Texas town says you cant get hurricane relief if you …

A police officer wades through the Hurricane Harvey floodwaters in Alvin, Texas August 29, 2017. .(photo credit: RICK WILKING / REUTERS)

The American Civil Liberties Union criticized a city in Texas for requiring applicants for Hurricane Harvey rebuilding funds to certify in writing that they will not take part in a boycott of Israel.

The website for Dickinson, Texas, is accepting applications for individuals and businesses who need assistance following the devastating August hurricane. According to the application, those who sign must verify that the applicant (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.

Dickinson City Management Assistant Bryan Milward attributed the clause to a state law, signed in May, that requires all state contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel. Milward emphasized that the city will not be verifying compliance with the clause, and said he doesnt expect any applications to be rejected because of it.

Because our application also functions as a contract, it was included in there, Milward told JTA Friday. Were not checking up on that. Our city secretary is not digging into anyones background. Were not running background checks or anything like that. Theyre attesting that theyre not boycotting, and were accepting that based on good faith.

Dickinson, a city of about 19,000, was hit especially hard by Harvey. More than three-quarters of its homes were damaged by the hurricane, and 830 were destroyed, according to Milward.

ACLU calls the Dickinson application a violation of free speech rights.

The First Amendment protects Americans right to boycott, and the government cannot 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 statement. Dickinsons 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.

On Oct. 11, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a public school math teacher in Kansas who was denied a state contract because she participates in the anti-Israel boycott.

Supporters of laws aimed at the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement argue that refusing to do business with a country is not protected speech, and that longstanding laws forbidding support for foreign state boycotts of Israel apply to the business transaction, not the political motivations. If anti-boycott laws are considered unconstitutional, proponents argue, then Americans would be free to violate existing sanctions preventing business with countries like Iran, Cuba or Sudan.

Share on facebook

Excerpt from:

Texas town says you cant get hurricane relief if you …

Related Post

November 29, 2017   Posted in: Boycott Israel |

Fair Use Disclaimer

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Under the 'fair use' rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission. Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights.

Fair use as described at 17 U.S.C. Section 107:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono-records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  • (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for or nonprofit educational purposes,
  • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."