Pro-BDS candidate wins congressional Democratic primary in Missouri

Pro-BDS candidate Cori Bush won 48.9 percent of the vote, while Rep. Lacy Clay, who has been in Congress since 2001, received 45.5 percent.


Cori Bush, who supports the anti-Israel BDS movement, upset longtime Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) in the Democratic primary on Tuesday in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District.

Bush won 48.9 percent of the vote, while Clay, who has been in Congress since 2001, received 45.5 percent.

In a now deleted foreign-policy section of her campaign website, Bush’s stance on Israel read: “In our current geopolitical economy, money talks far louder than speech alone. This is why nonviolent actions like the BDS movement are so important—and why the effort to mischaracterize and demonize the BDS movement by its opponents is so urgent.”

“I stand by the right of Palestinians to live as a free people just as the people of Israel and we as U.S. citizens are allowed to do,” stated the page. “We also stand by their right to call for a boycott on goods and services that the government that is currently oppressing them profits from, in order to draw attention to their plight.”

In mailers from the Clay campaign, one shows Bush pictured with former Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour, who is known for her support of BDS and has been accused of spreading anti-Semitism. Captions read “Cori Bush has an anti-Israel agenda” and “Cori Bush stands with BDS … And BDS stands with her!”

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Another mailer shows a side-by-side comparison of Bush and Clay as it pertains to BDS.

One side reads “Cori Bush stands with BDS” with bullet points that state that BDS seeks to “isolate, delegitimize and end Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish People,” “is supported by Linda Sarsour, an anti-Israel activist and a leader of the BDS Movement in the United States” and “supports ending U.S. military assistance and security cooperation with the State of Israel.” It also states that Bush “failed to condemn anti-Semitic comments by her fellow staffers while working as a surrogate for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.”

The other side of the mailer shows Clay’s support for Israel, including supporting a U.S. House of Representatives resolution last year condemning BDS, backing U.S. assistance for Israel and supporting U.S. sanctions on Iran “because of Tehran’s funding and support for terrorist groups around the world that target the United States, Israel and our Middle East allies.”

Clay succeeded his father, Bill Clay, who represented Missouri’s 1st Congressional District between 1969 and 2001.

In 2018, Bush lost to Clay in the Democratic primary, 36.91 percent to Clay’s 56.7 percent.

In another win for the BDS movement on Tuesday, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) soundly defeated longtime Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, 66 percent to 34 percent, in the Democratic primary in Michigan’s 13th District.

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Jones beat Tlaib once in a special election and came within a few hundred votes of defeating her in the 2018 Democratic primary. She has criticized Tlaib, who has a high-profile nationally, for neglecting her district to focus on other concerns.

Tlaib has also been accused of peddling an anti-Israel and anti-Semitic agenda.