‘God Is Great’: For the Third Time, a Federal Judge Blocks an Israel Boycott Ban on First Amendment Grounds

Bahia Amawi was driving to her children’s Taekwondo tournament near Austin on Thursday when her phone began to buzz.

She pulled over and opened a cascade of text messages alerting her to the news that a federal judge had just temporarily blocked enforcement of a state law that said she could either boycott Israel or hold a contract with a local school district to provide speech therapy and early-childhood evaluations. But not both.

“God is great.” Those were the first thoughts that came to Amawi, 46, when she learned that Judge Robert L. Pitman of the Western District of Texas had found that this predicament likely violated her First Amendment rights. An Austria-born American citizen and Muslim of Palestinian origin, Amawi, who brought suit against the school district last year, said she was ecstatic.

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