House approves anti-BDS resolution

Some 350 members of the House cosponsored the resolution – an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.

July 24, 2019 12:00
2 minute read.
AMERICAN AND ISRAELI flags fly during a demonstration in support of Israel at the US Capitol in 2002

AMERICAN AND ISRAELI flags fly during a demonstration in support of Israel at the US Capitol in 2002.. (photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution on Tuesday opposing boycotts of Israel. Some 350 legislators cosponsored the resolution, 175 from each party.

House Resolution 246, sponsored by Rep. Bradley Schneider (D-Illinois-10), opposes the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, "including efforts to target United States companies that are engaged in commercial activities that are legal under United States law, and all efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel." It also "urges Israelis and Palestinians to return to direct negotiations as the only way to achieve an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida) supported the resolution, saying on the House floor: "The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement does not seek and will not help achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace. In fact, it pushes the hope for a two-state solution even further away."

The resolution reaffirms strong support "for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states – a democratic Jewish State of Israel, and a viable, democratic Palestinian state – living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition."

In addition, it "affirms that the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement undermines the possibility for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by demanding concessions of one party alone and encouraging the Palestinians to reject negotiations in favor of international pressure."

"You simply will not and cannot achieve lasting peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians and work toward a two-state solution if you support a movement that seeks to delegitimize the very existence of Israel," said Congressman Ted Deutch (D-Florida-22). "I am relentlessly opposed to the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign that seeks to delegitimize the State of Israel and deny the Jewish people – and only the Jewish people - the right to self-determination."

Some 398 members supported the resolution, with 17 voting against it, 16 of them from the Democrats.

The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) posted a statement commending Congress for passing the resolution.

"BDS disguises its true intentions under the banner of 'human rights,' yet it hypocritically ignores human rights abuses against Palestinians in other countries across the Middle East, as well as the widespread abuses perpetrated by Palestinian leaders against their own people," the organization tweeted.

Rep. Alex Mooney (R-West Virginia-2) explained his support for the bill by saying, "The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is an economic attack on Israel and BDS supporters do not even think Israel should exist.

"Displays of antisemitism have become too frequent in the past few months, even from members of this House of Representatives –and it is time that we stand united in support of Israel," he continued.

"Under the leadership of President Donald J. Trump, our relationship with Israel has never been stronger. We must never forget the important role Israel plays in the world, and I will continue to be a vocal supporter of our eternal friendship."

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