House Democrats are slamming a resolution from Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar that would endorse the right to boycott Israel, with one longtime party member saying the proposal is “dead on arrival.”
“I can’t imagine that any committee is going to mark up or take seriously any pro-BDS resolution,” Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., told The Jerusalem Post on Friday.
Sherman, first elected to the House in 1996, was referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement supported by Omar’s proposal.
“Am I worried about the overall BDS movement worldwide as an economic matter? No,” he said. “As an effort to delegitimize Israel, of course.
“The comments here today are a tiny part of that delegitimizing effort,” said Sherman, who also told The Washington Times that Omar’s plan was “dead on arrival.”
Omar proposed the resolution Tuesday in pushing back against U.S. laws banning Israeli boycotts, Fox News reports. The measure endorses the right of Americans to create boycotts against foreign countries.
It was co-sponsored by fellow Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Mich., and John Lewis, Ga.
“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,” Omar told Al-Monitor. “It is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”
But Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., who’s facing a primary challenge backed by supporters of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, slammed the BDS movement as a “cancer.”
“The BDS movement is harmful — and anyone that promotes it is making a big mistake,” he told the Times.