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US passes bills against BDS and Hamas

MEMO | July 24, 2019

The US House of Representatives passed a resolution yesterday to sanction Hamas and another to oppose the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

House Resolution 1850 entitled “Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2019” would impose sanctions upon individuals or agencies identified as supporting Hamas or its affiliates. Sponsored by Florida Republican Brian Mast, the bill requires the US President to submit a yearly report to Congress that identifies “each foreign or agency or instrumentality of a foreign state” that supports Hamas financially.

Mast, who volunteered for the Israeli army after his US army service, said in a statement, “Hamas is single-handedly responsible for the deaths of numerous Americans and Israelis. These sanctions send a strong message to anybody who supports these radicals preaching the destruction of Israel and death to everything we hold dear in the United States.”

The bill was passed by a motion to suspend the rules, a procedure generally used to pass resolutions quickly, and not by a roll call vote in which each representative gives their individual vote.

On the same day, the House passed a resolution opposing BDS in a roll call vote of 398 to 17. House Resolution 246 “opposes the BDS movement targeting Israel, including efforts to target US companies that are engaged in commercial activities that are legal under US law, and all efforts to delegitimise the State of Israel.”

This bill was met with strong opposition from some progressive members of the Democratic Party, including Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib and Somali-American Ilhan Omar. Tlaib gave an impassioned speech on the House floor arguing that the resolution would infringe upon freedom of speech: “I can’t stand by and watch this attack on our freedom of speech and the right to boycott the racist policies of the government in the state of Israel.” She referred to historic boycotts in American history, such as the Boston Tea Party, the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the United Farm Workers Grape Boycott, as examples of how “the right to boycott is deeply rooted in the fabric of our country.”

Though the House voted overwhelmingly to pass the anti-BDS resolution, notable representatives who voted “nay” include three quarters of the “squad”: Tlaib, Omar and New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The other member of the “squad”, Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley, voted “yea” on the resolution.

The passing of this resolution drew much criticism on social media, with the BDS movement calling it a “McCarthyite, anti-Palestinian measure” and anti-occupation group IfNotNow criticising the Democratic Leadership for allowing this vote to happen only a day after Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem.

Last week, Omar introduced House Resolution 496 affirming the American right to boycott. The resolution doesn’t specifically refer to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and is heralded by the BDS movement as a “ground-breaking resolution” that defends “freedom of expression and the right of oppressed communities… to peacefully fight for their rights.”

Omar’s bill is co-sponsored by nine other Democratic representatives, including Pressley, civil rights activist John Lewis and New Jersey Representative Donald Payne. However, these three voted for the anti-BDS bill yesterday, raising questions about their positions on the issue.

READ ALSO:

US Democrats remove ‘occupation’ from two-state solution resolution 

July 24, 2019 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , ,

3 Comments »

  1. How embarrassing is that? The Mighty USA, passing laws to protect another country from legitimate criticism of it’s actions against the native population of Palestine.
    No further proof is needed now, that the USA is run and controlled, by Israel…..No doubt about it.
    When will America’s Politicians, Stand Up for America??

    Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | July 24, 2019 | Reply

  2. No further evidence necessary to substantiate US House of Representatives a bought and paid for rogue band of ill-informed, immature scam body. Case of pot calling kettle black thru House Resolution 1850.

    Comment by John | July 24, 2019 | Reply

  3. Well put, both comments. As to “…embarrassing…” This shows your morality, that feeling expresses revulsion to what was done.

    Can you and I, who write these reactions, can we be embarrassed? How about repulsed?

    They will not be embarrassed. They’re bought and paid-for mercenaries; really, they’re in the employ of Israel. They’re morally bankrupt, fat and pleased with themselves, frankly.

    So many of them have been taken to Israel as part of its perpetual junkets, that all they’ve seen has been so carefully orchestrated by Israel that they’re blinded. Do they see the strangulated, oppressed, impoverished Palestinians? Do they see the maimed by Israeli sharp-shooter Israeli soldiers? Do they see the crushed, bloodied body of Rachel Carrie? Do they see the slaughtered USSLiberty sailors? Do they see the result of further and further Israel is dragging the United States into their web of lies, demands for weapons and money so as to further slaughter the Gaza residents, demolish and ethnically cleanse what remains of Palestinians living under the Israeli domination and crush of racism and brutality?

    No. They might even follow the Zionist boilerplate that it’s all the fault of the Palestinians. Or, ‘It was a terrible mistake’ in regard to the attack on the USSLiberty. Or that Rachel Corrie put herself in front of the military bulldozer.

    They’ve got a rational or excuse for everything.

    What they see is the money the Zionists and promoters give to their campaigns.

    I personally cringe. Should I be embarrassed at what these elected officials did? Would I feel embarrassed by the working of Satan?

    And agreement and appreciation to the term as said, “The mighty USA…”
    Yes. A goliath, gorged on the ravenous Zionist diet, fed to them to put them in Congress, then they act on the Zionist dictates. The mighty USA, indeed.

    How about shame. How can any shame come to them? I, personally, feel some kind of shame that this country is becoming some kind of monster to enacts these laws, laws which increasingly do such evil to America. It shackles American freedoms, American spirit.

    For surely, if this action reflects America’s spirit, then it’s becoming a monster.

    Comment by michael | July 24, 2019 | Reply


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