By Philip  |  10-24-2017   News
Photo credit: savannahnow.com

Dickinson is a suburb of Houston and was hit hard by Hurrican Harvey. The City officials of Dickinson required any applicants for relief grants to sign a pledge that he or she “(1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.” <a href="https://www.jta.org/2017/10/23/news-opinion/politics/state-anti-bds-laws-are-hitting-unintended-targets-and-nobodys-happy">The American Civil Liberties Union blasted the policy</a> which basically penalizes dissenting opinion regarding the apartheid and occupation in Israel.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Israel&#39;s already criminalizing its anti-occupation dissenters. Don&#39;t let America do the same - Opinion<a href="https://t.co/SOfqyQf1sk">https://t.co/SOfqyQf1sk</a> <a href="https://t.co/J4M0LwX7aM">pic.twitter.com/J4M0LwX7aM</a></p>&mdash; Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) <a href="https://twitter.com/haaretzcom/status/922856123572654080?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 24, 2017</a></blockquote>

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BDS activism (boycott, divestion and sanctions) against Israel is already criminalized in Israel. The move to make any opinions or actions opposing Israel illegal is gaining steam statewide and even federal laws are in the works. A teacher in Kansas had to sign a pledge that she would not boycott Israel in order to receive aid. Just yesterday in Baltimore, <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-hogan-israel-20171023-story.html">Governor Larry Hogan signed an order</a> ruling all firms that receive any government contract may not boycott Israel.

Those who support these types of legislation claim that the laws are meant to prevent discrimination. Considering the irony that millions oppose the discrimination of the Apartheid state in Israel and the illegal occupation and settlements on the West Bank, this explanation comes off as naive at best.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Far-Right <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nazi?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Nazi</a> mass-murderer <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AndersBreivik?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AndersBreivik</a> salutes <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Zionism?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Zionism</a> for its <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/racist?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#racist</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ideology?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ideology</a> and declares war on all those who oppose it. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BDS?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BDS</a> <a href="https://t.co/t4dZsv2nO0">pic.twitter.com/t4dZsv2nO0</a></p>&mdash; The Goyim Know (@Goyim_Shmoyim) <a href="https://twitter.com/Goyim_Shmoyim/status/922757793261740032?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 24, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Federal anti-BDS laws have met with some opposition despite the BDS movement having scant support in the US. Currently however, <a href="http://righttoboycott.org/">there are only 14 states without some sort of anti-BDS laws</a> or resolutions on the books. Regardless of how you feel about the subject of the oppression and occupation the Palestinians face, the idea that peaceful protest and economic activism could be outlawed should concern you.

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