On July 16, 2019, Rep. Omar of Michigan (D) proposed a bill in congress to support BDS against Israel. That bill was expressed as a civil rights bill, to protect the right to boycott as a civil right. The bill says:
(1) 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;
(2) opposes unconstitutional legislative efforts to limit the use of boycotts to further civil rights at home and abroad; and
(3) urges Congress, States, and civil rights leaders from all communities to endeavor to preserve the freedom of advocacy for all by opposing antiboycott resolutions and legislation.
So, that's no so bad, right? The bill will never see the floor of the House.
Why? Because her bill is not a civil rights bill, it is a BDS bill against Israel even though it doesn't say it. The BDS movement seeks to specifically target Israeli economic, political, social and academic institutions and individuals in Israel and throughout the world. It punishes one side of the conflict while simultaneously denying that side's right to peaceful participation in the global community. It is a bill based in prejudice against Israeli's and blind sweeping support of Palesitinians as a whole, regardless of their own particular political or social views and actions. It would protect a terrorist, and fire a painter or poet. The U.S. House of Representatives is not that stupid, and saw right through her efforts, despite her sardonic inclusion of the holocaust in her preamble to her bill.
In fact, one week later on July 23rd, a bill opposing the BDS movement against Israel passed the H. Res 246. This bill passed by a vote of 398-17, with 5 "present":
(1) opposes the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement) targeting Israel, including efforts to target United States companies that are engaged in commercial activities that are legal under United States law, and all efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel;
(2) urges Israelis and Palestinians to return to direct negotiations as the only way to achieve an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
(3) affirms the Constitutional right of United States citizens to free speech, including the right to protest or criticize the policies of the United States or foreign governments;
(4) supports the full implementation of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 (Public Law 113–296; 128 Stat. 4075) and new efforts to enhance government-wide, coordinated United States-Israel scientific and technological cooperation in civilian areas, such as with respect to energy, water, agriculture, alternative fuel technology, civilian space technology, and security, in order to counter the effects of actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel; and
(5) reaffirms its strong support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states—a democratic Jewish State of Israel, and a viable, democratic Palestinian state—living side-by-side in peace, security, and mutual recognition.
In other words, boycott divest and sanction is against any reasonable effort to achieve a peaceful and just resolution to the conflict for all sides. For now, the U.S. Congress is absolutely clear on that topic. But note the 18 votes against the resolution, and wonder... is this the beginning of a slow creep for BDS? Is this the beginning or the end?
Representatives who voted against HR 246. Keep an eye on them, as they are often in the news:
The 5 Representatives who voted "present" (an abstention):
|Davis, Danny K.|