Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) compared the boycott movement of Israel to the American boycott of Nazi Germany.
Tlaib, the freshman congresswoman of Palestinian Arab origin, made the remarks during a floor speech on Tuesday in opposition to the House resolution declaring opposition to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Fox News reported.
Tlaib said that as the “daughter of Palestinian immigrants,” she cannot stand seeing restrictions on the right to “boycott the racist policies of the government and state of Israel.”
“The right to boycott is deeply rooted in the fabric of our country,” she said. “What was the Boston Tea Party but a boycott? Where would we be now without the boycott led by the civil rights activists in the 1950s and 60s like the Montgomery bus boycott and the United Farm Workers Grape boycott?”
She then pivoted to the history of Americans boycotting foreign government, saying, “Americans boycotted Nazi Germany in response to dehumanization, imprisonment, and genocide of Jewish people.”
“In the 1980s, many of us in this very body boycotted South African goods in the fight against apartheid. Our right to free speech is being threatened with this resolution,” she added. “It sets a dangerous precedent because it attempts to delegitimize a certain people's political speech and to send a message that our government can and will take action against speech it doesn't like.”
The anti-BDS resolution was ultimately approved by an overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives, with 398 lawmakers voting in favor and 17 against.
This is not the first time that Tlaib has made controversial comments regarding Israel.
Tlaib claimed in an interview in May that Palestinian Arabs living in the British Mandate prior to the establishment of the State of Israel “provided” a safe haven to Jews after the Holocaust.
Many Republicans condemned Tlaib’s remarks, including President Donald Trump who accused her of anti-Semitism.
She has also backed BDS and, when asked in a past television interview whether she would vote against military aid to Israel when she goes to Congress, replied “absolutely.”
Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, another Muslim congresswoman who has caused uproars with anti-Israel remarks, are planning a visit to Israel in several weeks.
Israel's Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer said last week that Israel will allow the two congresswomen to enter the country “out of respect for the US Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America.”