Dickinson demands Hurricane Harvey victims agree to not boycott Israel

The ACLU is calling the city of Dickinson’s hurricane repair grant application unconstitutional because it asks applicants to not boycott Israel, according to a news release from the civil rights non-profit. The city posted on its website that grant applications are being accepted for money donated to the Dickinson Harvey Relief fund. The application allows residents to apply for funds to help in rebuilding a home or business impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Applicants must agree that they “will not boycott Israel during the term of this agreement,” according to the form.
“The First Amendment protects Americans’ right to boycott, and the government cannot condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression,” said ACLU of Texas Legal Director Andre Segura. “Dickinson’s requirement is an egregious violation of the First Amendment, reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths requiring Americans to disavow membership in the Communist party and other forms of ‘subversive’ activity.”
This comes after Gov. Greg Abbott passed House Bill 89 in May, known as Anti-Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions), which prohibits state agencies from contracting with and investing in certain public funds into companies that boycott Israel. “Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies, and we will not tolerate such actions against an important ally,” said Abbott in a news release earlier this year.
Source: http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bayarea/news/article/Dickinson-claims-…

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