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Congress Tackles the Anti-Israel Boycott, But BiPartisanship Is Fleeting

Updated: a day ago


Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (photo credit: FLICKR)

Jerusalem Post, Ron Kampeas/JTA

July 20, 2019


Israel, BDS and Jews are not going away this election season.


WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, the Foreign Affairs committee in the Democratic-led House unanimously condemned the boycott Israel movement. On Thursday, the leader of the Republican-led Senate said it wasn’t enough, even if the full U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill.

Israel, BDS and Jews are not going away this election season.


Republicans and Democrats joined for a fleeting moment in celebrating the unanimous passage Wednesday of a non-binding resolution condemning the movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. It now goes to the House floor.

“I am deeply proud that more than three-quarters of my House colleagues, with overwhelming majorities of both parties, have co-sponsored my resolution making clear that Congress supports a strong US-Israel relationship, is committed to achieving a negotiated two-state solution, and forcefully condemns the Global BDS Movement,” Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., who led sponsorship of the non-binding resolution with Reps. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. and Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., said in a statement after the resolution advanced.

Also advanced in committee was a bill that would codify into law the $3.8 billion in defense assistance to Israel pledged by President Barack Obama in 2016, in his final months in office.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee was elated. “AIPAC applauds the House Foreign Affairs Committee for adopting a pro-Israel resolution that rejects the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel and a bill that authorizes security assistance to the Jewish state,” it said.

Indeed, the bills were manna for AIPAC, a throwback to the good old days when bipartisanship was the hallmark of pro-Israel endeavors. The BDS resolution was the baby bear of bills: It condemned BDS, but also upheld the right to oppose government policy — a number of Democrats have balked at separate legislation that penalizes Israel boycotts, saying that would infringe speech freedoms.


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