House Democrats who support boycotts of Israel are mum on whether they back similar economic pressure campaigns against Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
The Washington Free Beacon on Thursday reached out to Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), and Cori Bush (Mo.) to see if they favor a global boycott campaign against Afghanistan or if they support cutting off financial aid to the country in light of its takeover by a terrorist group. The lawmakers did not respond to requests for comment.
The silence is noteworthy considering that the three congresswomen have all advocated for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a global campaign to economically isolate the Jewish state. They have also backed efforts to cut foreign aid to Israel, citing concerns about the Israeli government's human rights record and treatment of Palestinians.
While Omar declined to comment on whether she supports a boycott of the Taliban, she has publicly opposed U.S. economic sanctions against the Iranian government.
Omar, Tlaib, and Bush have repeatedly praised the BDS movement.
Omar tweeted in January that "BDS opposes Israel's denial of Palestinian rights & dignity" and argued that Americans "should support this nonviolent movement."
Tlaib said that the boycott campaign against Israel is "a form of freedom of speech," adding that "people want to dismiss it because they're trying to say it's anti-Semitism."
Tlaib also said she would be eager to join boycott campaigns against any Arab country that violates human rights, saying, "If there was an economic boycott movement around Saudi Arabia, I would be the first to sign up for it."
While running for Congress last year, Bush defended the BDS movement and economic pressure campaigns as more effective than free speech. She later deleted the defense from her campaign website but has not commented on whether she changed her opinion.
"In these times, it is important to be specific with our language and direct in the actions we take. In our current geopolitical economy, money talks far louder than speech alone," she wrote. "This is why nonviolent actions like the BDS movement are so important—and why the effort to mischaracterize and demonize the BDS movement by its opponents is so urgent."
The lawmakers may not be able to stay silent about Taliban financing for long. Congress is scheduled to return next month to work on the 2022 budget, which will include foreign assistance to Afghanistan, the top foreign recipient of U.S. aid.