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World Jewish Congress condemns Tlaib for suggesting boycott of Bill Maher's show
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Sunday responded to Rep. Rashida Tlaib's (D-Mich.) suggestion to boycott comedian Bill Maher's HBO show over his recent criticism of the international movement to boycott Israel, saying it finds the move "deeply disturbing."
In a news release, WJC President Ronald Lauder slammed Tlaib for proposing the boycott and pointed to the lawmaker's support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
"Serious questions need to be asked about Tlaib's motivation in supporting the extremist BDS Movement, which is allied with terrorists and is not shy about its ultimate aim of destroying Israel," Lauder said in the release.
Tlaib floated the idea of boycotting Maher's show after he called the BDS movement "a bullshit purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class" on Friday.
"It's predicated on this notion, I think - it's very shallow thinking - that the Jews in Israel, mostly white, and the Palestinians are browner, so they must be innocent and correct, and the Jews must be wrong. As if the occupation came right out of the blue, that these completely peaceful people found themselves occupied," he said.
Tlaib fired back in a tweet late Saturday, suggesting viewers boycott the program.
"I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom," she wrote. "This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn't work then and it won't now."
Lauder said the WJC "fully supports the constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech and has borne witness to the historic horrors associated with boycotts and the suppression of free speech."
Tlaib, along with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), last week was denied entry into Israel over her support for the BDS movement.
Tlaib and Omar became the first two Muslim women sworn into Congress in January. The two have been vocal critics of Israel during their short time in Congress. Tlaib is also the first Palestinian American woman to serve in Congress.