Tlaib compared the BDS movement to boycotts against Nazi Germany.
By World Israel News Staff
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) compared the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement that seeks to delegitimize the Jewish state through boycotts to boycotts of Nazi Germany during a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Tlaib made her remarks in opposition to the House resolution condemning BDS, which passed by a overwhelming bipartisan vote of 398-17 on Tuesday.
The resolution was widely seen as a way for House Democrats to show their support for Israel, and distance themselves from their more liberal members, some of whom, like Tlaib, have made anti-Israel statements that have opened the party up to criticism from Republicans.
Tlaib, one of the small minority who voted against the resolution, said “The right to boycott is deeply rooted in the fabric of our country.”
“What was the Boston Tea Party but a boycott? Where would we be now without the boycott led by the civil rights activists in the 1950s and 60s like the Montgomery bus boycott and the United Farm Workers Grape boycott?”
She said Americans “have a long history” of boycotting against countries violating human rights abroad.
“Americans boycotted Nazi Germany in response to dehumanization, imprisonment, and genocide of Jewish people,” she said.
“In the 1980s, many of us in this very body boycotted South African goods in the fight against apartheid. Our right to free speech is being threatened with this resolution. It sets a dangerous precedent because it attempts to delegitimize a certain people’s political speech and to send a message that our government can and will take action against speech it doesn’t like,” she said.
Tlaib’s comments echoed those of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who last week introduced a counter-resolution meant to support BDS efforts. That resolution included comparisons to boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
Tlaib co-sponsored that resolution together with Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).