WASHINGTON, Friday 05 November 2021 – [Palestinian News and Information Agency (WAFA)] – A Texas-based US-Palestinian engineering firm has filed a lawsuit against legislation that prohibits the state from doing business with companies participating in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli apartheid.
A&R Engineering and Testing Inc stated in a complaint filed in Houston federal court that the law violates the right to participate in economic boycotts as a form of protest.
“It is my right and my duty to boycott Israel and all products of Israel,” said Rasmy Hassouna, executive vice president of the company, according to the complaint. “This policy is against my constitutional right and against international law.”
According to the complaint filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on behalf of Hassouna, A&R has done more than two million ($ 2,000,000) in business with the city of Houston in the past seventeen years.
Last month, when he received his renewal contract, Hassouna noticed a new clause that required him to pledge not to boycott Israel. However, he refused to sign a contract renewal recognizing compliance with the law, which applies to all municipalities as well as the state.
In addition to filing the lawsuit, Hassouna, who is of Palestinian descent from Gaza, also asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order barring the application of the law while the case continues.
Texas is one of several states in the United States that have enacted laws targeting the BDS movement, a non-violent, Palestinian-led initiative that encourages individuals, nations and organizations to censor continued violations of international law and standards. rights by Israel through various boycotts.
Earlier this year, Texas also announced that it would limit its activities with ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s after the company announced it would cease operations in Israel-occupied Palestine.