News Release

House Condemns Boycotts for Palestinian Rights


Dome of US Capitol against stormy skyJOSH RUEBNER, josh at, @joshruebner
Ruebner is author of the books Israel: Democracy or Apartheid State? and Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace.

He just wrote the piece “U.S. House of Representatives condemns boycotts for Palestinian rights” for the Electronic Intifada.

Ruebner writes: “The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a nonbinding resolution Tuesday evening condemning people for exercising their constitutional right to engage in boycotts in support of Palestinian rights.

“The resolution, H.Res.246, passed by a vote of 398-17 with five representatives abstaining and 12 not voting.

“The resolution puts the House of Representatives on record as opposing ‘the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement) targeting Israel, 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.’ …

“All but one of the representatives who voted against the resolution are Democrats. They included a mix of longtime proponents of Palestinian rights such as Minnesota’s Betty McCollum, Indiana’s André Carson and Barbara Lee of California. …

“According to McCollum, a last-minute addition to the resolution was made affirming the constitutional ‘right to protest or criticize the policies of the United States or a foreign government.’ However, even if the resolution only violated the spirit of the Constitution and not necessarily its letter, its proponents left no doubt that its passage would serve as a stepping stone to harsher and more brazenly unconstitutional legislation to penalize and criminalize BDS. New York Congressman Eliot Engel, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made clear that he would tolerate only individual, and not collective, efforts to boycott for Palestinian rights. …

“First-term representatives such as Rashida Tlaib, the Palestinian American Congress member from Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Chuy Garcia of Illinois and New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez all voted against the motion as well.” Those voting for the resolution included Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Tulsi Gabbard and Ro Khanna.

Also see from Wednesday: “U.S. Blocks UN Security Council Rebuke of Israel Demolishing Palestinian Homes.”

See from early this year, IPA news release: “Senate Job One: Attack First Amendment Rights of Israel Critics.”