Universities are demanding professors disavow BDS before being allowed to speak on campus | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Universities are demanding professors disavow BDS before being allowed to speak on campus

Last year, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the city of Dickinson, a suburb of Houston, Texas, required its residents to sign a form affirming they do not engage in a boycott of Israel as a pre-requisite to obtaining federal relief aid. The ACLU sharply criticized the requirement as unconstitutional, and the city of Dickinson eventually rescinded it for individuals, while maintaining that state agencies are blocked from contracting with, or investing in, companies that boycott Israel. Texas is one of more than 20 states that have passed anti-BDS laws, with Texas governor Greg Abbott declaring that “Anti-Israel Policies are anti-Texas policies.”

But the memo that penalizing individuals for supporting BDS is a violation of the First Amendment seems not to have reached some universities, as there are at least three known cases at the University of Houston requiring such a disavowal from its own members, as well as visiting speakers. Arizona State University has also recently made such a demand of Dr. Hatem Bazian, who was invited to speak there at an event in April by the Muslim Student Association.

The first case at the University of Houston is that of a matriculated student, a member of the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter there. Since SJP chapters all endorse BDS, the student had to sign a contract not to boycott Israel in order to be allowed to judge a university-sponsored contest.

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