Federal Judge Rules Against Texas in Ban on Boycotting Israel

AUSTIN — In a victory for freedom of speech advocates and a setback for conservative state leaders, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman on Thursday issued a temporary injunction on a politically charged law that bars state contract workers in Texas from boycotting Israel.By blocking the state from enforcing the 2-year-old law, Pitman sided with Palestinian speech pathologist Bahia Amawi, who lost her contract position with the Pflugerville School district in October when she refused to sign her initials on an agreement saying she does not boycott Israel and would not do so for the remainder of her contract.Amawi, a 46-year-old mother from Round Rock, testified in Pitman's Austin courtroom last month that she refuses to buy certain items, such as hummus and classroom toys, that are made by Israeli companies. Staring out at dozens of members of the local Muslim community, she told the court that Israel has long mistreated her family and other Palestinians and she could not in good conscience certify that she would refuse to boycott the country.  Continue reading...

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