House Overwhelmingly Votes Against the Squad’s Anti-Semitic Activism
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib have been outspoken in their criticism of Israel, often veering wildly into anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in their zeal to demonize the Jewish state. As part of that effort, the Squad has put their support – both rhetorically and legislatively – behind the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which aims to punish Israel economically for “occupying” Palestinian territories.
But while House Democrats have come to the defense of the Squad in their war of words with President Trump, they were less inclined to do so on the subject of the BDS movement. On Tuesday, the House voted 398 to 17 for a non-binding resolution condemning the movement.
Three of the 17 were the Squad members previously mentioned. The fourth member, Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) voted in favor of the resolution.
Sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, the resolution has language endorsing a two-state solution while criticizing the BDS movement as an attempt to delegitimize Israel’s right to its own sovereignty. And while the resolution officially endorses the rights of American citizens who wish to “protest or criticize the policies of the United States or foreign governments,” it does not recognize the BDS movement as a legitimate aspect of that protest.
Tlaib, a Palestinian congresswoman who has been hyper-critical of Israel, accused the resolution’s backers of an “unconstitutional” move to silence Israel’s opponents.
In an interview with CNN, the resolution’s architect, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) said Tlaib’s criticism amounted to nonsense.
“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 said. “But not every boycott is legitimate or just.”
But while Schneider said that the BDS movement itself was anti-Semitic, he stopped short of accusing its supporters of harboring hate against Jews. “There are a lot of people who support the BDS movement, but they may not necessarily understand the intent or the expression of it.”
We’re sure that’s true, but we cannot seriously include the Squad as part of those mislead few. While undoubtedly ignorant, Omar, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortez know full well what their opposition to Israel is rooted in. It’s unmistakable; when you hear them repeatedly compare Israel to Nazi Germany, refer to conspiracy theories that suggest Jews are controlling Washington through the use of money, and defend terrorist groups like Hamas, they are trafficking in unmistakable anti-Semitism.
In responses to the resolution, both Omar and AOC have suggested that condemning nonviolent protest activism against Israel leaves the door open to violent forms of opposition.
“My concern with being overly punitive on nonviolent forms of protest is that it forces people into other channels and I would hate to be a part of, you know, paving that kind of path,” Ocasio-Cortez told BuzzFeed.
Oh, we’re sure you would.