Hot Take: Pressley Explains Why She Broke With 'The Squad' And Voted To Condemn BDS Movement

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Posted: Jul 24, 2019 7:40 PM
Hot Take: Pressley Explains Why She Broke With 'The Squad' And Voted To Condemn BDS Movement

Source: AP Photo/Bill Sikes

Three out of four "Squad" members voted against the Congressional resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for a boycott of Israel. Noticeably missing was Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), who voted alongside the majority of legislators and against her crew. The bill passed 398-17 with five members voting present. 

Pressley released her official statement online:

As I have noted many times before, I arrive at my decisions in close partnership with community. Today I cast a yes vote on H.Res 246 as an expression of  solidarity with Jewish families and with marginalized communities that continue to face heightened threats to their safety in this volatile moment driven by hateful rhetoric from the Trump Administration. Today’s vote gave us a very narrow and rushed opportunity to engage on an issue that warrants much further meaningful dialogue with the voices of all impacted at the table to say the very least. As a dedicated advocate for survivors of violence and trauma, I will continue to support a two-state solution. I am also proud to be a co-sponsor of H.Res 496 Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. John Lewis’s resolution that opposes any and all unconstitutional efforts to undermine and limit the rights of individuals to peacefully protest and engage in boycotts.  I was raised in the tradition of protest and organizing and I support our ability to raise our voices through peaceful protest and action is a sacred right that has played a pivotal role in this nation’s history. We can call out and question the tactics of a movement but we should never question or marginalize the lived experiences and voices of those who call out for civil rights and liberties, including the Palestinian people.

But she took to Twitter to further explain her position:

The bill Pressley said she co-sponsored, HR 496, affirms "that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution."

SB 1, the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act of 2019, was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and strengthen's Israel's position in the Middle East by assisting the country with weapons and places sanctions on Syria.

Pressley, in so many words, said she's caught between a rock and hard place. On one hand, she believes in protesting and withholding funds from Israel. She agrees with her "Squad" on the issue. On the other hand, she doesn't want to alienate her Jewish voters and wants them to feel as though she stands in solidarity with them.

So, where do your loyalties lie, Pressley?