Federal Judge Blocks Kansas Law Punishing BDS Supporters

Jesse Rubin
Feb. 01, 2018

In an unprecedented victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a federal judge has blocked Kansas from enforcing a state law which punishes those who express support or engage in the boycott of Israel.

Federal Judge Daniel Crabtree issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday, prohibiting the state from acting for the duration of a lawsuit filed in October by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Esther Koontz, a longtime Wichita public school teacher.

The suit derives from Koontzís adherence to the Palestinian call for BDS. Alongside fellow members of the Mennonite Church USA and in solidarity with Palestinians, she decided to boycott all consumer products from both Israeli companies and those that operate in Israelís illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

After the passage of the anti-BDS law, all Kansas state employees were required to sign a certification guaranteeing they do not participate in the boycott of Israel.

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