Texas city says no hurricane aid if you boycott Israel

Texas city says no hurricane aid if you boycott Israel

Applicants for Hurricane Harvey relief grants for the storm-battered city of Dickinson are asked as part of the terms of the agreement to not boycott Israel, a move the ACLU has called unconstitutional.

The city of Dickinson shared a "Hurricane Harvey Repair Grant Application and Agreement" on its website this week.

The form reads that you will not receive benefits unless you agree to not boycott Israel.

The state of Texas passed a law in May banning state entities from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel.

Critics, including the ACLU, are condemning not only the city's requirement but also Texas's anti-protest law-and similiar measures enacted across the USA and under consideration in Congress-as violations of constitutional free speech rights.

"The First Amendment protects Americans' right to boycott, and the government can not condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression", said ACLU of Texas Legal Director Andre Segura in a press release. "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".

The clause is based on the anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions) bill, which outlaws the state of Texas from doing business with anyone boycotting Israel, which it defines as any action intended "to penalise, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations specifically with Israel".

Verification not to Boycott Israel.

Vermont unemployment rate falls again, now 2.9 percent
For the year, the Pennsylvania and national unemployment rates each declined by seven-tenths of a percentage point. The biggest gains were made in Trade, Transportation and Utilities, and Leisure and Hospitality.

"In short, the Texas law being enforced by the City of Dickinson - as well as other cities throughout Texas, including Galveston, Austin and San Antonio - is leveraging vital government funds to suppress one side of a prominent public debate", Hauss said.

Texas governor Greg Abbott signed the bill in May, hailing Israel as number one trading partner in the U.S.

"The state can not condition government benefits, ranging from disaster relief to just access to government contracts, on the forfeiture of ..."

At least 21 states have implemented laws that seek to prohibit individuals from boycotting Israel.

And, according to Hauss, Texas isn't the only place where similar anti-BDS laws have cropped up.

"It is absolutely unconscionable for state and local governments to impose political litmus tests on disaster relief funds for people devastated by Hurricane Harvey", he added. "In terms of enforcement, what I think is really pernicious about these laws is they're created to scare people", Hauss told Bustle.

The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that political boycotts are protected by the First Amendment, and other decisions have established that the government may not require individuals to sign a certification regarding their political expression in order to obtain employment, contracts, or other benefits.

"The bottom line is that boycotts are a legitimate form of non-violent protest, and they are protected by the First Amendment".

Related Articles

  • McCain joins Dems on bill to regulate social media ads

    McCain joins Dems on bill to regulate social media ads

    Facebook has since turned over more than 3,000 Russian-linked ads to congressional committees investigating Russian interference. The company's high-profile Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will not appear.
    Tennessee AG Announces $120M Settlement With General Motors

    Tennessee AG Announces $120M Settlement With General Motors

    The states have alleged GM and certain employees knew about the issues as early as 2004. The company ended up recalling more than 30 million vehicles worldwide.

    Chrome getting basic antivirus features

    While it seems like an all-encompassing antivirus , it will only remove software that breeches Google's unwanted software policy . Users will be notified if an extension tries to change default settings or if unwanted software gets bundled into a download.
  • Storm Brian incoming: 70mph gusts expected

    Storm Brian incoming: 70mph gusts expected

    It is the second named storm to hit the United Kingdom this winter, after Storm Aileen. Thousands of people were also left without water and power.
    Brooklyn Nets guard Lin expected to miss remainder of season

    Brooklyn Nets guard Lin expected to miss remainder of season

    The veteran guard averaged 14.5 points and 5.1 assists while shooting at a 36 percent clip from distance last season . The team announced on Thursday that Lin had been diagnosed with a ruptured patellar tendon.
    US' NAFTA demands: the moronic and the simply misguided

    US' NAFTA demands: the moronic and the simply misguided

    The U.S.is also proposing that the new NAFTA expire unless the countries agreed every few years to extend it. Freeland didn't dismiss the possibility of success but said she was ready "for the worst possible outcome".
  • Nintendo adds wireless headphone support in Switch firmware 4.0.0

    Nintendo adds wireless headphone support in Switch firmware 4.0.0

    Twelve new user icons from " Super Mario Odyssey " and "Breath of the Wild" are also made available in the update. The added support for Bluetooth headphones for the Nintendo Switch was first discovered by a user on Reddit .

    United Kingdom retail sales plunge more than expected in September as inflation bites

    In the third quarter, retail sales grew 1.5 percent, the lowest pace since the second quarter of 2013. Retail sales volumes fell by 0.8% in September, according to data released this morning by the ONS.
    US Supports Israeli Positions On Palestinian Unity Pact

    US Supports Israeli Positions On Palestinian Unity Pact

    US President Donald Trump has said he aims to broker a peace deal but no substantive developments have been made so far. On Tuesday, Israel announced more plans to build hundreds of new settler homes in the occupied West Bank.
  • Warning of 'ecological armageddon' as number of flying insects drops 75%

    Warning of 'ecological armageddon' as number of flying insects drops 75%

    The exact causes of the decline are still unclear. "The research areas are mostly small and enclosed by agricultural areas". After 27 years, the total average weight has been declined by more than 75 percent .
    NFL Reaches Out To Players And Waits For Protests To End

    NFL Reaches Out To Players And Waits For Protests To End

    And so that was something we continued to focus on this morning. "We'd like to do it together'". One owner, in particular, mentioned sponsorships that he had lost.
    Marino drops out as drug czar candidate, Trump says

    Marino drops out as drug czar candidate, Trump says

    Trump called Marino "a good man" on Monday but said, somewhat ominously, "We're going to be looking into Tom". Trump had nominated Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican, to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy.