Opposing $300k Taxpayer Dollars for the Maryland Israel Development Corporation

We recently discovered that the State of Maryland has been giving over $300,000 from the taxpayers annually to the Maryland Israel Development Corporation (MIDC).

The MIDC is a corporation setup by the State of Maryland to promote Israeli companies to do business in Maryland. There is no corporation created and funded by taxpayer dollars to promote companies from Korea, Taiwan, France or any other country here. Israel is the only country that gets this special treatment from the State of Maryland.

Barry Boggage, the Executive Director of the MIDC last year stated that his ultimate goal "is job creation, in Maryland and Israel". Why anyone thinks our state government should be funding job creation in Israel truly confounds us.

So today, three of our members -- Saqib Ali, Samira Hussein and Nathan Feldman -- testified before Montgomery County's state legislators asking them to stop funding the MIDC. Watch the video here:

The full transcript of their testimony is below:

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Ali vs Hogan Part 8: Amended Complaint Filed

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Today my legal team filed an amended complaint with the Federal District Court in Baltimore in my pro-BDS lawsuit.

This amended complaint will be adjudicated by the same judge -- Catherine Blake. The argument made in this complaint is not that I suffered any concrete financial injuries, but instead that my free speech was chilled by the Governor's anti-BDS executive order. This is an argument that we believe the judge may find more compelling based on her writing in her October 2nd dismissal order. You can read this amended complaint by clicking below.

The Governor's legal team has until Thanksgiving to respond.

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Ali vs Hogan Part 7: Judge Grants Hogan's Motion to Dismiss

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Today Judge Catherine Blake granted Governor Hogan's Motion to Dismiss in my pro-BDS lawsuit. You can read the judge's short ruling by clicking below.

Basically the Judge thinks that our side didn't convincingly argue that I suffered any injury and she thinks the Governor's contractual language is so narrowly crafted that I might not be denied a contract even though I engage in BDS.

This ruling is very disappointing. Of course I disagree with it.

However, there is a silver lining here: Judge Blake dismissed the case "without prejudice" (which means a new lawsuit can be re-filed over this issue). In her written decision the judge clearly revealed strong reservations about the Governor's Executive Order. And she offered a roadmap of arguments that might be used more convincingly in the future against this executive order.

Based on this ruling, and after consultation with attorneys, I have decided to file an amended complaint against Hogan's EO very soon. Our argument will be different this time around and we hope the judge will find it more convincing.

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State Senator Johnny Ray Salling's Shocking Racism & Islamophobia

Please click here to demand Maryland State Senator Johnny Ray Salling's resignation.

 

Recently it was discovered that Maryland State Senator Johnny Ray Sallings (R-Dundalk) tweeted about Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar "Get rid of this illegal know!!!!!". When the press asked him about this tweet, he deleted it, disavowed knowledge of it, and finally denied writing it. You can read the Baltimore Sun's coverage here.

Representative Ilhan Omar is an American citizen and a duly elected member of Congress. Salling's racist, xenophobic and unpatriotic rhetoric is an insult to the office which he holds, a betrayal of the people he was elected to serve and a degradation of our nation's values.

Congresswoman Omar has come under constant attack from political opponents for her steadfast support for the rights of Palestinians suffering under Israel's 50+ year occupation -- something that all Congress members should support. She also happens to be the first Somali-American, the first naturalized citizen from Africa, the first non-white woman elected from Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim women. She has already received multiple death threats during her term and is the subject of numerous vile conspiracy theories.

Salling's bigoted statement and subsequent attempt to dodge ownership and responsibility for it is incontrovertible evidence that he is unfit for any public office. Please click here to demand his immediate resignation from the Maryland State Senate and the cessation of his campaign for Congress.


Ali vs Hogan Part 6: Oral Arguments on Hogan's Motion to Dismiss

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About 1 week ago, lawyers for both sides got a message from Judge Catherine Blake ordering us to appear in her Federal Court Room today August 1 to present oral arguments for/against Governor Hogan's motion to dismiss. So this afternoon, we all made our way up to her federal courtroom in Baltimore's Inner Harbor to present those arguments.

Unfortunately cameras are not allowed inside the courtroom so I can't show you any video of the hearing. But both presented similar arguments as they had already provided in writing. The judge grilled both sides for nearly an hour with sharp questions. You can read articles about this court hearing here:

Afterwards Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and I gave a joint press conference which you can watch here:

Judge Blake did not make a ruling during the hearing. So we now have to await her written ruling on Hogan's motion to dismiss. It may take weeks or months for this ruling to come down. We have no idea when it will arrive. But when it does, I will immediately make a new blog post revealing it.

If Judge Blake grants Hogan's motion to dismiss, then our case will essentially be over. But if she denies the motion to dismiss, then our case will proceed to the next phase: discovery and then eventually a trial.



Freedom2Boycott defends the 1st Amendment right to boycott, including the boycott of Israel known as BDS. Click to help! Find an Event

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