Rep. Rashida Tlaib is demanding viewers boycott Bill Maher’s HBO talk show after the leftist comedian devoted a segment of his Friday night program to repudiate the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment, Sanctions movement.
The BDS movement supported by some congressional Democrats is “a bullshit purity test,” Maher quipped, drawing applause from the studio audience.
“BDS is a bullshit purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class,” he continued. “It’s predicated on this notion — I think it’s very shallow thinking — that the Jews in Israel are mostly white and the Palestinians are browner, so they must be innocent and correct and the Jews must be wrong.”
Lawmakers who criticized Israel disregard Islamic terrorism, Maher exclaimed.
“As if the occupation came right out of the blue, that this completely peaceful people found themselves occupied,” he said. “Forget about the intifadas and the suicide bombings and the rockets and how many wars.”
“Let me read Omar Barghouti, one of the co-founders of the movement,” Maher added. “His quote: ‘No rational Palestinian … would ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.’ So that’s where that comes from, this movement, someone who doesn’t even want a Jewish state at all. Somehow this side never gets presented in the American media. It’s very odd.”
Maher’s remarks were in response to the Israeli government’s announcement denying entry to Tlaib and her anti-Semitic Democrat colleague Ilhan Omar for their advocacy of the BDS movement following an appeal from President Trump.
Israeli passed legislation in 2017 outlawing those who support international calls to boycott Israel from entering the country.
Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan insinuated “Liberal” Maher is racist for “[railing] against BDS, Palestinians and Omar/Tlaib with an all-white panel featuring no Palestinians, no Arabs, no Muslims, no people of colour,” prompting Tlaib to fire back.
“Maybe folks should boycott his show,” Tlaib retorted.
The Muslim congresswoman, who has compared Israel to Nazis Germany, argued criticism of the BDS movement is no different than the controversy surrounding boycotts of South Africa’s apartheid regime in the 1970s and 1980s.
“I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom,” the lawmaker wrote. “This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn’t work then and it won’t now.”
The Israeli government reversed its decision prohibiting Tlaib from entering the Jewish state Friday after the Democrat lawmaker penned a letter to Interior Minister Arye Deri repealing the ban.
In her letter, she argued the government should permit her entry on humanitarian grounds, explaining she intended to visit her relatives while in the West Bank, including her 99-year-old grandmother.
After Deri granted permission, Tlaib slammed Israel for being a racist and “oppressive” nation and canceled her visit.
“Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother’s heart,” she said in a statement. “Silencing me with treatment to make me feel less-than is not what she wants for me — it would kill a piece of me that always stands up against racism and injustice.”
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