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 TlaibTlaib suggests boycotting Maher show after he calls anti-Israel boycott movement 'bullsh-t purity test' The Memo: Trump pushes back amid signs of economic slowdown Tlaib's grandmother to Trump: 'May God ruin' you MORE (D-Mich.), opposed the measure due to concerns about free speech.
 
Other Democrats who do not support the BDS movement also raised concerns, like Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJoe Biden faces an uncertain path Bernie Sanders vows to go to 'war with white nationalism and racism' as president Biden: 'There's an awful lot of really good Republicans out there' MORE (I-Vt.), who said "it is clear to me that this bill would violate Americans’ First Amendment rights."
 
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 OmarTlaib suggests boycotting Maher show after he calls anti-Israel boycott movement 'bullsh-t purity test' The Memo: Trump pushes back amid signs of economic slowdown Tlaib's grandmother to Trump: 'May God ruin' you 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 PelosiObjections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated Latest pro-democracy rally draws tens of thousands in Hong Kong Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' MORE (D-Calif.), House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerLiberal Democrat eyes aid cuts to Israel after Omar, Tlaib denied entry Lawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar Israel denies Omar and Tlaib entry after Trump tweet MORE (D-Md.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down 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 HarrisJoe Biden faces an uncertain path Biden: 'There's an awful lot of really good Republicans out there' Fighter pilot vs. astronaut match-up in Arizona could determine control of Senate MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPossible GOP challenger says Trump doesn't doesn't deserve reelection, but would vote for him over Democrat Joe Biden faces an uncertain path The Memo: Trump pushes back amid signs of economic slowdown MORE (D-Mass.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession 2020 Democrats feel more emboldened to label Trump a racist Hillicon Valley: O'Rourke proposal targets tech's legal shield | Dem wants public review of FCC agreement with T-Mobile, Sprint | Voters zero in on cybersecurity | Instagram to let users flag misinformation MORE (D-Texas).
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also expected to speak at the AIPAC conference and meet with President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE at the White House early next week. Netanyahu's visit will come ahead of the Israeli elections in early April.