Podcast Ep 15: Resisting the censors

On episode 15 of The Electronic Intifada Podcast, filmmaker and journalist Abby Martin discusses her recent free speech lawsuit against the state of Georgia and its anti-BDS law.

Later in the episode, activist and writer Tony Greenstein explains the state of anti-Zionist politics following the struggle over false allegations of anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party.

Abby was invited to be the keynote speaker at a conference at Georgia Southern University. But officials demanded she sign a contract which stated: “You certify that you are not currently engaged in, and agree for the duration of this agreement not to engage in, a boycott of Israel.”

Abby refused to sign the Israel loyalty oath and her keynote was canceled, as was the entire conference.

Georgia is one of 28 US states to pass a draconian anti-boycott measure. Most recently, South Dakota’s governor signed an anti-BDS measure into law by executive order in mid-January.

These laws aren’t “even necessarily meant to be implemented,” Abby tells The Electronic Intifada Podcast. “It’s meant to censor and control political speech and scare people into not participating in the BDS movement, to not participate in divestment campaigns, and to not participate in, let’s just say, street actions.”

Abby is joined by her lawyer Gadeir Abbas, who is part of a team of civil rights attorneys behind the lawsuit.

Later on in the episode, veteran left-wing Palestine solidarity activist and Jewish anti-Zionist Tony Greenstein joins us to discuss the state of the UK Labour Party.

Tony is the author of a fascinating and excoriating blog.

He tells us, “Yes, Jews are undoubtedly disproportionately represented amongst those who have been victimized” in the Labour Party witch hunt over anti-Semitism.

Articles we discussed

Production assistance by Sharif Zakout

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Ms. Martin is supremely courageous in fighting against the suppression of free speech and dissent in not signing the Israeli loyalty oath (what a travesty) and to justly boycott Israel via BDS, while standing up for the rights enshrined in the 1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble..." She, along with Betty McCollum, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, et al are representative of Courage Personified!
These voices of dissent are growing by the day!

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Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).