The World Jewish Congress on Sunday, Aug. 18, condemned Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for suggesting a boycott of Bill Maher’s HBO show after he denounced the international movement to boycott Israel.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, in a news release, railed against Tlaib’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and found her call to boycott Maher’s show “deeply disturbing.”

“It is outrageous that Tlaib, who has repeatedly deployed anti-Semitic tropes, would promote the boycott of the only democracy in the Middle East and the one nation that fully respects human rights and guarantees freedom for Muslims, Christian, and Jews,” Lauder said.

“Serious questions need to be asked about Tlaib’s motivation in supporting the extremist BDS Movement, which is allied with terrorists and is not shy about its ultimate aim of destroying Israel,” he continued.

Tlaib’s suggestion to boycott Maher’s show came after the HBO host called the BDS movement a “(expletive) purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class” during his show “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday.

“It’s predicated on this notion, I think—it’s very shallow thinking—that the Jews in Israel, mostly white, and the Palestinians are browner, so they must be innocent and correct, and the Jews must be wrong. As if the occupation came right out of the blue, that these completely peaceful people found themselves occupied,” he added.

In response, Tlaib suggested that “folks should boycott his show.” “I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom. 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,” she wrote.


Lauder said that World Jewish Congress finds “it concerning that a member of the U.S. Congress would lobby for BDS and so easily suggest that Maher’s show should be boycotted simply because he expressed an opinion with which she disagrees.”

The House voted in July for legislation to oppose the BDS movement, and passed the measure in a 398-17 vote. Tlaib and Omar, who became the first Muslim women sworn into Congress in January, were among those who voted against the measure.

Last week, they were denied entry into Israel over their support for the BDS movement.

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