Tags: Israel | bds | boycott | divest | israel | free speech

BDS Movement Raising Free-Speech Questions in Court

a woman takes a picture of a bds sign on a wall.
A tourist photographs a sign painted on a wall in the West Bank biblical town of Bethlehem on June 5, 2015, calling to boycott Israeli products coming from Jewish settlements. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 May 2019 06:52 PM

An effort by more than two dozen states to stop a movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel over its treatment of Palestinians is raising free-speech questions in federal courts, the Wall Street Journal reported.

At least 27 states —including New York, Florida, Ohio and California — have laws to curb the BDS movement, the Journal reported, citing the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. 

Critics argue that in trying to suppress anti-Semitism, lawmakers are crippling free expression — and several federal courts have taken that view too. BDS bans have been shot down in Kansas, Arizona and Texas, the Journal reported. 

“We know that there are oppressive forces seeking to silence us, so the kinds of policies that deny Palestinians rights can remain unchallenged,” Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, told the news outlet.

The BDS movement, founded in 2005 by a group of Palestinian-Americans to increase pressure on Israel to withdraw from territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, has gained sway in parts of the United States and Europe — and especially on American college campuses, the Journal noted.

The most recent court decision on BDS came last month in the case of Bahia Amawi, a speech pathologist who refused to sign a contract with her Texas school district stipulating she wouldn’t boycott Israel while employed there. Amawi, a Palestinian-American, lost her job as a result.

In suspending the Texas law, federal District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin quoted a Supreme Court ruling that said “boycotts are ‘deeply embedded in the American political process,’” referring to the civil-rights movement, the Journal reported. 

He also rejected Texas’ argument that the law was necessary to prevent discrimination against Jews.

A federal judge in Arkansas, however, upheld a law banning state contractors from supporting BDS. The judge argued in part that “Israel in particular is known for its dynamic and innovative approach in many business sectors, and therefore a company’s decision to discriminate against Israel…is an unsound business practice.”

“They’re having to spend a lot more time, energy and money these days defending themselves,” said Mitchell Bard, executive director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, said of BDS advocates.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
An effort by more than two dozen states to stop a movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel over its treatment of Palestinians is raising free-speech questions in federal courts, the Wall Street Journal reported.At least 27 states -including New York, Florida, Ohio...
bds, boycott, divest, israel, free speech
358
2019-52-15
Wednesday, 15 May 2019 06:52 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved