With the strong support of the Florida delegation, on Tuesday, the U.S. House passed a resolution opposing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel.
The House passed the resolution on a 398-17 vote as 16 Democrats and U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., voted against it. Four Democrats and U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., who left the GOP earlier this month, voted present. Twelve members, including U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., did not vote.
Outside of Wilson, every member of the Florida delegation backed the resolution.
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, took to the House floor to champion the resolution.
“You simply will not and cannot achieve lasting peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians and work toward a two-state solution if you support a movement that seeks to delegitimize the very existence of Israel,” Deutch said. “I am relentlessly opposed to the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign that seeks to delegitimize the state of Israel and deny the Jewish people – and only the Jewish people – the right to self-determination.”
U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., took aim at the BDS movement and was a supporter of the resolution.
“The BDS movement makes a just peace harder, moving us away from negotiations that could lead to a two-state solution and greater security in the Middle East,” said Murphy. “This bipartisan resolution clearly shows why the House opposes an effort that vilifies Israel, blaming it—and it alone—for this complex conflict. American citizens have the right to boycott, and boycotts can promote positive change, but the BDS movement is misguided and harmful—and we should say so unequivocally.”
Murphy spoke on the House floor in support of the resolution.
“I strongly support the state of Israel. It’s a homeland for the Jewish people and a sanctuary from anti-Semitism. Israel is a thriving democracy and its citizens have made enormous contributions to our global society,” she said. “The U.S. has no better friend than Israel. Yes, on occasion our two governments will disagree on certain policies, as all sovereign nations do. But our strong alliance is rooted in shared values, shared security interests, and a deep historical connection. I also believe the Palestinian people have legitimate aspirations, deserve a better future, and should have their own state. I support direct negotiations between the parties, leading to two states, living together in peace and security.
“I support this bipartisan resolution because the BDS movement makes a just peace harder, not easier. It unfairly vilifies Israel, blaming it—and it alone—for this complex conflict,” she added. “American citizens have the right to boycott, and boycotts often promote positive change, but the BDS movement is misguided and harmful—and Congress should say so unequivocally.”
While they backed the resolution, several Republicans said it did not go far enough and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said that the House should back his resolution on the matter.
“For months, Speaker Pelosi has refused to bring my bipartisan bill to combat the BDS movement’s discriminatory conduct and strengthen America’s security in the Middle East to the House floor,” Rubio said on Tuesday. “Out of fear of retaliation from the far left wing of her conference, it’s clear that Speaker Pelosi has allowed the radical, anti-Semitic minority in the Democratic Party to dictate the House floor agenda.
“The BDS movement seeks to eliminate any Jewish state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and Congress should condemn it,” Rubio continued. “Words alone are not enough. It is time for action.”
“Israel is one of our closest allies in the Middle East and one of our dearest friends globally,” said U.S. Rep. Ross Spano, R-Fla. “I have been deeply disturbed by the anti-Semitic rhetoric some of my colleagues in Congress have recently espoused. The United States shares countless bonds with the state of Israel, and we must unite to show the world our unwavering support for the Jewish state.”
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