Gaza Documentary Filmmaker Files Federal Lawsuit Against Georgia’s anti-BDS Law

The filmmaker, who released 'Gaza Fights for Freedom' in August, alleges that her appearance at a media conference was cancelled after refusing to sign an oath pledging not to boycott Israel

Marcy Oster
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Demonstrators hold Palestinian flags during an anti-Israel protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence, in the southern Gaza Strip, December 6, 2019.
Demonstrators hold Palestinian flags during an anti-Israel protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence, in the southern Gaza Strip, December 6, 2019.Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
Marcy Oster

A documentary filmmaker is suing the state of Georgia over its law against boycotting Israel, saying it violates the Constitution.

Announcing her federal suit on Monday, Abby Martin said that after she refused to sign the required oath from the 2016 law pledging not to boycott Israel, her scheduled appearance at a media conference at Georgia Southern University was canceled. The conference ultimately was nixded.

Steve Wrigley, chancellor of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, and Kyle Marrero, president of Georgia Southern University, are named as the defendants in the lawsuit.

The state law targets the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, and includes West Bank settlements as protected from boycott. Under the measure, the government is forbidden from contracting with individuals or companies that fail to certify for the pact’s duration that they are not boycotting Israel or businesses in Israeli-controlled territories.

Martin, a supporter of the BDS movement, released her documentary “Gaza Fights for Freedom” in August. The film is about the Great March of Return protests in Gaza, during which she calls on viewers to support BDS.

The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, and its legal defense fund are assisting Martin in her suit.

Some 28 states have enacted anti-BDS laws or executive orders.

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