H.Res.496 introduced by Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib is an attempt to sanction antisemitism under the guise of “free speech.”
The most offensive part is its comparison of boycotting Israel with boycotting Nazi goods:
Whereas Americans of conscience have a proud history of participating in boycotts to advocate for human rights abroad, including—
(2) boycotting Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941 in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead-up to the Holocaust;
This is Holocaust inversion and it is one of the examples of antisemitism under the IHRA definition, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
But perhaps the most insidious part of the resolution is saying that it is only supporting “boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights.”
You see, boycotts are just another word for discrimination. Every boycott says that the boycotter will choose one provider of goods and services over another based on reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the product.
The exact same logic that protects boycotts of Israelis applies to bigots boycotting businesses owned by blacks or gays or immigrants or women.
In order to forestall the free speech protection of boycotts against people who fall on the positive side of intersectionality pseudo-science, Omar and Tlaib are characterizing BDS not as a product of bigotry and antisemitism but as “pursuit of civil and human rights.”
Even if this resolution gets defeated, their underlying logic that implies that Israel is a violator of human rights on par with Nazi Germany will be debated in Congress and enshrined in the proceedings of Congress forever. As I have recently noted, the debate itself is what BDS is after, not the boycott – they want to normalize anti-Zionism and its antisemitic components as a mainstream opinion.
As I have noted in the past, BDS is explicitly antisemitic. The call to boycott “Israeli” goods does not extend to good created by Arab Israelis. The call to boycott “settlement” goods only applies to goods created by Israeli Jews, not Israeli Arabs. A look through the businesses in industrial parks in Mishor Adumim, Barkan, Atarot and other “settlements” show quite a few with Arab names, like Radwan Brothers Refrigeration and Air Conditioning or Khaled Ali Metals or the Shweiki Glass Factory.
None of them are on the lists of “Israeli” companies to boycott. Because they are not owned by Jews.
So, yes, BDS is antisemitic and Omar and Tlaib are defending antisemitic boycotts under the pretense not only of “free speech” but of “protecting human and civil rights.” This is a very serious line being crossed.
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