The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) today denounced a new pro-BDS resolution put forth by Rep. Ilhan Omar, which 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.”
Omar’s pro-BDS resolution, H.Res.496, comes as the House Foreign Affairs Committee endorsed H.Res.246, which is entitled “Opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel.” The bipartisan anti-BDS resolution currently has 340 cosponsors, including 172 Democrats and 168 Republicans.
In an interview with Al-Monitor, Omar, a staunch BDS supporter who in the past has used anti-Semitic tropes and made anti-Israel statements, said she is 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 added, “And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”
The NCYI noted that the international working definition of anti-Semitism, which was adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2016 and is utilized by the U.S. State Department, includes various anti-Israel activities, such as those employed by BDS activists in their quest to delegitimize the State of Israel.
“Rep. Omar’s pro-BDS resolution is a shameless and shameful attempt to advance her anti-Semitic and anti-Israel agenda,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss. “By promoting a legislative measure which unabashedly endorses an anti-Semitic movement that she proudly supports, Rep. Omar is again reminding us that she will do everything in her power to unjustifiably deprecate Israel at every turn. BDS is a movement that seeks the destruction of Israel through an anti-Semitic boycott, divestment and sanctions effort that is awash in hatred for the Jewish state.”
“With a troubling track record of inflammatory anti-Semitic rhetoric and anti-Israel remarks, Rep. Omar has proven time and time again that she is not afraid to exploit her bully pulpit in Congress to propagandize these harmful and hurtful positions that are cause for alarm in the American Jewish community,” Weiss added. “Her unseemly machinations are indefensible, and it is time for the congressional leadership to take substantive steps to address her disdain for Israel and the Jewish community.”
Further, Weiss noted that Rep. Rashida Tlaib is an original cosponsor of Omar’s resolution. In addition to her support for the BDS movement, Tlaib, who has emphatically stated that as a Member of Congress she will vote against any U.S. military aid to Israel, has made troubling statements regarding Israel. Tlaib also opposes the existence of the State of Israel and has defended Hamas’ horrific and indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians.
“Rep. Tlaib’s prejudicial views about the State of Israel are well known, and it is therefore no surprise that she is cosponsoring such a hate-driven, anti-Semitic resolution,” Weiss said. “Supporting BDS is barefaced anti-Semitism, and Rep. Tlaib’s enthusiastic support of this resolution is a telltale sign of her abhorrence for the State of Israel and the Jewish community.”
For the past 107 years, the National Council of Young Israel has ably served the broader Jewish community. With more than 25,000 member families and approximately 135 branch synagogues throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel, the National Council of Young Israel is a multi-faceted organization that embraces Jewish communal needs and often takes a leading role in tackling the important issues that face the Jewish community in North America and Israel.