Rashida Tlaib calls for right to boycott 'racist policies' of Israel

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib was among the 17 members of the House of Representatives who voted against House Resolution 246 to oppose boycotts of Israel.

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July 25, 2019 02:50
1 minute read.
Rashida Tlaib calls for right to boycott 'racist policies' of Israel

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) listens to testimony during a hearing of the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee on "Confronting White Supremacy (Part I): The Consequences of Inaction" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2019. (photo credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS / REUTERS)

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan-3) was among the 17 members of the House of Representatives who voted against House Resolution 246 to oppose boycotts of Israel. 

In an impassioned speech on Tuesday ahead of the vote – the resolution passed with 398 representatives voting in favor – Tlaib evoked the yearning of her Palestinian grandmother “to experience equality, human dignity and freedom.”

“I stand before you as the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, parents who experienced being stripped of their human rights – the right to freedom of travel, equal treatment,” she told the House. “I cannot stand by and watch this attack on our freedom of speech and the right to boycott the racist policies of the government and the State of Israel.”


Tlaib said that “speech in pursuit of civil and human rights” is protected by the First Amendment.

“What was the Boston Tea Party but a boycott?” Tlaib asked. “Where would we be now without the boycotts led by the civil rights activists in the 1950s and ’60s?”

She even evoked Nazi Germany to help make her case: “Americans boycotted Nazi Germany in response to the dehumanization, imprisonment and genocide of the Jewish people.”

Her speech mirrored a resolution submitted last week by her colleague, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota-5): her House Resolution 496 affirms “that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights.”


Omar evoked the same previous boycotts by Americans, which The Jerusalem Post was able to demonstrate do not directly compare to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Tlaib said that she believes that Americans’ right to free speech is threatened by Resolution 246, and that it “sets a dangerous precedent” by attempting to delegitimize a “certain people’s” political speech and sends a message that “our government can and will take action against speech it does not like.”

“I oppose all legislative efforts that target speech,” Tlaib concluded.


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