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The Strangest Loyalty Oath You Probably Never Heard Of

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   38 comments

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Bahia Amawi works as children's speech pathologist for the Pflugerville Independent School District in Texas. Or, rather, she used to work as a children's speech pathologist for the district. After nine years, Glenn Greenwald reports at The Intercept, the district's administration declined to renew her contract because she refused to sign a loyalty oath.

Not a loyalty oath to the United States. Not a loyalty oath to the state of Texas. Not a loyalty oath to Pflugerville Independent School District, nor to its students.

A loyalty oath to Israel.

Texas is one of 26 states (with similar legislation pending in 13 others) which requires state contractors to certify that they "do not currently boycott Israel" and "will not boycott Israel" for the duration of the contract.

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The definition of "boycott" includes "refusing to deal with" or "terminating business activities with" Israel or any "person or entity doing business in Israel or in an Israeli-controlled territory."

The purpose of these requirements is to hinder the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS participants call on Israel to meet its "obligations under international law" by withdrawing from occupied Arab territory and so forth, and back that call by refusing to purchase Israeli goods or do business with Israeli companies.

Agree with BDS or not, it's entirely proper for people who oppose a government's actions to adhere to their convictions peacefully, by refusing to trade with that government or with businesses operating in that government's jurisdiction. One prominent example in living memory was the global boycott of South Africa over apartheid, a system many BDS proponents liken to Israel's rule in the West Bank and Gaza.

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The Texas law theoretically excludes actions "made for ordinary business purposes," but it's easy to see how the loyalty oath could be abused:

Two companies or contractors, one from Israel and one not, bid on a job. When the Israeli company doesn't get the job, it complains that prejudice against Israel, rather than "ordinary business purposes," motivated the decision. Contractors who do business with governments requiring such loyalty oaths are likely to bend over backward to avoid such complaints.

But such abuse, while worth noting, isn't the essential evil of such loyalty oath requirements. It's merely one negative side effect of a kind of law that's bad in and of itself.

The state of Israel benefits to the tune of billions of dollars per year in US foreign aid. Instead of just gratefully accepting the annual welfare check, its lobbyists have also successfully demanded what amounts to veto power over US foreign policy.

Now those same welfare queen lobbyists want the power to order American businesses and workers -- the people from whom that tribute is extracted -- to buy from, sell to, and hire Israelis whether we like it or not.

You and I -- and Bahia Amawi -- should be free to do business, or not, with anyone we darn well please, for any reasons we consider relevant. And American politicians should stop trying to impose loyalty oaths of any kind.

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Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


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21 people are discussing this page, with 38 comments


Rob Kall

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While I am a supporter of the idea of a safe land for the Jewish people, the nation of Israel is led by a fascist who works with major powers in the US to stifle freedom of speech and Democracy. Netanyahu is one of the most vile monsters on the planet. This legislation is an abomination and a threat to a core value of the United States Constitution.

Submitted on Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 at 4:04:11 PM

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as is our President and the legislative branch of our nation!

Submitted on Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 at 6:26:04 PM

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As was Mr. Constitutional Scholar, B. Obama.

Submitted on Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 at 9:25:09 PM

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Reply to Kristine Hoggatt:   New Content

Why are you spoiling two nice comments?

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 at 2:44:41 PM

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Reply to Rob Kall:   New Content

My sentiments exactly Rob. I think it is fair to say we are both Jews who vigorously defend Israel's right to exist. That does not mean we have to support the criminal policies of Israel under a fascist like Netanyahu.

These loyalty oaths should, and probably/hopefully will be struck down by the courts. It is outrageous for legislators to attempt to muzzle Americans who, out of conscience, support the Israeli boycott. I do, and will continue to until Israel realizes that Muslims have human rights too. That hardly makes me a Jewish anti semite.

Submitted on Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 at 8:20:34 PM

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Reply to Rob Kall:   New Content

Will the Non-Zionist Jews be safe when the people rise up against Zionism?


It appears they were not safe in Europe.

Submitted on Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 at 11:10:46 PM

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Reply to Anton Grambihler:   New Content

This is an important thought but not an actionable one.

Some people always generalize and declare whatever was done by individuals is "applicable" to all the group and they are all "guilty".

So some will apply "Zionist" to "Jew".

The fact that it is wrong will not prevent it.

But what can we do?

Fight for justice, tolerance and better understanding, I guess.

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 at 3:27:38 PM

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I am afraid you humans are not going to make it.

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 22, 2018 at 5:06:29 AM

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Reply to Rob Kall:   New Content

Money is speech according to Citizens United.

The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech/money.

Ergo, money can be spent or not, as deemed fit.

The oath should be illegal;

Or, Citizens United should be illegal;

Or, the First Amendment should be illegal.

Wanna bet which one is about to be thrown out?

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 at 4:54:33 AM

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Or "put aside", one already is.

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Defunct comes to mind...US constitution that is.

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Did you like it when it was "funct"?

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You want your cake and to eat it too, as you dis David Irving (at least when I post him, but not PCR or others).

The greatest weapon of mass destruction is a closed mind. On this issue, you ARE pissing me off.

And many others who write to me from OEN.

Nuts' 'n Yahoo is insanely rooted in the wackadoo Babylonian Talmud.

Can we possibly talk about that? Killing the messenger, sadly, only goes to prove the points that can't be discussed and intelligently refuted.

Submitted on Friday, Dec 21, 2018 at 12:58:41 AM

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We need to go to the roots of the problems, if we are to be considered radical, by definition. I am merely scratching the surface here.

Submitted on Friday, Dec 21, 2018 at 1:01:00 AM

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We, the taxpayers of the USA, are paying Israel sums of money that could end poverty right here in America. Nevertheless, we are paying, first with our money, and now with our souls. We are really quite literally selling our souls to Israel out of some vague fear of losing our job.

Why do we do it? Because the Jews need a safe place to live? That is the stock answer. But doesn't everyone need a safe place to live? Or is it only the Jews that deserve this basic human right? So much so that we must throw other people out of their homes to accomplish it? It would seem so.

The planet is swimming in poverty, and yet we blindly support a genocidal apartheid government with money that could end poverty. And, in doing so, we are making more enemies, endangering more people, impoverishing more countries to bolster this deadly entity.

And now we have to actually give them our souls as well. To sign this oath is to sell your soul. Not even figuratively, but actually. The sheer danger this loyalty oath presents is so phenomenal, so extreme, that people are afraid to talk about it or even think about it. It is a terrible terrible thing.

What kind of political situation would require such a thing, along with massive financial "support"? A coup d'eta, that is what. Israel is running this country, not Americans. Realize this, and you may be more inclined to risk your job to avoid participating in the pure black tar evil that is this loyalty oath. It is not worth your soul.

Submitted on Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 at 6:12:44 PM

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Reply to Zef Rose:   New Content

The USA has been doing horrible things for 150 years in Central and South America. We have been ensuring that the bloody plutocrats and torturers in those nations stay in power . . . just so long as they are very nice to our corporations and follow orders. Please read Noam Chomsky's "Turning the Tide". It'll turn your stomach.

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Reply to Joseph Mitchener:   New Content

As much as I respect Noam, he turned my stomach when he waved a green flag to 9/11. Not unlike my also otherwise hero, Howard Zinn.

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Israel is the US "Fort Israel", the US "cop on the beat", in the middle of current version of "Indian Territory" (the Middle East)....to keep Middle Easterners from controlling their own destiny, and oil.



Submitted on Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 at 4:33:41 AM

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One can be anti-Zionist, anti-Israel policies and not be an anti-Semite! I was in Bethlehem, Palestine in 99 and took the local bus back into Jerusalem, Israel and witnessed firsthand how degrading the IDF were to Palestinians. Israel doesn't want the world to forget the Shoah, but to forget the Nakba. Israel doesn't want a two-state solution but fears a one-state Israel, which would dilute Jews standing within the country of Israel. click here

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According to both the Israeli tourism minister and various compilers of violent statistics, Israel is a safe country, quite a bit safer than USA. It is clear from reviewing even mass media reports of violence in the conflict, most Israelis who are killed after Israel starts killing Arabs in large numbers, drops to zero or close after Israel not only agrees to but also implements a cease fire, which is most often later broken by Israel first. It is clear Israel controls the level of violence, and deliberately sacrifices its own for propaganda purposes. The Zionists need to be careful. Sooner or later we may reach a tipping point, and the backlash could easily extend beyond Israel itself to all supporters and all Jews. #MeToo happened. Netenyahu is not the only crazy Israeli. Most Jews in Israel support him, not just a bare majority.

Submitted on Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 at 7:26:19 PM

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A problem is we have too many in power people with dual citizenship and their #1 allegiance appears to be with Israel. (As of June 2018 there were 88 Senators/Representatives with US/Israel dual citizenship. Little guess as to which country had their loyalty) This does not count the number non-elected people holding a position, or having influence -- Kissinger, Bolton to name but 2.

Submitted on Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 at 9:28:15 PM

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Dennis, do you know why this number is so high. Don't you have to prove you are Jewish through your mother to obtain Israeli citizenship? Are they handing out honorary citizenships to politicians now as well.

Submitted on Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 at 10:12:29 PM

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With the exception of 'stateless persons' (those individuals without citizenship ties to any state), every person is a citizen of at least one state.[1] You may have become a citizen at birth if your state grants citizenship to people born within its territory. You might also be a citizen if your country grants its citizens' children citizenship at birth regardless of where the children were born. You can also become a citizen through naturalization, which involves an application process and other criteria, such as a certain number of years of residence, marriage to a citizen, or financial investment. If you are interested in gaining dual citizenship, then there are several options you can look into.

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 at 11:00:48 AM

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I've heard various numbers for dual citizens serving in Congress, etc., but haven't ever found a very reliable-looking source for any particular claimed number (for most of them, the evidentiary criterion seems to be "name sounds kinda Jewish"). Do you know of a source that backs up its claims?

Submitted on Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 at 10:33:29 PM

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There are a number of sources with information pertaining to the dual citizenship of elected and non-elected members of the government. What concerns me is where does their allegiance lie? It appears we have an Israel First policy and if that is the case they should pack their bags and take their dual citizenship to Israel or at least list their party affiliation as AIPAC.

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 at 10:53:24 AM

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I'm aware that there are a number of sources. I was asking you for one that you consider reliable.


Vis a vis the "Israel First" foreign policy of the US, I'm not sure it's a one-way street. Does that policy exist because of dual citizens in the US government, or are there dual citizens in the government because that policy wins elections and dual citizens who run for office are identified with it? I'd say it's some of both. There's a powerful Zionist influence in US politics, and not just from AIPAC (which, btw, neither endorses candidates nor contributes to them -- it's a propaganda/lobbying outfit). Over on the evangelical Christian side it's a pretty strong draw as well.


The US Constitution lists the qualifications for Congress and "not a dual citizen" isn't one of them. I do think that persons of dual national "allegiances" should be very clear on that when holding themselves out for election, though.

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 at 11:19:17 AM

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You may be correct on AIPAC not giving money to candidates, just propaganda. That being the case why such a flap over these Russians posting ads on Facebook? I know AIPAC is not registered as a Foreign Agent, but shouldn't it?

There used to be a law that prohibited dual citizenship in government, but that was taken out, probably due to the lobbying of AIPAC.

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 at 12:37:27 PM

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Thomas Knapp

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Reply to Dennis Kaiser:   New Content

Yes, if foreign agents are to be required to register, AIPAC's lobbyists should be subject to that requirement IMO.


There could theoretically be a law against dual citizenship among regular government employees, but it would take a constitutional amendment to prohibit it for elected federal office and cabinet officials.


I rather suspect people would get up in arms over a dual US-Russian, US-Chinese, or US-German citizen running for elected federal office, though.

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 at 1:21:26 PM

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shad williams

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Reply to Dennis Kaiser:   New Content

Absolutely ridiculous state of affairs. I say there should be secret indictments against all congress things with dual citizenship. I'd supposed they are more dangerous and seditionist than Assange.

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 22, 2018 at 4:46:16 AM

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John Jonik

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One isn't said to be Anti-Christ/Anti-Christian when opposing US policies, the US being a "Christian Country" and all. And Christians who oppose policies by this "one nation under God" are not said to be "self-hating Christians".

Is condemning or arresting a burglar, mugger, rapist, extortionist, environmental polluter or other considered "anti-Semitism" if the perpetrator happens to be Jewish?

If the crimes involve gross violations of International Law, as the Israei government is guilty of, that's insanely said to be "anti-Semitism" because the perpetrators label themselves Jewish...exempt from criticism, condemnation, sanctions or other repercussions.

If the Vatican was shooting and gassing clerical abuse protestors, would those protestors, and critics of Vatican violence, be labeled "anti-Christian"?

Being Anti Islamic somehow is OK. Such tribalism is nuts. Human evolution has a way to go.

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 at 3:55:55 AM

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shad williams

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Reply to John Jonik:   New Content

I believe the answer to your questions are, yes. Incredible. Who would have guessed it?

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 22, 2018 at 4:48:42 AM

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Lois Gagnon

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Why aren't people in the streets over this? This is a major assault on our basic right to free expression and our politicians are all falling in line. They need to face prosecution for this.


We are planning on holding demonstrations in Boston soon. What is your city or town doing to push back against this abomination? Let's get busy!

Submitted on Friday, Dec 21, 2018 at 1:33:09 AM

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Leslie Johnson

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Reply to Lois Gagnon:   New Content

Lois, when is your demonstrations going to take place?

Submitted on Friday, Dec 21, 2018 at 7:07:35 AM

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Lois Gagnon

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Reply to Leslie Johnson:   New Content

I know we are planning one for May 5th in Boston. There is one scheduled for Palm Beach on May 12th. These dates are to protest AIPAC dinners for new members of congress. Our goal is to have demonstrations outside as many as possible. We will probably do some other standouts before then.


Here are the dates we have for the dinners so far:

HERE IS THE LIST TO DATE:

AIPAC San Diego Dinner, San Diego, January 13

AIPAC Gala, Los Angeles/Valley Communities, January 27
Running Springs, CA

AIPAC New Orleans Annual Event, NOLA, January 27

AIPAC Las Vegas Dinner, Las Vegas, February 7

AIPAC Phoenix Dinner, Phoenix, February 10

AIPAC Palm Beach Annual Event, Palm Beach, February 12

AIPAC Utah Event, Salt Lake City, February 21

AIPAC Atlanta Annual Event, Atlanta, GA, February 24

AIPAC Orange County Dinner, Irvine, CA, February 24

AIPAC Houston Annual Event, Marriott Marquis, 1777 Walker Street, Houston, TX, March 5

AIPAC Los Angeles Major Gifts Event, Running Springs, CA, March 10 (private; may have time finding out information on this one)

AIPAC Desert Communities Dinner, Palm Desert, CA,
March 14

AIPAC Policy Conference (3-Day Annual Event), Washington, D.C., March 24-26

AIPAC New England Leadership Dinner, Boston, MA, Seaport World Trade Center, May 5

AIPAC Minnesota Annua Event, May 13

I'll continue to update as information becomes available.

Submitted on Friday, Dec 21, 2018 at 8:50:48 PM

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Dennis Kaiser

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Reply to Lois Gagnon:   New Content

And AIPAC is still not registered as a foreign agent.

It is always entrenched in the minds of the populace that Israel is our friend. With friends like that, we don't need any more enemies. How many U.S. men and women have lost their lives or been maimed defending not OUR freedoms, but those of Israel?

Just saying

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 22, 2018 at 10:24:25 AM

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Lance Ciepiela

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Iraq, Syria, and Iran, were never "an imminent threat" to the US. However, for #Netanyahu, apparently, the entire Middle East had to be "fractured" and rendered "powerless" to ensure the safety of Israel - by using America's "blood & treasure", of course, just to "make certain" that Israel remains the "Big Chief" at home and abroad (#Netanyahu gets 29 standing ovations in congress) as well.

#911AM #911PM #GrandJuryPetition #PrePlantedExplosives "used at the WTC" - "it wasn't the Iraqis".


Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress interrupted by standing ovations The Israeli Prime Minister's speech warning the US against accepting a nuclear deal with Iran received numerous standing ovations Get the latest headlines ...
(Image by YouTube, Channel: The Telegraph)
Permission Details DMCA

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 22, 2018 at 2:31:05 PM

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Richard Pietrasz

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Reply to Lois Gagnon:   New Content

As I live in Southern California, I find it interesting that the Los Angeles/Valley event is the only one held out of its region. Running Springs is up in the sparsely populated San Bernardino Mountains, roughly 25 miles east of the closest ( and sparsley populated) portion of Los Angeles County. That makes it a bit more difficult for protestors.

Thank you for the info.

Submitted on Saturday, Dec 22, 2018 at 7:44:13 PM

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Mrs. Fuxit

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Trump Temple, Jerusalem will be tall, very beautiful, but not a trophy wife. It will be financed with gold, built ahead of schedule and under budget. Jesus stays free, at Trump Temple, Jerusalem, God willing.

Traffic will remain congested. Air quality poor, and water non-potable until Jesus returns to stay at Trump Temple, fit for the King of Kings!.

Submitted on Friday, Dec 21, 2018 at 3:52:52 PM

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