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Terror-tied CAIR has anti-boycott the Jews (BDS) law suspended in Texas

11

Judge Robert Pittman made good on his word, and blocked enforcement of Texas’ anti-boycott the Jews (BDS) law. Expect subsequent rulings to overturn this decision; there is no legal argument to compel people, or states to participate in a boycott. And, how likely is it that Texas will have to finance something that will undermine its own economy?

Gadeir Abbas, a Council on American-Islamic Relations senior litigation attorney on Amawi’s legal team, applauded the decision Thursday.

Judge Robert Pittman issuing a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of  the anti-BDS law on the grounds of free speech is a spectacle. Considering the law is concerned with companies, not individuals, and does not prohibit people from engaging in boycotts against Israel, or purchasing hummus, it looks like the injunction was issued for the sake of CAIR.

It’s not about free speech, it’s about commerce. Secondly, CAIR works furiously silence free speech and silence my colleagues and me. They support the sharia death penalty for speech critical of Islam, so this is particularly rich.

In 1977, Congress prohibited U.S. companies from cooperating with the Arab boycott. When President Carter signed the law, he said the “issue goes to the very heart of free trade among nations” and that it was designed to “end the divisive effects on American life of foreign boycotts aimed at Jewish members of our society.”

How is the BDS boycott of Israel any different?

Judge temporarily blocks enforcement of Texas law banning Israel boycotts

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AUSTIN — U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman on Thursday issued a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of Texas law that bans state workers from boycotting Israel.

Speech pathologist Bahia Amawi filed the suit against the state and Pflugerville Independent School District in December, claiming the law violated her First Amendment right to free speech.

The Texas Legislature passed the anti-Israel boycott law, House Bill 89, in 2017 with bipartisan support. It was touted by Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott, as a way to show the state’s solidarity with the country.

But Pitman in his order on Thursday said political boycotts are protected speech and the law is likely unconstitutional as it imposes content- and viewpoint-based restriction on that protected expression.

“The statute threatens ‘to suppress unpopular ideas’ and ‘manipulate the public debate through coercion rather than persuasion,’” Pitman wrote. “This the First Amendment does not allow.”

Pitman wrote that the law also likely violates the First Amendment, which covers the right to speak and not speak, by forcing people to reveal whether they boycott Israel.

Gadeir Abbas, a Council on American-Islamic Relations senior litigation attorney on Amawi’s legal team, applauded the decision Thursday.

“This is a complete victory of the First Amendment against Texas’ attempts to suppress speech in support of Palestine,” Abbas said. “More importantly, it’s a complete victory for all Texans, to engage in political speech without government censorship.”

In a similar federal district court suit, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is arguing the same on behalf of four government contractors who say they were forced to sign a pledge promising they wouldn’t boycott Israel.

“The right to boycott is deeply ingrained in American tradition, from our nation’s founding to today,” said Tommy Buser-Clancy, staff attorney for the ACLU of Texas, who argued the motion to block the law in court. “The state cannot dictate the views of its own citizens on the Israel/Palestine conflict — or any issue — by preventing them from exercising their First Amendment right to boycott.”

 

 

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