Federal Court Rules Georgia's Anti-BDS Law Forcing Americans to Pledge Allegiance to Israel is UnconstitutionalChris Menahan
May. 24, 2021
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Filmmaker Abby Martin secured a major victory for free speech on Monday after a federal court ruled that her First Amendment rights were violated when she was blocked from speaking at Georgia Southern University in 2016 for refusing to "sign a contractual pledge to not boycott Israel" in compliance with Georgia's anti-Boycott, Divest and Sanctions law.
The law is now reportedly unenforceable but has yet to be struck down.
"I am thrilled at the judge's decision finding this law unconstitutional as it so clearly violates the free speech rights of myself and so many others in Georgia," Abby Martin said in a statement on Twitter. "My First Amendment rights were restricted on behalf of a foreign government, which flies in the face of the principles of freedom and democracy."
Martin continued: "The government of Israel has pushed state legislatures to enact these laws only because they know that sympathy and support for the population they brutalize, occupy, ethnically cleanse and subject to apartheid, is finally growing in popular consciousness -- they want to hold back the tide of justice by preemptively restricting the right of American citizens to peacefully take a stand against their crimes."
"As the world watches Israeli aggression continue in Jerusalem, the West Bank and against the population it besieges in Gaza, it has never been more urgent to advance the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the Israeli regime. The striking of this law is a necessary and timely opening to build this urgent task."
From CAIR, "CAIR & PCJF Win ‘Major Victory’ in Federal Lawsuit Against Georgia’s Anti-Israel Boycott Law; Court Rules Anti-BDS Law Violates the First Amendment":
The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Georgia), CAIR Legal Defense Fund and the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) today welcomed a "major victory" in their lawsuit against Georgia's Israel boycott law after a federal district court ruled that the State of Georgia's 2016 law punishing boycotts of Israel is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment.You can read the full ruling here.
The Israeli government has been lobbying for anti-BDS laws in every state in America with huge success over the past several years.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year bragged about how his government "promoted [anti-BDS] laws in most US states" to punish Americans who refuse to pledge allegiance to Israel.
In 2019, Israel's ambassador to the US, Gilad Erdan, bragged about how "our efforts" to shut down Americans' free speech rights were "producing results."
"When I was charged with leading this fight, BDS leaders operated freely and were largely successful in disguising themselves as human rights organizations... We tore off their masks. We exposed their ties to terror, we exposed their deeprooted antisemitism, we exposed their opposition to peace, and we exposed of course their hypocrisy. They couldn't care less about the real human rights violations, for example in Syria and Iran. All they care about is demonizing and delegitimizing the world's only Jewish and democratic state... Our efforts are producing results. 27 US states now have counter-BDS legislation. Let's give a hand to all the governors and state legislators who supported this law. They deserve it."Imagine the outrage if the government of Russia was getting laws passed throughout our country to ban Americans from boycotting and criticizing Russia!
These laws should be struck down in every state and everyone who voted for them should be kicked out of office!
[This article was updated to clarify the law was not stuck down but made unenforceable.]
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