A city in Texas is requiring applicants for Hurricane Harvey rebuilding funds to certify in writing that they will not take part in a boycott of Israel, spurring criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The website for Dickinson is accepting applications for individuals and businesses who need assistance following the devastating August hurricane. According to the application, those who sign must verify that the applicant “(1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.”
Dickinson City Management assistant Bryan Milward attributed the clause to a state law, signed in May, that requires all state contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel. Milward emphasized that the city will not be verifying compliance with the clause and said he doesn’t expect any applications to be rejected because of it.
“Because our application also functions as a contract, it was included in there,” Milward told JTA on Friday. “We’re not checking up on that. Our city secretary is not digging into anyone’s background. We’re not running background checks or anything like that. They’re attesting that they’re not boycotting, and we’re accepting that based on good faith.”
Dickinson, a city of about 19,000, was hit especially hard by Harvey. More than three-quarters of its homes were damaged by the hurricane, and 830 were destroyed, according to Milward.
ACLU calls the Dickinson…