Congressional debate on boycott of Israel and attack on Taleb

Washington _ Palestine News Network

This week saw a sharp, unusual confrontation within the U.S. Congress in Washington between Democratic lawmakers and Republicans over the laws to fight the international boycott against Israel, prompting some Israeli-backed forces to attack Palestinian Rashida Tlip, who became a member of Congress Recently.

According to the Hebrew daily Ha'aretz, the conflict has spread to accusations of anti-Semitism, racism, and conflict within the Democratic Party.

According to the newspaper, the Congress had a fierce debate after Republican Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill to impose restrictions on anyone who supports the international boycott movement as well as the settlements, whether persons, companies, institutions, etc., and prevents the official local and federal authorities from signing contracts with those Entities.

If the law was approved, it would be symbolic and worthless, especially since last year's federal courts had frozen such legislation for violating freedom of expression.

According to the paper, Congress will discuss a more important law supported by members of the Democratic and Republican parties called the boycott of Israel Law, which, according to some interpretations, aims to impose prison sentences for those who participate in the international boycott of Israel, mainly targeting institutions and companies And not American citizens.

She noted that the American Society of Civil Rights had warned against the vague wording of the bill, which aimed to restrict freedom of expression to United States citizens.

According to the paper, the controversy over the two laws has been held by prominent figures in Washington over the past two days, including Senator Bernie Sanders of the Democratic Party, who became one of the most prominent Democrats in criticism of Israel and its government.

Sanders attacked, Rubio said it would be illogical to deal with the issue, while the U.S. federal government is out of business and there are hundreds of thousands of unpaid workers. "It is absurd that the first bill we are discussing punishes Americans for exhausting their constitutional right to engage in political activity," he added.

Rubio, Sanders described it as a "liar ". "The bill will not harm ordinary citizens," he said. "Democrats oppose the proposal not because the federal administration has suspended its actions, but because a large part of the Democratic senators support the boycott and the party leadership does not want to expose it," he added.

The most resolute response from the Democrats in Congress came from the new president of the Palestinian-American Parliament, Rashida Tlip, one of the first two members of Congress of Muslims, both of which support the BDS province movement.

"We have forgotten which country they represent, we in the United States, where the boycott is right, part of our historic struggle for freedom and equality, and perhaps they should modernize the constitution," she said.

Rubio, Taleb was accused of being anti-Semitic, and said  "This accusation of double loyalty, is a anti-Semitic line."

Prominent organizations in the American Jewish community have also sharply attacked Taleb amid accusations of double loyalty towards minorities in America. The Jewish Democratic coalition accused her of trying to undermine the prospects for peace through such behaviour.

Republicans are hoping to lift the Rubio bill to vote on Wednesday, but it is still unclear whether it will get 60 votes needed in the Senate.

A number of Democratic senators voted against the bill, while other senators who intended to support him announced that they would refuse to vote in the Senate, regardless of the issue, as long as US president Donald Trump and the Republicans continued to close the administration in Washington.

"The Republicans will use the provincial bill to attack the Democrats and accuse them of disloyalty to Israel," said Lara Friedman of the Middle East Peace Institute in Washington for Haaretz.

"As long as the U.S. left does not redefine the meaning of what it means to be pro-Israel, allowing Netanyahu and his associates to define the meaning of the term, this debate will always end with a loss for Democrats," she said.

 

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