On Wednesday, the House debated a resolution regarding the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. BDS is an organized effort to weaken the Israeli economy through boycotting, divesting from Israeli owned companies, and hitting Israel with economic sanctions for their supposed human rights violations.
The latest BDS resolution — which Omar introduced — would place Congressional support behind the BDS movement. Opponents of the BDS movement say it threatens the two-state solution between Israel and Palestine by targetting just one state: Israel.
Supporters, including Omar, argue support for BDS is nothing but support for a nonviolent, free speech movement. In an interview with Al-Monitor, Omar said:
“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our first amendment rights in regard to boycotting. And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”
Zeldin, however, doesn’t see BDS as a nonviolent movement. He explained what Omar “left out” during her testimony in support of BDS.
Watch Zeldin’s comments:
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“[Omar] used the frequent use of the words “honestly” and “honest.” Let’s just get to a lot of what’s left out. So the BDS movement has not distanced itself from Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. BDS supporters, individually, are not distancing themselves from Hamas, either. It is wrong to be blaming all Israeli and Palestinian violence ‘as being due to an occupation.'”
Zeldin noted that Fathi Hamad, a leader of Hamas, called for his supporters to “kill all Jews” late last week, yet BDS still refuses to cut ties.
“Hamas uses women and children as human shields. They declared Jihad as an obligation. They denied humanitarian aid to their own people. They deny human rights, launching rockets from Gaza into Israel, killing innocent civilians.”
Zeldin called on Congress to stand in opposition to BDS and support “our greatest ally in the Middle East.” He called out Omar again, saying:
“[If] we want to use ‘honest’ and ‘honesty’ in our remarks, we’ll give you a whole lot more honesty.”