[ Ed. note – A small victory against the anti-BDS juggernaut that is sweeping the country…the city of Dickinson, Texas–obviously responding to widespread criticism–has partially reversed its policy on extracting pledges not to boycott Israel from victims of Hurricane Harvey. The Dickinson City Council has voted to absolve individual homeowners from signing contracts stating they do not support a boycott. However, according to the report below, business owners seeking relief assistance are still required to adhere to the condition. ]
Jesse Rubin | Mondoweiss
The city of Dickinson, Texas, will no longer require private citizens affected by Hurricane Harvey to sign a pledge guaranteeing they do not and will not boycott Israel as a condition to receiving help.
After a closed meeting with city attorney David Olson, the city council passed a motion to remove a clause that conditions disaster relief aid on an applicant’s political views.
While a clear victory for residents of Dickinson — if perhaps bittersweet because the storm-struck are simply back to where the application process should have begun — the amendment only applies to private homeowners.
“The council voted to strike the language related to the pledge not to boycott Israel for residential applicants for the grants,” city management assistant Bryan Milward told Mondoweiss. However, Milward confirmed, “the language is still in for businesses.”
City businesses damaged by the storm are still prohibited from engaging in any boycott of Israel if they are to receive relief funding. According to the city police department, the hurricane seriously damaged 88 businesses, ten of which are closing down indefinitely.
Councilman Walter Wilson, who brought the issue up for a vote after reconvening, noted that the move “really doesn’t change the application itself…we’ll remove that clause when we’re entering into that agreement with an individual homeowner.”
But when it comes to businesses– boycotting Israel is verboten.
“Whenever [the city] is dealing with companies,” Wilson said, which he noted are more broadly defined, “we will continue to maintain [the no-Israel-boycott pledge] until we receive guidance from a higher court or a state agency issuing an opinion.”