People and businesses in a Houston suburb will not receive funds donated to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts if they support the boycott of Israel.
The city of Dickinson, Texas recently posted applications online for relief grants “from the funds that were generously donated to the Dickinson Harvey Relief Fund,” the city’s website said.
However the application includes a provision requiring applicants to certify in writing that they will not take part in the boycott of Israel.
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“By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement,” read the application form.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) criticized the city’s condition as a violation of free speech rights.
“Dickinson’s requirement is an egregious violation of the First Amendment, reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths requiring Americans to disavow membership in the Communist party and other forms of ‘subversive’ activity,” said ACLU of Texas Legal Director Andre Segura.
The clause likely stems from a Texas law passed in May that requires all state contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel.
“As Israel’s No. 1 trading partner in the United States, Texas is proud to reaffirm its support for the people of Israel and we will continue to build on our historic partnership… Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies, and we will not tolerate such actions against an important ally,” said Governor Greg Abbott at the signing ceremony.
Dickinson is one of the hardest hit towns in the Houston area, according to a September report from KTRK. Some 7,000 homes and 88 businesses were seriously damaged, said the local police department. The small town is home to just 20,000 people.
Maryland Lawmakers Ban Businesses From Boycotting Israel
The US state of Maryland has banned all corporations from boycotting Israel, warning them that doing so will see them abruptly closed down.
Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order on Monday, blocking businesses from operating in the state if they choose to boycott Israel over its expansionist policies in the Middle East.
Presstv.com reports: Speaking with pro-Israel Jewish leaders by his side at a news conference in Annapolis, Hogan announced the measure against the movement known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).
“Boycotts based on religion, national origin, ethnicity or place of residence are discriminatory, and contracting with businesses that practice discrimination would make the state a passive participant in private sector commercial discrimination,” argued the Republican governor. “There is no place in our state for boycotts and threats.”
“It is extremely important to the Jewish community to see a governor willing to stand up for Israel,” said Howard Libit, the executive director of the pro-Israel Baltimore Jewish Council. “This is as strong a statement as a governor can make, and we are thrilled.”
Rights activists, meanwhile, argue that boycotts are a protected freedom of expression under the First Amendment.
“They’re asking people to discriminate against Israel,” Hogan said of the BDS movement, dismissing concerns about violation of the First Amendment “There’s no argument to the contrary that makes any sense.”
Some American Jewish groups have voiced concern that anti-BDS laws to support Israel in the US are actually ending up to do more harm than good to the regime.
Related links & videos:
ZIONIST TRUTH: Netanyahu Unaware of Camera
Former President Jimmy Carter, author of a new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,
is interviewed from his home in Plains, Georgia. He responds to a caller who asks questions concerning pressure put on the US political system and the resulting support of Israel.
Jimmy Carter unveils truth about Israhel
An honest Israeli Jew tells the Real Truth about Israel. “Israel has launched a deadly military offensive against Gaza, with fighter jets and warships attacking the occupied territory.”
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