Rubio: 'Significant Number of Senate Democrats Now Support BDS'

Sen. Marco Rubio
Sen. Marco Rubio / Getty Images
January 7, 2019

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) tweeted Monday a "significant [number] of Senate Democrats" support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Rubio made the charge while hitting Senate Democrats for blocking a bill that would allow local and state governments to not do business with organizations participating in the BDS movement. BDS is a global boycott campaign against the Jewish state that the Anti-Defamation League considers an insidious effort to delegitimize the country.

Senate Democrats have said they don't want to vote on bills until the government shutdown is brought to an end, but Rubio said that was an excuse.

"The shutdown is not the reason Senate Democrats don’t want to move to Middle East Security Bill," Rubio tweeted. "A huge argument broke out at Senate Dem meeting last week over BDS. A significant # of Senate Democrats now support & Dem leaders want to avoid a floor vote that reveals that."

Pro-BDS Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) attacked Rubio's legislation and any senators supporting it for having "forgot what country they represent." Rubio responded by suggesting her language reeked of a longtime anti-Semitic canard: accusing Israel supporters of dual loyalties.

Rubio also charged Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) with lying about his legislation, saying it didn't punish political activity but rather protected the rights of local and state governments to boycott BDS participants.

No Senate Democrats are on record as supporting BDS.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) slammed the BDS movement in remarks last year in front of AIPAC, calling it a "profoundly biased campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel."

"While Iran publicly executes its citizens, Turkey jails its journalists, scores of Arab nations punish homosexuality with imprisonment and torture, why does BDS single Israel out alone for condemnation?" Schumer said. "When there is such a double standard, when the world treats everybody one way and the Jew or the Jewish state another way, there's only one word for it: anti-Semitism! Let us call out the BDS movement for what it is."