By Audrey Conklin
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s legislation that offers support to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement cites the Boston Tea Party and boycotts against Nazis.
The freshman congresswoman introduced the legislation Tuesday “in response to a widespread campaign being waged by the Israeli government and its U.S. supporters to silence Americans who choose to engage in BDS,” according to a press release from Omar’s office.
The House will likely vote on the BDS resolution next week. It is part of a package of other Israel-related measures — including a resolution backing a two-state solution, which @IlhanMN supports.
— Sheryl Gay Stolberg (@SherylNYT) July 17, 2019
Omar said during a Wednesday hearing, “We must support efforts to end the occupation and achieve a two-state solution. … This week, I introduce a resolution … [that] recognizes the proud history of boycott movements in this country dating back to the Boston Tea Party.”
H.R. 496 reads, “Boycotts have been effectively used in the United States by advocates for equal rights since the Boston Tea Party.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar compares anti-Semitic BDS movement to Boston Tea Party.pic.twitter.com/Q3kc8FGEqF
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) July 17, 2019
“Americans of conscience have a proud history of participating in boycotts to advocate for human rights abroad, including … boycotting Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941 in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead-up to the Holocaust,” the resolution continues.
So this is real — @Ilhan Omar's BDS bill actually does compare Israel to Nazi Germany. And just this morning she said she didn't regret any of the anti-Semitic comments she had previously apologized for.
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) July 17, 2019
The official BDS Twitter account responded to the bill in a tweet, saying, “The BDS movement for Palestinian rights warmly welcomes the resolution introduced by [Democratic] Congress members Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib [of Michigan] and US civil rights veteran John Lewis [of Georgia] ‘Affirming that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights.’”
The BDS movement for Palestinian rights warmly welcomes the resolution introduced by Congress members Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and US civil rights veteran John Lewis "Affirming that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights.” pic.twitter.com/G1ZDpRjgwd
— BDS movement (@BDSmovement) July 17, 2019
Jewish Republican New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, who was in attendance at Omar’s Wednesday hearing, wrote on Twitter, “Israel is our best ally in the Mid East; a beacon of hope, freedom & liberty, surrounded by existential threats. Shame on [Omar] for bringing her hateful twist on that reality to House Foreign today, propping up the BDS movement & blaming Israel for all of its challenges.”
The official BDS website says its movement advocates for “the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity,” but many others, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) — an organization that aims to stop the defamation of Jewish people — believe BDS poses a threat to Jewish people.
ADL’s official website says the BDS movement “rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state” and ” is the most prominent effort to undermine Israel’s existence.”
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