Liberal commentator Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherBill Maher criticizes NFL for playing Black national anthem 9/11 sparked a surge in Islamophobia — for years, the media fed the flames Psaki defends move to oust Trump appointees from military academy boards 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.
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 OmarOcasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan Enough with the GDP — it's time to measure genuine progress Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats eye potential carbon price in reconciliation bill MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocratic bill would force Fed to defund fossil fuels Democrats brace for battle on Biden's .5 trillion spending plan 'Squad' members call on Biden to shut down Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota 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 TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol 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."