House Democrats Block Consideration for Anti-BDS Legislation

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Posted: Mar 04, 2020 4:45 PM
House Democrats Block Consideration for Anti-BDS Legislation

Source: AP Photo/Oded Balilty

House Democrats blocked consideration for an anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions bill by advancing the Previous Question on Wednesday. The vote was 219 yeas from Democrats and 193 nays from Republicans. 

The BDS movement is specifically aimed towards Israel to starve its overseas support because they claim "Israel is occupying and colonising Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes." 

H.R. 5595, or the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, was introduced by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY). It states the United States government continues to "actively oppose politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel," expands the Export Administration Act (EAA) of 2018, which already prohibits compliance with any foreign government’s boycott of Israel, to also prohibit U.S. persons from responding to boycott requests from international governmental organizations such as the UN and the European Union, and calls for expanded and coordinated civilian science and technology cooperation between the U.S. and Israel to counter the BDS movement.

"This legislation does not impede the right of an individual American to boycott or criticize Israel. It is okay to have reasonable, legitimate concerns with any government, including our own, and allies like Israel. But this hate fueled movement is not all about affirming the rights of Palestinians. The BDS movement has fueled anti-semitism across college campuses and in our country's politics," Zeldin said on the House floor.

Zeldin says he hears from Jewish college students who have been on the receiving end of "blatant anti-semitism under the guise of BDS."

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a staunch supporter of the BDS movement, previously defended her support for the BDS movement against Israel while denouncing the sanctions against Iran.

"The BDS movement is a movement that is driven by the people," Omar told Townhall. "The sanctions on Iran, are sanctions that are being placed to create maximum pressure by a government. That's very different."