Support Texas Teacher Over BDS Firing

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An Open Letter to the AFT, NEA, AAUP, AFL-CIO, Change to Win and other unions and federations:

A Texas teacher with nine years of service was fired because she refused to sign a pledge not to boycott Israeli products. Why must a U.S. teacher pledge to support a foreign country? Itís her right to buy or boycott whatever she wants. Why must she pledge to ignore the pleas of Palestinians who face every kind of discrimination by the Israeli government?

This isnít just a Texas issue. Some in the U.S. Congress have been pushing for an anti-BDS law for some time, one that would punish people or companies from using our right to free speech to call for support of boycotts to put pressure on the Israeli government.

This is not a religious issue. Israel is a country and anyone has a perfect right to criticize it and to try to pressure a country to respect human rights. The U.S. group Jewish Voice for Peace is a firm supporter of the movement to use boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the Israeli government.

Labor unions know the power of the boycott and use it often. The lettuce boycott, the grape boycott, and the Farah boycott are glowing parts of labor history. The AFL-CIO rightly keeps an ongoing boycott list. There must be no lessening of the right to boycott.

We call on teacher and other unions and all workers to stand behind Bahia Amawi, the Texas teacher who refused to sign the Texas government ordered oath to Israel.

If you'd like to sign, please send an email to

Make the Subject Line: "Sign open letter." Add your name and line of identification (union affiliation especially).


(union affiliation for identification only unless indicated)

John Fussell
Labor Lawyer

Dr. Lois Weiner
United Federation of Teachers

Jason Schulman

Michael Letwin
Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325;
Labor for Palestine

David Letwin

Dr. Benay Blend, PhD
Retired Professor of American Studies
Former Member AFT

Amy Hines-Shaikh, Clayton, California
CWA Local 9119

Eddie Seymour
Maritime Union of Australia

Paul Shannon
Adjunct Instructor
Massachusetts Community College Council (MTA)

David Bacon
Pacific Media Worker's Guild, CWA Local 39521

Rodger Scott
Executive Board of AFT Local 2121, City College of San Francisco (Retired)
Co-Chair, Sam Francisco Labor Council Social and Economic Justice Committee

Tom Quick
United Federation of Teachers, New York City

Jeremy Brecher
Author of Many Books on Labor History and Social Matters

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Author, Geneticist
Palestine Museum of Natural History

John Reimann
Former Secretary
Carpenter's Union, Local 713

Kim Scipes,
National Writers Union

Judith Schaffner
United Federation of Teachers (AFT) member, retired

Mark Anderlik,

Mary Prophet
Oakland Education Association.
California Teachers Association, National Education Association

David de Leeuw
Retired teacher

Linda Ray
SEIU 1021 California

Joe Berry
AFT 2121, NWU/UAW and AAUP and IWW, NEA retired

Patrick Kearney
Plumbers & Pipe fitters Local 777

Stanley Heller
AFT 933 (retired)

Adam Miyashiro, PHD
Stockton University
AFT Local 2275

Sean Petty, RN
New York State Nurses Association

Deborah Belle
Professor Emerita
Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Boston University

For more about the issue, please see the start of this The Struggle Video News or Democracy Now.

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