Marco Rubio calls Rashida Tlaib’s jibe on anti-BDS bill ‘anti-Semitic’

Source: Marco Rubio calls Rashida Tlaib’s jibe on anti-BDS bill ‘anti-Semitic’ | The Times of Israel

After Palestinian American lawmaker says promoters of legislation ‘forgot what country they represent,’ US senator says it’s a ‘typical anti-Semitic line’

Rashida Tlaib, US Democratic Rep. for Michigan's 13th congressional district, listens during a rally in Dearborn, Michigan, October 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Rashida Tlaib, US Democratic Rep. for Michigan’s 13th congressional district, listens during a rally in Dearborn, Michigan, October 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

WASHINGTON, DC (JTA) — US Senator Marco Rubio has been pushing a bill that would protect states that penalize Israel boycotters, spurring a freshman congresswoman to question his loyalties.

On Monday, the Florida Republican decried the statement from Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat of Michigan, as anti-Semitic.

“This ‘dual loyalty’ canard is a typical anti-Semitic line,” Rubio said on Twitter, quoting a tweet from the previous day by Tlaib, a Palestinian American. “#BDS isn’t about freedom & equality, it’s about destroying #Israel.”

BDS stands for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.

US Sen Marco Rubio speaks during a news conference in front of the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, on June 22, 2018, in Homestead, Florida. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Tlaib in the earlier tweet had attacked a Senate bill initiated by Rubio and Senator James Risch, an Idaho Republican, that incorporates four Middle East-related bills that languished in the last Congress. One of the measures protects states that pass anti-BDS bills, including those that ban work with contractors who boycott Israel, from lawsuits. Civil libertarians have decried the state laws as impinging on speech freedoms.

“They forgot what country they represent,” Tlaib said in her tweet. “This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality.”

Marco Rubio

@marcorubio

And if boycotting is constitutionally protected, then boycotting companies that boycott is also constitutionally protected

Rashida Tlaib

@RashidaTlaib

They forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away. https://twitter.com/SenSanders/status/1082013021214597120 

Tlaib was quoting a tweet by Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent of Vermont, that described Rubio’s bill as “absurd” at a time that the US government is shut down over President Donald Trump’s refusal to advance funding bills, as long as they do not include the more than $5 billion he is demanding for a border wall with Mexico.

Also weighing in on Tlaib’s tweet was the American Jewish Committee.

“Tell us more about dual loyalty, @RashidaTlaib,” AJC said in a tweet attached to a photo of the newly elected congresswoman embracing someone draped in the Palestinian flag.

AJC

@AJCGlobal

“It’s outrageous to imply dual loyalty because you disagree with a policy initiative,” AJC said in a followup tweet. “A new member of Congress has no place saying that four U.S. Senators don’t know which country they represent.”

 

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