Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar recently offered forward a resolution to her colleagues that would effectively roll back protections that the United States government provides to Israel and would allow American citizens and businesses to support boycotts of the country.
While the democratic congresswoman’s bill was never brought to a vote, another resolution, effectively doing the opposite of what the congresswoman intended, was also introduced and actually received a vote in the chamber.
CNN reports the new bill was pitched by a bipartisan group of members and actually received a vote in the chamber:
Introduced by a bipartisan group of members, the resolution supports a two-state solution, argues the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (sometimes short-handed as BDS) movement is an effort to delegitimize Israel and urges “Israelis and Palestinians to return to direct negotiations as the only way to achieve an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
It also recognizes the right of an American citizen to “protest or criticize the policies of the United States or foreign governments.” Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, and Republican Reps. Lee Zeldin of New York and Ann Wagner of Missouri were initial co-sponsors of the resolution.
The bipartisan legislation passed with a whopping 398 votes, sending a clear message to Omar and her “squad” colleagues who voted against it.
The new bill was specifically designed to oppose the BDS movement and its anti-Semitic intentions, Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider said via CNN.
Omar, as well as Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, have been openly supportive of the BDS movement and critical of the resolution. Tlaib tweeted earlier this month that the resolution is “unconstitutional” and aims to “silence” opposition to Israel’s policies. The movement is a non-violent activist campaign that aims to put economic and political pressure on Israel over its actions toward Palestinians, including calling for an end to Israeli occupation of the West Bank.
In response to Tlaib’s criticism, Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois, the lead co-sponsor of the resolution, said Tuesday on CNN that the bill “does nothing of the sort.”
“It does not stop any speech about Israel or anything else. It recognizes the legitimate purpose and just ends of boycotts through our history,” Schneider told CNN’s Dana Bash. “But not every boycott is legitimate or just.”
Schneider called the movement anti-Semitic but would not say whether its supporters are also anti-Semitic. “There are a lot of people who support the BDS movement, but they may not necessarily understand the intent or the expression of … the BDS movement,” he said.
“The movement itself — its intent, its goals — are anti-Semitic,” he added.
Despite the overwhelming majority of members who voted for the resolution opposing BDS, members of mainstream media are calling the vote “divisive.”
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
“Divisive”? The vote was 398 to 17. https://t.co/0Bgc3QA0Ll
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) July 24, 2019