I oppose BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – of and against Israel). It is conducted on behalf of lawless, racist tyrants against the Middle East’s only democratic government. Nonetheless, this strikes me as unconstitutional.
A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused to Sign a Pro-Israel Oath, Now Mandatory in Many States — so She Lost Her Job
It’s certainly repugnant.
I think the headline would be more accurate if it said “Refused to Abandon Her 1st Amendment Rights.”
A children’s speech pathologist who has worked for the last nine years with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas, has been told that she can no longer work with the public school district, after she refused to sign an oath vowing that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel or “otherwise tak[e] any action that is intended to inflict economic harm” on that foreign nation…
[The oath] would bar Amawi not only from refraining from buying goods from companies located within Israel, but also from any Israeli companies operating in the occupied West Bank (“an Israeli-controlled territory”). The oath given to Amawi would also likely prohibit her even from advocating such a boycott given that such speech could be seen as “intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel.”…
The bill’s language is so sweeping that some victims of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Southwest Texas in late 2017, were told that they could only receive state disaster relief if they first signed a pledge never to boycott Israel…
This required certification about Israel was the only one in the contract sent to Amawi that pertained to political opinions and activism. There were no similar clauses relating to children (such as a vow not to advocate for pedophiles or child abusers)…
How is this different from legally compelling teachers to use made-up pronouns?
In order to obtain contracts in Texas, then, a citizen is free to denounce and work against the United States, to advocate for causes that directly harm American children, and even to support a boycott of particular U.S. states, such as was done in 2017 to North Carolina in protest of its anti-LGBT law. In order to continue to work, Amawi would be perfectly free to engage in any political activism against her own country, participate in an economic boycott of any state or city within the U.S., or work against the policies of any other government in the world — except Israel.
I’m reminded of Chapter 11 of Heller’s Catch-22. Captain Black conducts the Great Loyalty Oath campaign:
““The important thing is to keep them pledging,’ he explained to his cohorts. ‘It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what “pledge” and “allegiance” mean.’ To Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren, the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a glorious pain in the ass, since it complicated their task of organizing the crews for each combat mission. Men were tied up all over the squadron signing, pledging and singing, and the missions took hours longer to get under way. Effective emergency action became impossible, but Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren were both too timid to raise any outcry against Captain Black, who scrupulously enforced each day the doctrine of ‘Continual Reaffirmation’ that he had originated, a doctrine designed to trap all those men who had become disloyal since the last time they had signed a loyalty oath the day before. It was Captain Black who came with advice to Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren as they pitched about in their bewildering predicament. He came with a delegation and advised them bluntly to make each man sign a loyalty oath before allowing him to fly on a combat mission.””
The First Amendment especially applies to speech you don’t like. I would agree that a speech pathologist’s duties should exclude political advocacy; but that is an HR matter, and not in evidence here. It is not something to be applied to her personal shopping decisions or off-duty speech by state law.
1 thought on “The Great Loyalty Oath Campaign”
Well-reasoned. Well-stated. Too bad that this concept is not understood by so many people in political power, such as those who passed the requirement of the oath. They have lawyers to represent them, and it is clear that those lawyers had little understanding of the 1st amendment, or that they let their personal agendas overrule the law. These kinds of things are occurring throughout our country, and the same lack of understanding or disregard of one of our basic rights is demonstrated by those in power. The media who report on these things are as much to blame for these actions, and it seems as if all the actors and those reporting on them need to be required to attend classes in basic constitutional law.