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Maher rails against anti-Israel boycott movement: 'A bulls--- purity test' for Democrats

Liberal commentator Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherWake up, America: Laughter is healing A community of public servants is at our disposal, if only we'd train it Bill Maher for Biden's 'Minister of Truth' MORE on Friday night went after the international movement to boycott Israel, calling it a "bullshit purity test" for Democrats after the Israeli government said it would deny entry to two U.S. congresswomen because of their support for the boycotts.

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Maher drew applause in studio on his HBO show after declaring the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement supported by some congressional Democrats "a bullshit purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class."

“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 this completely peaceful people found themselves occupied," he said.

The "Real Time" host weighed in after Israel announced this week that it would deny entry to Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan Omar Omar: 'Disappointing' that we're 'sending money to less people than the Trump administration' House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act House Democrats' ambitious agenda set to run into Senate blockade MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSinema pushes back on criticism of her vote against minimum wage, implying that it's sexist Progressives push White House to overturn wage ruling Six ways to visualize a divided America MORE (D-Mich.) over their past comments supporting the boycott movement.

Both lawmakers have ripped the decision, with Omar calling it "an affront" and arguing in a statement this week that "Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress."

"Denying entry into Israel not only limits our ability to learn from Israelis, but also to enter the Palestinian territories,” she added.

Israeli law prohibits those who support international calls to boycott Israel from entering the country.

The Democratic-led House voted in July for legislation to oppose the BDS movement, which has garnered some support in recent years among Democrats on the party's left flank. The House passed the measure in a 398-17 vote.

Omar and Tlaib, who support the movement to press Israel over human rights issues in its conflict with Palestinians, were among those who voted against the measure.

Tlaib, citing her family’s Palestinian roots, said in opposing the bill that she couldn't "stand by and watch this attack on our freedom of speech and the right to boycott the racist policies of the government in the state of Israel.”

Israel's decision to deny entry to Tlaib and Omar has put the issue back in the spotlight this week, with President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE to bar the U.S. congresswomen from entering the country.

Trump has repeatedly gone after the lawmakers — the first two Muslim women elected to Congress and vocal critics of his administration — and accused them this week of making anti-Semitic remarks and claiming that they "hate" Israel.

Maher on Friday night pointed to scrutiny over past comments from Omar, suggesting the decision by the Israeli government to not welcome them into the country made sense.

“Congresswoman Omar has said things like, ‘It’s all about the Benjamins,’ ‘Israel has hypnotized the world,’ ‘May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,' ” Maher noted. 

“She apologized for it, but it’s out there: Jews control the world, control the money," he said, adding of the lawmakers: "I can see why they don’t get a hero’s welcome."