Americans Must Stop Imposing Loyalty Oaths

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Bahia Amawi works as children’s speech pathologist for the Pflugerville Independent School District in Texas. Or, rather, she used to work as a children’s speech pathologist for the district. After nine years, Glenn Greenwald reports at The Intercept, the district’s administration declined to renew her contract because she refused to sign a loyalty oath. Not a loyalty oath to the United States. Not a loyalty oath to the state of Texas. Not a loyalty oath to Pflugerville Independent School District, nor to its students. A loyalty oath to Israel.

Texas is one of 26 states (with similar legislation pending in 13 others) which requires state contractors to certify that they

“do not currently boycott Israel” and “will not boycott Israel” for the duration of the contract. The definition of “boycott” includes “refusing to deal with” or “terminating business activities with” Israel or any “person or entity doing business in Israel or in an Israeli- controlled territory.” The purpose of these requirements is to hinder the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS participants call on Israel to meet its “obligations under international law” by withdrawing from occupied Arab territory and so forth, and back that call by refusing to purchase Israeli goods or do business with Israeli companies.


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