Democrats block Senate bill on Israel boycotts, citing United States government shutdown

Rashida Tlaib and Jan Schakowsky

Democrat Rashida Tlaib Blasted for Antisemitic Tweet ‘They Forgot What Country They Represent’ Chip Somodevilla Getty7 Jan 2019

In an angry response to Rubio, Democratic Sen. "A significant [number] of Senate Democrats now support #BDS & Dem leaders want to avoid a floor vote that reveals that". His office also issued a press release noting that the Democratic-controlled Senate continued to pass bills amid the 2013 federal government shutdown, which was more severe and affected more workers. "We must restore services to the American people and address the plight of the more than 800,000 federal employees who are being denied pay and facing mounting bills", the senators wrote.

In the middle of a government shutdown, the Senate leadership's first order of business in the 116th Congress is not legislation to reopen the government.

Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is certainly making an impression in her first few days in the House of Representatives. "This is the US where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality". BDS is a global boycott campaign against the Jewish state that the Anti-Defamation League considers an insidious effort to delegitimize the country. A Woodstock-style concert was canceled and some companies stopped offering services in the West Bank settlements.

The BDS movement, modeled after the South African anti-apartheid movement, calls for the boycott of Israel to pressure it into "complying with worldwide law" by ending its occupation of Palestinian territories and recognizes Palestinian citizens' rights to full equality.

Some Republicans accused Democrats of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians, which they see as anti-Semitic.

Opponents say Rubio's measure infringes on free speech. Sen.

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The Florida senator also rebutted Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) after the socialist claimed the bill "punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity". Last week, seven House Republicans voted with Democrats on a package of bills to reopen the government without an immediate resolution on the wall. "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".

The vote - the first roll call of the new session - came on a package of bipartisan bills related to U.S. support for Israel and Jordan and new sanctions against the Syrian regime.

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told fellow Democrats he will vote to block debate on the measure until McConnell agrees to take up House-passed bills to reopen the closed government departments, according to a senior Senate Democratic aide. As everyone who follows local, national, or worldwide politics knows, Davis lost her award because of pro-Israel interests that seem to rise up in coordinated opposition to anyone or any group that dares to utter a sympathetic word about Palestine, much less identify Israel as an apartheid state.

"Any contention that the bill infringes upon First Amendment rights is simply wrong", said AIPAC's Marshall Wittman by email.

But the most controversial part is a section authorizing state and local governments to refuse to do business with companies that boycott Israel or Israeli-linked corporations to protest the country's occupation of Palestinian territory.

The majority leader said the Democratic objections to negotiating funding for the president's requested wall at the border with Mexico amounted to a "partisan tantrum".

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