October 13, 2019

Tlaib Calls Anti-BDS Bill ‘Unconstitutional’

U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) reacts to testimony by Yazmin Juarez, mother of 19-month-old Mariee, who died after detention by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); during a House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services hearing titled, "Kids in Cages: Inhumane Treatment at the Border" in Washington, U.S. July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) called an anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) bill “unconstitutional” in a July 10 tweet.

Responding to a tweet stating that Israeli guards were blocking a Palestinian mother and her child from a park, Tlaib, an avowed BDS supporter, wrote, “.@HouseForeign wants to move forward w/ #HR246 #AntiBDS bill to silence opposition of Israel’s blatantly racist policies that demonize both Palestinians & Ethiopians. Our 1st [Amendment] right to free speech allows boycott of inhumane policies. This bill is unconstitutional.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) responded to Tlaib’s tweet, writing, “This is a 100% false characterization of the bill. It doesn’t ban the #BDS movement. All it does it protect states & local governments that decide not to give contracts to companies participating in that anti-Semitic movement.”

The bill, House Resolution 246, condemns the BDS movement; it has 338 co-sponsors from members of both political parties, including Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and Brad Schneider (D-Ill.).

Lawfare Project Executive Director Brooke Goldstein told the Journal in December that anti-BDS legislation typically focuses on commercial activity, “which is not afforded the same degree of constitutional protection.”