Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) introduced a resolution Tuesday in support of the anti-Israel BDS movement and compared it to the Boston Tea Party.
“It recognizes the proud history of boycott movements in this country dating back to the Boston Tea Party,” Omar said of the resolution during a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting this week. “We should honor these movements and that history.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY-01) responded to Omar’s comments by pointing out that the BDS movement “has not distanced itself from Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization.”
“BDS supporters individually are not distancing themselves from Hamas, either,” he continued. “Hamas uses women and children as human shields. They declare jihad as an obligation. They deny humanitarian aid to their own people.”
“Unfortunately, there are members of this House who continue to prop up the BDS movement and blame Israel for all of its challenges. Israel is our best ally in the Middle East; a beacon of hope, freedom and liberty surrounded by existential threats. Shame on Rep. Omar for bringing her hateful twist of this reality today to the committee and this chamber,” Zeldin added in a press release.
The resolution currently has six cosponsors, including Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) and John Lewis (D-GA-05).
The text of the resolution affirms that “all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.”
“Americans of conscience have a proud history of participating in boycotts to advocate for human rights abroad,” the resolution states, citing the boycott of Nazi Germany “in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead-up to the Holocaust.”
Omar defended the resolution in an interview with Al-Monitor.
“We are introducing a resolution to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” she said. “And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ilhan Omar” by Fibonacci Blue. CC BY 2.0. Background Photo “Ilhan Omar BDS Movement” by the GOP War Room.