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US Congress Approves Bill Opposing BDS Movement

The US House of Representatives has approved bipartisan legislation that opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, “including efforts to target United States companies that are engaged in commercial activities that are legal under [the] law, and all efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel.” Proponents of BDS advocate cutting off economic ties with companies, entities or individuals maintaining a relationship with Israel. By contrast, critics contend that BDS is inherently anti-Semitic, as the movement’s indirect call for a single state rather than two states means the dissolution of Israel and, by extension, an end to the Jewish people’s right to self-determination. House Resolution 246 also called on “Israelis and Palestinians to return to direct negotiations as the only way to achieve an end to the [conflict]” through the implementation of the two-state solution. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), who is of Palestinian descent and one of 17 lawmakers to vote against the legislation, asserted that she could not “stand by and watch this attack on our freedom of speech and the right to boycott the racist policies of the government and the State of Israel.” Tlaib, along with fellow freshman congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), has been accused of harboring anti-Zionist, if not anti-Semitic, sentiments. The trio, who are part of what is known as the “Squad,” recently came under attack from President Donald Trump, who suggested they hate the Jewish state “with unbridled passion” and because of their alleged anti-Americanism should return to the “broken and crime infested places from which they came.…”