House Dems unveil measure to reject anti-Israel boycotts

House Dems unveil measure to reject anti-Israel boycotts
© Stefani Reynolds
Two House Democrats introduced a resolution on Thursday to condemn a global boycott campaign against Israel amid recent internal divisions in the Democratic Party over relations with the top U.S. ally.
 
 
The resolution's introduction comes days before the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington that starts this weekend, where multiple top Democratic leaders are expected to speak.
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Supporters of the BDS movement argue it's an effort to pressure Israel on its treatment of Palestinians. But in a letter to colleagues on Thursday, Nadler and Schneider wrote that "this resolution makes it abundantly clear that support for the Global BDS Movement and support for a two-state solution are incompatible."
 
"The Global BDS Movement’s overly-simplistic and one-sided approach do a disservice to the cause of peace and stability by unfairly placing blame entirely on one side and by seeking to delegitimize one party on the world stage. This does nothing to encourage either party to resume negotiations or enhance a better understanding of each other or the complexity of the conflict," the lawmakers wrote.
 
The Senate previously passed legislation in February that would allow states to penalize businesses that take part in boycotts or divestments of Israel. But some Democrats, including freshman Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibPelosi: George Floyd death is 'a crime' Overnight Defense: Pentagon memo warns pandemic could go until summer 2021 | Watchdog finds Taliban violence is high despite US deal | Progressive Dems demand defense cuts Progressives demand defense budget cuts amid coronavirus pandemic MORE (D-Mich.), opposed the measure due to concerns about free speech.
 
 
Introduction of Nadler and Schneider's resolution also comes after the House passed a resolution earlier this month condemning hatred, including anti-Semitism, in response to comments from freshman Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarNRCC turns up heat on vulnerable Democrats over Omar's call to abolish police Top progressive lawmaker unveils bill requiring national police training standards Pelosi demands Trump clarify deployment of unidentified law enforcement in DC MORE (D-Minn.) criticizing the influence of the pro-Israel lobby.
 
Several Jewish Democrats said that her comments invoked anti-Semitic tropes of dual loyalty. Those lawmakers and others had pushed for a resolution that focused only on condemning anti-Semitism.
 
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNRCC turns up heat on vulnerable Democrats over Omar's call to abolish police Shocking job numbers raise hopes for quicker recovery Engel primary challenger hits million in donations MORE (D-Calif.), House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerPelosi: Democrats to unveil sweeping criminal justice proposal Monday Calls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress Hoyer wins Maryland House primary MORE (D-Md.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSheldon Whitehouse leads Democrats into battle against Trump judiciary GOP lawmaker calls on Senate to confirm Michael Pack as head of US media agency McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump over treatment of protesters MORE (D-N.Y.) are all slated to speak at this year's annual AIPAC conference, which begins Sunday.
 
Progressive group MoveOn called on Democratic presidential candidates to skip the AIPAC gathering, citing the group's opposition to the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal and its lack of condemnation of anti-Semitic statements from Republicans.
 
Several 2020 Democratic contenders have said they will not attend the conference this year, including Sanders, Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Kamala Harris to Trump: 'Keep George Floyd's name out of your mouth' New England Patriots owner pledges M to social justice causes MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody MORE (D-Mass.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats' virtual convention: report O'Rourke on Texas reopening: 'Dangerous, dumb and weak' Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas).
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also expected to speak at the AIPAC conference and meet with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters MORE at the White House early next week. Netanyahu's visit will come ahead of the Israeli elections in early April.