Republican bill condemns pro-BDS lawmakers as anti-Semites
House Republicans today introduced legislation condemning Congress’ first two female Muslim lawmakers as anti-Semites because of their stated support for the Israel boycott movement.
Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., the co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, introduced the resolution condemning anti-Semitism along with Reps. Ted Budd, R-N.C., and Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. The resolution singles out Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., by name.
Zeldin, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, first called for the resolution after Congress voted last week to condemn white supremacy following racist remarks from Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.
The resolution specifically takes aim at Tlaib for inviting Abbas Hamideh, a Palestinian-American activist who has tweeted that “Israel does not have a right to exist,” to her swearing in ceremony. It also condemns Tlaib’s tweet earlier this month stating that supporters of anti-BDS legislation “forgot what country they represent.”
The resolution also targets fellow Foreign Affairs Committee member Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for her support of BDS and her 2012 tweet stating that “Israel has hypnotized the world.”
Pro-Israel Democrats have expressed hope that they can bring Tlaib and Omar around to their point of view.
“Every member has to decide for themselves how they’re going to go about issues,” House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., told Al-Monitor today. “Hopefully [Omar] and other members that haven’t been here before will come and listen, and minds can always be changed. So we’ll keep working on it.”
- Bryant Harris