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COMMUNITY ALERT: Watch Livestream of CAIR-Georgia, CAIR National Reps Opposing Proposed Change to Georgia’s Anti-BDS Law

(ATLANTA, GEORGIA, 2/22/2021) At 2 p.m. ET today, CAIR-Georgia Government Affairs Director Kareem Elhosseiny will share a statement in opposition to HB 383, the existing unconstitutional anti-BDS law, at the Governmental Affairs General Government Subcommittee.

The subcommittee will meet to discuss a proposed change to HB 383. CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Mitchell will also share a statement at the hearing. 

Watch livestream: https://livestream.com/accounts/25225474/events/8737124/videos/217885079

BACKGROUNDER:

Last year, CAIR-Georgia, CAIR Legal Defense Fund and the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund today announced the filing of a federal free speech lawsuit against the University System of Georgia, which cancelled a journalist’s speaking engagement on a college campus when she refused to sign a state-mandated oath pledging not to boycott the Israeli government.

SEE: Civil Rights Groups Announce Free Speech Lawsuit Against Georgia’s Unconstitutional ‘Israel Boycott’ Law

HB 383 prohibits the state of Georgia from entering contracts with an individual or company that does not certify that such individual or company does not conduct a boycott of Israel. HB 383 targets corporations that support BDS toward Israel by not allowing them to enter contracts with the state of Georgia and penalizes entities for standing up for Palestinians rights. 

HB 383 is an anti-BDS legislation. The proposed change to HB 383 intends to change the minimum amount for the legislation to apply from $1,000 to $100,000. 

Bill Background: Georgia Lawmaker Says Israeli Government ‘Asked Me’ For Anti-Boycott Law She Introduced

The Supreme Court has long held that political boycotts – like boycotts for Palestinian rights – are a form of expression protected by the First Amendment. In September 2018, a federal court blocked Arizona from enforcing its anti-boycott law, finding that the law likely violates the First Amendment. 

SEE ALSO: Arizona Federal Court Blocks Anti-Boycott Law

https://palestinelegal.org/news/victory-federal-court-az-law

CAIR-Georgia opposes any legislation that abridges Georgian’s constitutionally protected first Amendment rights to boycott. We believe that this change is an attempt to avoid the law itself being overturned. First amendment privileges should not be abridged or extended based on an arbitrary monetary amount nor based on perceived validity of the protest or speech itself. 

The proposed change to HB 383 is a direct result of the lawsuit CAIR and other partners filed on behalf of Abby Martin in 2020. Last year, Abby Martin’s keynote address at Georgia Southern University was cancelled after she refused to sign the anti-BDS contract. 

Abby Martin Sues State of Georgia: 

CAIR-Georgia is the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization. 

 
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.   

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.  

END  

CONTACT: CAIR- Georgia Executive Director Abdullah Jaber, 678-631-9697, ajaber@cair.com; CAIR-Georgia Legal and Policy Director Murtaza Khwaja, 404-432-8847, mkhwaja@cair.com 

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