'A Texas elementary school speech pathologist has filed a federal lawsuit after her school district refused to renew her contract unless she signed a pro-Israel oath.
Bahia Amawi has worked for the Pflugerville Independent School District since 2009 on a contract basis. Each year when it came to the time to renew her contract, the school district did so. Amawi always signed the correct documents, and had another year of guaranteed employment.
But this year, in August, there was a new addition to the contract papers. That addition was an oath which Amawi was being asked to sign, promising that she “will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract” and will refrain from any action “that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel, or with a person or entity doing business in Israel or in an Israel-controlled territory.”
That was a problem for Amawi, who, along with her family, refrains from buying goods from Israeli companies in support of the global boycott to end Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
But aside from that, Amawi noted that the very fact that this was the only oath she was being asked to sign – and it was to do with Israel – was extremely strange.
“It’s baffling that they can throw this down our throats, and decide to protect another country’s economy versus protecting our constitutional rights,” Amawi, who was born in Austria and is of Palestinian descent, told The Intercept.
She said it was entirely out of the question to sign such an oath, as it would not only be doing Palestinians a disservice, but also Americans.
“I couldn’t in good conscience do that. If I did, I would not only be betraying Palestinians suffering under an occupation that I believe is unjust...but I’d also be betraying my fellow Americans by enabling violations of our constitutional rights to free speech and to protest peacefully,” said Amawi, who has lived in America for the last 30 years and is a US citizen.'
Read more: Texas school pathologist files lawsuit after being denied work for refusing to sign pro-Israel oath
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