« Reveal

The Right to Boycott

2019-03-30 | 🔗

“It is wrong to boycott Israel” is a bipartisan message. But is banning the boycott a violation of First Amendment rights? Also, the story of a man who is trying to boycott Israel while living under Israeli occupation.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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From the centre for investigative reporting and p r ex this is reveal a melody jump. Luger known as J P cares. A lot about words would put them were not put them had a trailer. Man's labour, so it s not just a swinging in emu and the other night said Jim. You were a child in the river by the cypresses western hemisphere than us as home at that level of cyclists, GPS, translator and poet from Houston Texas. One day early last year, a curator at the University of Houston's art museum dead touch with J P about this spanish USA. He needed translated into English and she how are going to do it, and I said yes Male J, P, the contract, so got home Grenada was reading through it, and I found the clause cause number thirty, three, no boycott contractors.
The, and that one one does not boycott Israel and will will not boycott real during the term of this agreement. So, under this clause, J P would not be allowed to do work for the university, because J P has been boycotting in his really product for the past few years, Sabra Humph It's made by a company with ties to the israeli military and refusing to buy this homeless is J Peas, way of supporting a movement called CBS which stands for boycott divestment. Sanctions media supporters seat as a way to use non violent protests to pressure. The israeli government, about for treatment of the palestinian people. Support for EU. Had been growing here in the. U S. In recent years, sitting at home, staring at this clause JP had to figure out what to say to the curator. Initially, I'm crossed out that cause, and it put my initial next to it scandal
and sent it back to him. They think the next day told me that that was a possibility that I couldn't just cross it out and I It's either sign out or not Simon, J P didn't sign in didn't get the job as a poet, I think, very hard how I put words together and what words I put out into the world and what those meeting- and that was it, ethnic combination of words that I was not willing to find my name after this clause in Japan. Contract comes from a law that the state of Texas, past and twenty seventeen along their mandates. The contractors who give money from the state agree that they will not be caught Israel and its not just Texas. Today only seventeen states have laws, or negative orders, like the one J p ran into all. This is happening at a moment when how Americans talk about Israel has become one of the most
to questions in politics today But no matter where you stand on the israeli palestinian conflict, we are not here to talk about. The boycotting Israel is right or wrong. We're here to talk about the right to boycott itself, because when J P saw the clause, J B was not just thinking about Israel, so some The first amendment feels a little bit distant to me, but I doubt it. I thought I was reading at that. I know that I have a right to hold my own boots. And they seemed like an infringement on that right today. On the show we ask who has the right to boycott? Who doesn't reporter Julia Sign and takes it from here. If you I understand the thinking behind. Texas is anti abs law, a good place to start
is in Washington DC at the conference, where some of the boycott movements biggest critics gather every year. This is a pack, the american Israel Public Affairs Committee, a group founded to represent the state of Israel in America. This conference started with a giant single on thousands of people. We, being their hands back and forth. After the music to speeches started- and there was a thing, I deeply oppose the boycott divestment and sanctions loading It is wrong to boycott Israel. Beady s is pure unadulterated, racism either.
Before Israel came into existence. Boycotts were used as a weapon of those who oppose the very existence of the jewish state. That was New York. Mayor builder blogs, you vice president, my pants Senator Jim Rich. And Senator Charles Humor senators. More went on to explain that in his view, the current boycotts of Israel are part of a long history. So from the moment, Israel Drury, our first breath until this very moment is realised, been threatened by boycott movements, and I will always stand with Israel against those who to do. Are harmed by boycott or by any other means back in Texas, JP the translator does recognise that laxity of the issue. How that get sorted through and how people within his ruin
time, decide to deal with that. You know, I don't know. I'll have the answers there, but I do know that those specific claims of the bee s, movement are important to me important that now to do more than simply refusing to sign the contract. J P joined a lawsuit, rob the ACL you challenging the Texas LAW, without knowing it J P, was joining a legal fight about the right to boycott the goes by to tiny town in Mississippi during the civil rights movement, Yes, we met in. Yes, we will comrades and the struggle. This is Berlin and James Miller. They grew up import. Gibson Mississippi met in the youth group of the end of a c. Seventeen will evolve. Before you have all you talk about as teenagers.
Carolyn and James used to hang out at a local malt shop, called Eddie leaves it was very spot. They would come play nickel in the Jewel Box, place and courtesy I feel to get a chilly dog famous, had dogs and Eddie leaves was a safe haven for them. Even though the town was majority, black most of the stores were white owned and openly discriminated against black people, especially the piggly wiggly. Supermarket Carolyn remembers having to enter at the back of the store as little kid. This. The way about it were, I didn't realize there was a front door, oh yeah, that damn Piggly wiggly some rude whitefoot. This is Charles Avars, brother of the famous civil rights leader, major ever who was assassinated in the sixties, chow Those is ninety six now, after his brother was killed, he became the head of the Mississippi and doubly C p import Gibson in nine
Sixty six everything was segregated, not just the stores and besides voter drives and lawsuits. One of the main tactics the Lisi P had to fight Jim Crow was we got eyes. Blindfold were an did you we bought by them what else do they chose? The delay should be shut down. So this was part of the movement. Yes, was the movement Charles efforts and the end of a leadership wanted more job opportunities, and into segregation and just basic respect for the black community. So they sent a letter to the local white leadership. When the white people didn't respond, the black community began a boycott soon.
Given how successful the boycott, where most of the black cloak participating? Oh, yes and leave you didn t begin old fool. I've gone businesses. Five people were going to places like any less or even to neighbouring towns, her groceries, but not to wait on stores which started shutting down and then the way businesses is did something that the black residents didn't expect in nineteen. Sixty nine, the local hardware store The wigley and many of the white businesses sued and w C p and more than a hundred individual plaque residents of the county saw him for asking for basic courtesies made no sense to me. That's Carolyn from the end of a lazy, p, youth group. It makes sense to her husband, James, either and a warning to listeners. There's an offensive term in this next part that some might not want to hear you know
How can you see somebody, but they don't spend their money until store when you call them? Maybe. You dont give them in a busy the white. The white businesses were asking for millions of dollars lost from the boycott and they wanted the boycott to stop. The case went to them is to be courts and they sided with the white businesses. The end of a lazy, p appeals and the case went on for thirteen years. In eighteen, eighty two, they finally ended up here, we will hear arguments next June CP against clay born artwork, the Supreme Court of the United States? Mr Cutler, I think you may proceed whenever you're ready, attorney, Lloyd, Cutler stepped up. He was right then, in the end up Lacy, Mr Chief justice, and may I please, the court
he started by going way back to the Boston Tea Party. This motion was born out of a series of colonial boycotts against british merchants in support of petitions to the british king in parliament for the redress of grievances. He said the founding fathers loved boycotts and when they adopted the first amendment we submit, they couldn't possibly have intended to exclude from its protection very means of petition that they themselves had imply. Cutler argued that, from the beginning, the founders we're talking about using the power of the pocket book to express political views and they change. It is so wrapped him do our history that we do not see how the first amendment
could be rented the contract and the Supreme Court agreed in a two zero decision. Thurgood Marshall recused himself, because he used to represent the n double ACP. The court said the right to peaceful boycott is protected by the first amendment: The end of the Lisi and the black community of port Gibson had one Carolyn, and James Miller, helps organise a victory party, but not at any leads then they are what we needed to get right now. They wanted something a little stronger than a lot longer. We normally no more now with earlier Jack, Thirty six years later
and to be closer to their rank. Is they now live near Gallus, Texas? Ask them if they had heard of Texas Anti Boycott law they haven't. So I tell them about the law and about J P is. Let me reply is low Borg was the same thing will happen and what gives you, how can a man, it's like Borg was the same thing will happen and what gives me? How can that even be constitutional and we come on? Well, there are definitely people who do think its constitutional, I'm Eugene controversy, Billy American. He also works for an israeli think tank and like a lot of people, I met at israeli American. He also works for an israeli think tank and like a lot of people, I met at the APEC conference. He sees the boy
caught divestment in sanctions, movement as discriminatory towards Israelis. So for the past few years, he's been working on a legal way to combat these boycotts. Eugene's actually been called the intellectual architect of America's anti beady laws, because he's been helping elected officials all around the country make sure their laws passed. Us to take in safe path to follow, and what do you mean by safe and it will be widely acceptable, doesn't raising a constitution and what do you mean by safe it a lot widely acceptable doesn't and some constitutional questions go. As James Miller said, there are actually a lot of constitutional questions and some of those questions go right back to port Gibson Mississippi and the Supreme Court case Claiborne Hardware verses and lay CP first walk Vermont. But were involved a consumer boycott. That's the example of you buying sombre homeless, so none of
state laws involve consumer boycotts, don't affect all these recent anti boycott laws around America. They don't affect consumers, they affect companies and J P putting Eugene J P can boycott Israel as a consumer till the cows come home, but if J Peace, one person company we caught sovereign homeless, the state won't contract with that company. In the capacity of his contractor as a state, he cannot boycott Israel now in Practice won't contract with that company. In the capacity of his contractor as a state, he cannot boycott Israel now, in practice, a poet Israel limited ability would translator. This war has ability providing translation services to actually be boycotting Israel. So so this war has almost no application to him or he couldn't get pay he could get paid, because how is a translator? Is he boycotting as well he's just a difference,
twin personal and corporate capacity. What I can tell you is these laws do not apply to individuals, they apply to businesses, that's not exactly right. This is Brien House, state Laws J P, that consumer versus J P that company it's all the same, the losses if there is no distinction between the sober, private or as a business entity and the sober prior as an individual's when a solar pride or signs of form saying that as a contractor, they will not work. As a business entity and the soap upright or as an individual to solar pride or signs of form saying that as a contractor, they will not participate in boycott of Israel, but there are certain that it is that neither as an individual nor as a business will they participate in a boycott of Israel at all for the duration of the contract. So I think this notion that you can call We separate a cottages operations as a business entity, persons as an individual. I dont think a supports that
who states around the? U S are now changing their anti boycott laws so that they don't effect so proprietorships like J P and only affect companies with more than ten people, but brine says that even then those companies still have the right to boycott. The Supreme Court has been extremely clear for several decades: the busy does have the exact same first amendment right as individuals, Brian and Eugene. Dont trust disagree on the details of the laws, but on the very reason for being of laws that ban boycotts against Israel. Why do people who say they care about human rights? Why did they only target Israel and its a fair inference of this? A proxy for Anti Semitism Brian says yes, Anti Semitism is a problem Why do people who say they care about human rights law? they only target as and it's a France is a proxy for Anti Semitism. Brian says yes, Anti Semitism is a problem and
The government can make laws to curb some types of discrimination, for example with public accommodation laws that govern can say, is really hotel. You must rent rooms to israeli people, you the exclude them, but if individuals are boycotting eighty two owned hotels as a means of political expression take the right can't police that, as the nineteen eighty two clay born hardware case showed. The government cannot take away the right to use boycotts as a means of political speech and Brian says. The government definitely can't single out one type of boycotting in his loss provoked by the government in these cases is only targeting or part of Israel and not even attempting to prevent discrimination, and any other circumstance gives rise to a strong interest of the government's real interest. Not in preventing discrimination, but rather in suppressing speech that it doesn't like.
Oh, over a week ago, a bipartisan group in the house introduced a resolution condemning the movement to boycott Israel, back in January, the Senate overwhelmingly pass the combatting media, sat sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio is basically the federal government allowing the states to continue their anti boycott laws me. Several lawmakers, including Senator Rubio, to comment for this story. They all declined or didn't get back to me, but there is a way YO of Senator Rubio defending his bill on the Senate, for this doesn't in any way prevent anyone from participating in boycotting divesting from Israel. All it says is that if you do your clients in the form of state or local governments, can boycott or divest even return free speech is a two way street, but team of heredity No rights and liberties attorney says free speech, actually isn't too two
not misses the entire purpose of the first amendment, which is to protect us government interference in our first amendment. Activities. Dilemmas cooperate getting attorney with the centre for constitutional rights and the director of Palestine. An organization that tracks anti beady S legislation and she says people need to remember? The first amendment starts with Congress shall make no law The founding fathers were saying: the government is an allowed to retaliate against speech it doesn't like, because today the government doesn't like speech against Israel, but what about tomorrow? What will be next? If this boycott is unpalatable to our elected representatives? What is the next one that will be? You can imagine, but they don't approve of a lot of boycotts and activism happens. So that's really important to understand that
Punishing one kind of boycott really affects all of our first human rights. As for J P, the translator in Texas, small a university offer J P a teaching job. To see the contract and I got it and it had the same language and other contract J, P didn't sign on other job. J P couldn't take I'm definitely lost money already I mean I definitely I'm looking for it. The day that this law no longer exists- and I can go back to contracting not only with you of age, so with other universities and other institutions around the state this past week, the issue you attorneys, went before a Texas judge for a hearing on the case. To date, men whether or not this anti boycott law is constitutional? Are hoping get a ruling syn This Julia Simon for that story
Brian House, in the a you also working on lost much challenging eighty boycott laws in Arizona and Arkansas. Also mention that Brian is part of a team representing reveal in an unrelated case, Julius story is about laws. They could restrict people from taking part in a boycott. But what do you do if you live someplace, where it's nearly impossible, find a way around buying stuff from people. You want a boycott. That's next on reveal from Therefore, investigative reporting and p exe from the centre for investigating, reporting and p r ex this is revealed amount lessen. The idea of boycotting Israel didn't start in the United States started
without any our families. We always used to try to get the local stuff budgeted its food drink whatever. So it's an old blood, The mere crazy is a thirty five year old palestinian entrepreneur. He says this idea he was raised on boycotting Israel is not an easy thing to do when you living in a place like his home town Ramallah, it's a town of about thirty five thousand people in the occupied West Bank, which is controlled by both the Palestinian Authority and the israeli military. Samir works at the narrow sidewalks of malice de pills towards vegetable shop, Greece Yonah out front, he paused vegetables inside the sole sees did become bizarre Israeli. This israeli potato apple can see the logo in Hebrew got. It sounds really carrots and see its produce than packed in Israel. Most of the produce in this small shops comes from Israel. That sat said Samir says because, when power
means by israeli grown cucumbers to chop into their salads there supporting businesses that feed the economy of the israeli state in some years. Thinking a military state, snipers jeeps, an army of nearly Two hundred thousand soldiers forces that Samir sees in his everyday life doing military raids on his home, town or winning, crosses the checkpoint to leave or enter Ramallah? He remembers the first time counted israeli soldiers. He was just five years old. Yes, actually, I was sleeping and deadly army broke into the house, and then he took my father who started because it would really loud? No one were unknown. Would forget such such a horrible night smears Father, a journalist was arrested and imprisoned for half a year, and it wasn't justice other Samir. His watch, his friends and relatives, get detain israeli soldiers, his whole life and his whole life he's been looking for the right way to take stand
it wasn't until twenties, they founded, and the idea came from an unlikely place produced China. Shilly takes us there. It was a chilly spring night and twenty twelve in the palestinian town of Jericho, Samir without a party with somebody's. We were at the backyard of a friend. There was a lot of elements trees around us and few beers he's our old friends, close friends. They hung at all but sometimes watching him really sometimes going for a high and whenever they got together. The topic of conversation almost always turned to one thing: Starting an entirely. Purely palestinian business the across our mind, like opening a bar or even creating beer
in their minds, giving Palestinians the option to buy homegrown products instead of israeli ones would be a step towards self sufficiency. Right now, a majority of palestinian imports come from Israel, as do many resources like water and electricity. Samir and his friends wanted to do something. Shell independence from the israeli economy and this one night and we're having a buried accused a vague and friend of us. She she just left like then something It is for us to grow lower meat and we would like Joe, you can't do that. Would you'd vegetables due to stop everything on the girl and then, she went on one of those begin Rance, some of you might have heard before how healthy, as this mushroom earners and the fibre and protein in this mushroom- and she was explained,
into us, and we listened to her and reward fascinated by this idea of this screech. If the motion, when some years saw that his geeky friends mushrooms, where from Israel inspirations drank, then we d and is that this is it was list the mushroom Semiramis. Three friends decided they start the first palestinian mushroom farm. Fine idea, except they didn't, have a clue about this creature. The mushroom samir was in his late twenties. He had a good off his job at a development and GEO, but he threw himself whole heartedly into this new idea, just with a good job so too must offer, because I feel that I have to do it. To help me understand why he would drop almost everything to get this business started. Samir tells me a story from his childhood. It was in the
the eighties. Around the same time, his dad was arrested during the first palestinian uprising or intifada against the israeli occupation. Palestinians collectively decided to boycott is really institutions. Taxes, goods, they threw stones at israeli delivery, trucks and military tanks. There was a spark of rough pollution in the air Samir wasn't attacks. With his family on their way to a wedding. When, again, Both men wearing woven scarves called coffee is halted the car to stop the US, the taxi driver, or do you smoke Andy's smoke times times as an israeli brand of cigarettes the men can
viewed with more questions. Don't you feel ashamed of yourself that your smoking, the cigarette of those who were arresting you and of those who are killing your sons and daughters? For those who claim that you do you do not exist and then throw away the drivers pack and handed him a new one of palestinian made cigarettes. This too strange musk man, they had an alternative in their hands some twenty five years later, Samir NO saw himself as one of those fear wearing guys. Instead of a cigarette alternative he'd provide mushrooms. I need my food fail, one of some years partners at the mushroom. Farm off a dirt road with palm trees, all around he's wearing sweats and a view neck smoking, a cigarette
about a year after that, fateful barbecue. The guy's found this piece of land in Jericho, the same town where they came up with the idea. They named the business, a moral farms from the Emirates who lived on this land in ancient times, and they taught themselves how to grow mushrooms. I usually like started toward from outside a moral farms, looks more like a row of white double wide trailer. It's been a farm mushrooms are grown in insulated rooms, carefully controlled for humidity and temperature, Ma Mood and latches a first store into a hallway and a second into a small, empty room and a third into a dark sort of mushroom hall
All these separate entrances are to block outside air and create a clean, sterile environment for the mushrooms and so forth of in this room with like a big mould, room, definitely not mood, says the materials for growing mushrooms are available in the palestinian territories, so since they wanted to avoid israeli goods the mushroom guys imported stuff from all over the world air condition. For example, comes from China. The exhaust funds, for example, to control the sea or two lovers come from Spain. The electric comes from France, for example, Schneider and Germany not mood changes, flashlight unto flat shelves. Compost, stats like bump on the shelves are completely covered with ready webs of white fungus. I really like the shape of the syrian military, be slight, come spider nets, but
really really really white and it goes into all directions and if you feel like its infinity that its ending in October twenty fourteen about half a year after they bought the piece of land in Jericho. Samir. Mood and their partners harvested their first mushrooms and brought them to market some years has seen the mushrooms unstarched shelves with like showing off his be he's. Never forget, that day I saw I saw, I saw a mushroom in the shop by need a filter in two months: mushroom we're flying off the shelf. Immoral sold twenty two tons of mushrooms in the first year in twenty five tonnes in the second, they hired twelve. Curse all local women
fans posted mushroom recipes, I'm a moral farms, Facebook page and In January, twenty. Sixteen an unexpected their compost, which importing from the Netherlands to dinner the guy's weight it and after a man, Samir hired, a lawyer to go to the israeli port of ash stood where goods from Europe come into the country is really customs was holding the compost there, but the lawyer couldn't figure out exactly why There isn't any form of response of why our product is being delayed under Senor
since the compost was held for ninety days before it was released. Their necks shipment was delayed for a hundred days and the next. For nearly four months and for each day the compost was held. A moral had to pay a fine to these really port for storage, Samir still doesn't have answers about why the Israelis held his compost. I also tried to find out why they held up the shipments, but I didn't get much further. One possibility is in order A minister of defence, reverting certain materials like fertilizers that can be used to make explosives? Samir says he suspects. The compost was held because authority saw his business as a threat to the Israeli mushroom industry and wanted to shut Mauro down
Eventually, a moral farms ran out of money. They had to close their doors. Samir says he felt his heart break when he saw the empty mushroom hall is one the saddest images and my life even much more than the bloodiest images, but like you're, looking at an empty heart like a skeleton, doesn't Palestinians, wrote to him and posted on the immoral facebook. Page Samir read some of those messages someone's ask. I can't find your to we miss you. Some Good luck, someone, replied, you'd mushroom as a great place, and I heart the farm was closed for about a year. They eventually came up with illegal workers,
with help from palestinian men living in Israel, because he has israeli citizenship. He can import the compost himself, then deliver it to Jericho as an israeli company, but was a solution because all the papers are sending these products from this company to that company. This new method still involve some rare, but a moral was able to get back on its feet again. Last spring, though the guys are happy to once again be feeding mushroom, loving Palestinians, their pragmatic, about compromises. They have to make back at the farm. I point something out to my feel,
labour on the walls have like writing. This structure comes from Israel. This Sir Tristram saw again we don't have a company that produces these penance. Unfortunately, in Palestine we don't have. The capacity to produce mood tells me it sort of impossible to complete We cut out Israel at the end of the day what the electricity that we used to run. This farm comes from Israel. But again, can you substitute things or you come out? This is the issue. I ask the mere where he draws a line for himself. You could imagine a moving line. I feel I have the privilege to draw it and to raise it as I see it, suitable unnecessary Samir uses israeli medicine and even has guilty pleasure israeli snack foods like Bomba the peanut butter version of cheetahs. He simply
can't draw a single line separating himself from the israeli economy, no matter how much you may want to end one more question: do you think of yourself? As someone who is boy, Cutting Israel go. You answer that question by Christian sure: ok, Can you genuine, too in the normal way. With someone who beat you had ass you on a daily basis. No get so for meets. It is beyond boycotting for Samir. At about the act of creating about building
how a stinging economy rather than supporting an israeli one. Those reporters shame issue. People avoid got Israel and the people who boycott why businesses import Gibson, Mississippi, really everyone who takes part in a boycott dig. They owe a debt who had nineteenth century catholic priest in Rural Ireland. The man who coined the word boycott and in the future of any man offends against the community. You can us decide you can isolate, you can buy. Got him. That's always coming out Wednesday April. Third, on this by gas, do not miss. It means you just go hidden subscribe, make an official,
Genji and energy this week Show Ali producer withstand alkaline thanks also to oh yeah foot Supreme Court, archival audio. Also thanks to Balmy Krishna Marilla Hood, Emily Crosbie, brine cases, a production manages and achieve a meeting or sound desire team is the dynamic. Do Jape reason is Jim Breaks, Fernando my man, Yo Aruba. They help them, week from Catherine remodeling. Caitlin bans are CEO, Christa Sharper Thompson's are editor in chief executive producers have insulted by sea. Music is by comrade lightning support. Four reveals provided by the Raven David Local foundation? The gene
The guarantee Macarthur Foundation, the janitor Logan Family Foundation before Foundation, the hiding Simons Foundation and the ethics and excellence and journalist Foundation Review is a co production at the center for investigative reporting and p r eggs a mallet and remember. There is always more to the store. These are last few shows of the year and let me tell you in twenty twenty we are bringing the fire launching some of our most ambitious projects we ve ever done. I can wait for you to hear them reveal is all about going deep pulling on threads, telling stories that matter and this kind of investigative journalism. Well, it takes time and it costs money. These are the final weeks
bar end of the year membership campaign. We depend on listeners like you to help make this work possible to support us just text. The word reveal two hundred and forty seven, four thousand seven hundred and forty seven state of data rates apply and you can take stop or cancel at any time again just texted. I'll do for seven, four, seven, four, seven, let's go! Do some good work together.
Transcript generated on 2019-12-19.