U.S. JEWISH LOBBY SETBACK AS STATE ANTI-BDS, LAW STRUCK DOWN AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
THE JEWISH LOBBY in America has suffered an important setback in their attempts to stifle criticism of Israel with the striking down by a US federal judge of the “anti-boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) law in Texas, on the grounds that it violates freedom of speech under the country’s first amendment of the constitution.
The Texas law — which has been copied by twenty-five other equally Jewish lobby controlled states in other parts of the country, is officially known as the Anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions law (Anti-BDS) and was passed and signed into law in May 2017.
The law requiring all government contractors to sign a pledge vowing not to participate in the pro-Palestinian BDS movement. At the time that the law was passed, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that “Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies, and we will not tolerate such actions against an important ally.”
The blatantly unconstitutional law was challenged by the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which sued the state to get the law overturned after a Muslim speech pathologist, Bahia Amawi, was not allowed to sign a contract extension with Pflugerville independent school district — a public school district near the state’s capital Austin — unless she pledged to not boycott Israel.
The court found that “political boycotts are protected speech,” and “none of the exceptions to that rule urged by the State apply to this case. The Court therefore concludes that Plaintiffs’ BDS boycotts are speech protected by the First Amendment.”
In addition, the court ruled that the state of Texas “has failed to identify a compelling state interest justifying H.B. 89’s burden on protected speech.
“In fact the only interest distinctly served by the content [and viewpoint] limitation is that of displaying [Texas’s] special hostility toward the particular biases thus singled out. That is precisely what the First Amendment forbids.”
For this reason alone, the court said, the law is an “unconstitutional content- and viewpoint-based restriction on speech.”
CAIR added that they are “gearing up for the fights in the other 26 states where anti-BDS laws have been passed and we are certain that we are on the right side of the constitution and history.”
* It is ironic that increased Muslim immigration into America — which is the primary cause of the spread of the BDS movement in that country — is one of the non-White invasions which is specifically supported and encouraged by the Jewish lobby.
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt called Trump’s plan “unacceptable and antithetical to American values,” while the American Jewish Committee’s Associate Executive Director for Policy Jason Isaacson condemned “in the strongest terms” what it called the “latest offensive and inflammatory comments from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.”
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said in a statement it also condemned Trump’s remarks, as “our nation, founded by those fleeing religious persecution, is rooted in principles of religious freedom.”
Rabbi Jack Moline, director of the Interfaith Alliance issued a statement saying that “a country that discriminates against individuals on the basis of their faith would be a poor excuse for America.”
There is a new, unprecedented, and very toxic phenomenon in U.S. politics. Privately-owned businesses have become blatantly partisan and willing to lose customers and profits by discriminating against and outright banning conservatives. See, for example:
Among those corporations are the information tech giants — social media and WordPress — which have been censoring conservatives, including this blog, Fellowship of the Minds (FOTM), for some time now. See:
The latest social media censorship took place four days ago on May 2, when Facebook and Instagram, with no warning, banned a number of so-called “far-right extremists,” including Alex Jones, InfoWars, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, and Laura Loomer, ostensibly for “safety” reasons to remove individuals who promote “hate and violence.”
But as Clash Daily points out, neither Facebook nor Instagram cited how or what the “far-right extremists” had posted that violated their “community rules” or “terms of service,” which makes their banning and take-down entirely arbitrary. As usual, President Trump did some huffing and puffing with this tweet:
I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!
Instead of empty threats, Texas is doing something about the social media censorship.
The Texas Tribune reports that on April 25, 2019, in an 18-12 vote, the Texas State Senate approved SB 2373, a bill that would hold social media platforms accountable for restricting users’ speech based on personal opinions.
SB 2373 was introduced by state Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), who said the bill applies to social media platforms that advertise themselves as unbiased but still censor users. In the Senate State Affairs Committee hearing, Hughes said:
“Senate Bill 2373 tries to prevent those companies that control these new public spaces, this new public square, from picking winners and losers based on content. Basically if the company represents, ‘We’re an open forum and we don’t discriminate based on content,’ then they shouldn’t be able to discriminate based on content.”
CJ Grisham, the founder of Open Carry Texas, spoke at the hearing in support of the bill. He said Facebook has shut down 16 of the organization’s local groups and did not explain why. Grisham said Open Carry Texas is a conservative gun rights platform and is “routinely targeted” for pushing gun rights on Facebook.
Opponents to the bill maintain SB 2373 violates a federal law that protects social media platforms under a “good Samaritan” policy that allows them to moderate content on the platform however they want.
Harvard Law School lecturer Kendra Albert, who specializes in technology law, said the federal law would likely preempt SB 2373 because “The federal law contains what we would call a ‘subjective standard. It’s based on whether the provider thinks that this causes problems, whereas the Texas bill attempts to move it to an objective standard.” Albert said it would be difficult to determine what is “objectively” offensive, which is why the federal law leaves it up to social media platforms and their users to determine what is offensive. Sometimes there’s not a particular reason why content is removed; it’s flagged by an algorithm.