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J Street Backs Omar’s pro-BDS Resolution But Alleges to Oppose Sanctions on Israel

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J Street U students protest in front of the White House in 2017. (J Street/Facebook)

J Street, part of the Progressive Left, supports Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s right to launch a pro-BDS resolution while claiming the organization is anti-BDS.

By: Batya Jerenberg

A progressive left-wing American Jewish organization has come out in favor of Rep. Omar Ilhan’s pro-BDS resolution, agreeing with her that boycott activities are a constitutionally protected right.

J Street, one of 10 American Jewish organizations that launched the “Progressive Israel Network” last month, issued a statement on Thursday saying that it is “strongly” opposed to the global BDS Movement because of its “refusal to recognize the right of Jewish people to national self-determination and its refusal to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Nonetheless, it supports the anti-Israel congresswoman’s resolution, which does not specifically mention Israel, citing the need “to protect the rights of all Americans to non-violent protest and free speech.”

Ilhan’s resolution affirms that “all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

However, the freshman congresswoman admitted in an interview with Al-Monitor, an Arab-American media site, that her motion is “an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS Movement.”

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry came out earlier this year with a report showing more than 100 links between terrorist organizations and BDS-supporting groups.

It is widely assumed that Omar’s initiative came in response to a resolution currently being considered in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Sponsored by Rep. Bradley Schneider (D-Illinois), it counters BDS moves, “including efforts to target United States companies that are engaged in commercial activities that are legal under United States law, and all efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel.”

Twenty-seven states have already adopted laws over the past few years to discourage such boycotts.

Omar’s resolution is co-sponsored by Reps. John Lewis (D-Georgia) and anti-Israel Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan). Tlaib and Omar have both announced a trip to Israel next month. According to Israeli law, the country can deny entry to BDS activists, but it is considered unlikely that the congresswomen will be barred. (World Israel News)

Read more: www.worldisraelnews.com

 

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Guy sasson

    07/21/2019 at 1:44 pm

    JStreet should be declared as a terrorist org,misguided and dangerous,yOU IDIOTS.

  2. Lynne

    07/22/2019 at 3:01 am

    Worth reading the actual statement from J Street: J STREET OPPOSES THE GLOBAL BDS MOVEMENT AND DEFENDS AMERICANS’ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO ENGAGE IN BOYCOTTS
    July 18, 2019
    As an organization, J Street is unequivocal both in our strong opposition to the Global BDS Movement and in our support for Americans’ constitutional right to engage in boycott activities.

    Standing alongside our allies in the progressive Jewish community and in support of leading First Amendment experts at the ACLU, we have been at the forefront of the fight to oppose dangerous legislation that seeks to impose unconstitutional legal penalties on those engaging in boycotts. We also believe that such efforts to restrict the constitutional rights of supporters of the Global BDS Movement ultimately only serve to garner more attention for their movement.

    We therefore support H.Res.496, a resolution that was introduced this week by Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and John Lewis (D-GA). This resolution clearly and vitally affirms “that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.” It opposes unconstitutional legislative efforts to restrict this fundamental right for any group of Americans in the service of any cause. It does not mention or reference Israel, the Palestinians or the Global BDS Movement.

    At the same time, J Street also supports H.Res.246, which expresses strong opposition to the Global BDS Movement against Israel, without in any way infringing upon or seeking to restrict Americans’ free speech rights. That resolution, which was advanced this week by a vote of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, highlights several of J Street’s core objections to the Global BDS Movement. These include the movement’s refusal to recognize the right of Jewish people to national self-determination and its refusal to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Like Rep. Lewis, who is a co-sponsor of both of these resolutions, we see no contradiction between these two positions. On the contrary, we believe that it is absolutely vital to make clear that individuals, organizations and lawmakers can both oppose the Global BDS Movement and defend the right of Americans to actively support that or any other boycott movement.

    As a heroic leader of Civil Rights movement boycotts and protests that helped to overturn some of the gravest injustices in American history, Rep. Lewis’s own record is a powerful testament to the need to protect the rights of all Americans to non-violent protest and free speech. No matter how strongly one disagrees with or opposes the rhetoric or goals of specific movements and efforts, the right to boycott is an important component of our democracy. At a time when key democratic institutions and values are increasingly under assault from demagogues in this country and around the world, it is a right that we cannot forsake.

  3. itasara

    08/07/2019 at 2:59 pm

    I think it is so unAmerican to support anyone who pushes or agrees to the BDS agenda. This isn’t free speech. It is a political way to try to destroy our ally, Israel. I never cared for J Street. They have a very left bent agenda which is not good for America or Judaism in my opinion.

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