Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) has joined Rep. Omar Ilhan (D-MN) in opposing a House resolution supporting Israel and protecting it from the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, comparing boycotting the Jewish state to boycotting Nazi Germany and apartheid.
“The right to boycott is deeply rooted in the fabric of our country,” Tlaib said on the House floor on Tuesday. “What was the Boston Tea Party but a boycott?”
“Where would we be now with the boycott led by civil rights in the 1950s and 60s, like the Montgomery bus boycott and the United Farm Workers grape boycott,” Tlaib said. “Some of this country’s most important advances in racial equality and equity and workers’ rights has been achieved through collective action protected by our Constitution.”
“Americans of conscious have a long and proud history of participating in boycotts, specifically to advocate for human rights abroad,” Tlaib said. “Americans boycotted Nazi Germany in response to dehumanization, imprisonment, and genocide of Jewish people.”
“In the 1980s, many of us in this very body boycotted South African goods in the fight against Apartheid,” Tlaib, who is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, said. “Our right to free speech is being threatened with this resolution.”
“It sets a dangerous precedent because it attempts to delegitimize a certain people’s political speech and to send a message that our government can and will take action against speech it doesn’t like,” Tlaib said.
The Algemeiner website reported last week:
The anti-BDS resolution, which also reaffirms support for the Jewish state, advanced out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. It was introduced by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Ann Wagner (R-MO). It currently has 341 co-sponsors: 173 Democrats and 168 Republicans.
“Support for Israel has long been a bipartisan pillar of American politics,” Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) said in the Algemeiner report. “Following the committee’s strong endorsement, I hope House leadership will bring this bipartisan resolution to a vote so Congress can reaffirm its close bond with Israel, America’s friend, and ally.”
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter