MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Resistance to US laws censoring criticism of Israel goes mainstream | The Electronic Intifada

Posted by M. C. on December 26, 2018

In response to Amawi’s lawsuit, Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted that “Texas stands with Israel. Period.”

What about US?

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/resistance-us-laws-censoring-criticism-israel-goes-mainstream

Nora Barrows-Friedman

Anti-BDS bills are designed to suppress Palestine rights activism in the US. (Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr)

Opposition to laws muzzling Americans who criticize Israel has gone mainstream.

Two separate lawsuits were filed this week against a Texas law requiring state contractors to certify they will not boycott Israel.

Another lawsuit was filed by a local newspaper in Arkansas, which refused to sign a similar pledge in order to win an advertising contract.

Meanwhile, senators Bernie Sanders and Dianne Feinstein, and The New York Times editorial board, have condemned efforts to rush through federal legislation aimed at silencing Israel’s critics.

On Monday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Bahia Amawi, a speech pathologist in Texas, who refused to sign a contract to renew her job with the Austin public school district.

The contract included a clause that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel or “otherwise tak[e] any action that is intended to inflict economic harm” on that country.

Amawi says this requirement violates her First Amendment rights.

“The language of the affirmation Amawi was told she must sign reads like Orwellian – or McCarthyite – self-parody, the classic political loyalty oath that every American should instinctively shudder upon reading,” Glenn Greenwald wrote in The Intercept.

In response to Amawi’s lawsuit, Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted that “Texas stands with Israel. Period.”…

Rare agreement

In a rare show of agreement with Palestinian rights advocates, The New York Times and The Washington Postpublished articles this week slamming the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.

“It would be more constructive if political leaders would focus on the injustice and finding viable solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rather than reinforcing divisions between the two parties and promoting legislation that raises free speech concerns,” the Times editorial board said, noting that anti-boycott legislation passed by Congress would likely be challenged in court.

“What we have right now is a situation in which the Israeli right and the American right are joined in an effort to convince the world that any criticism of the Likud government’s policies is not just wrong but anti-Semitic and thus must be quashed,” Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman wrote.

“It’s a poisonous idea, and Democrats such as [senators] Cardin and [Cory] Booker, not to mention the other Democrats who have supported this bill, shouldn’t help them spread it.”

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