Anyone in Texas looking to rebuild their properties following the devastating hurricane will only receive state funds if they have not signed up to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, The Intercept has reported.
Texan law prohibits the state from entering into contracts with a business unless it “does not boycott Israel; and will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract”, and local council are using this law with individuals following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
The “Hurricane Harvey Repair Grant Application and Agreement” issued by the City of Dickinson, Texas, lays out one of its condition as: “Verification not to Boycott Israel. By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.”
However, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a suit, saying that the law is unconstitutional.
“It is absolutely unconscionable for state and local governments to impose political litmus tests on disaster relief funds for people devastated by Hurricane Harvey,” Brian Hauss, an ACLU staff attorney based in New York, told The Intercept.
“The government should not be denying disaster relief funds based on people’s political beliefs.”
Hurricane Harvey struck Texas on 25 August resulting in mass floods which inundated hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people and prompted more than 17,000 rescues. It caused at least 90 confirmed deaths.