislation.

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“There are 28 states that require loyalty pledges to Israel in order to do business with the state governments.” “After refusing to sign a pledge of allegiance to the state of Israel, the state of Georgia…” This is not lawful or constitutional. From the Constitution of the State of Georgia, Art. I, Bill of Rights, Section I, Rights of Persons. Paragraph II: “Protection to person and property; equal protection.Protection to person and property is the paramount duty of government and shall be impartial and complete. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws”. Paragraph III. Freedom of… Read more »