Ilhan Omar Told Jewish Voters She Opposed BDS During Election

Omar now a co-sponsor of pro-BDS legislation

• July 18, 2019 10:45 am


Rep. Ilhan Omar's (D., Minn.) backing of pro-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) legislation in the House comes about a year after she told Jewish voters in her district she viewed the anti-Israel movement as counterproductive to peace efforts.

Omar signed on as a cosponsor for a resolution supporting the right to boycott Israel, saying the United States "must support efforts to end the occupation and achieve two-state solution."

"We cannot simultaneously say we want peace, then openly oppose peaceful means to hold our allies accountable," Omar said.

Speaking last summer to Jewish voters in her district during a Democratic primary debate, however, Omar said she opposed BDS because it would hurt efforts to achieve peace in Israel.

"I believe right now with the BDS movement, it’s not helpful in getting that two-state solution," Omar said from Beth El Synagogue. "I think the particular purpose for [BDS] is to make sure that there is pressure, and I think that pressure really is counteractive."

She also said during the debate that BDS "stops the dialogue."

"In order for us to have a process of getting to a two-state solution, people have to be willing to come to the table and have a conversation about how that is going to be possible and I think that stops the dialogue," Omar said. "I want to make sure that we are furthering policies and advocating for things that get people closer to having that conversation."

Her full remarks at the debate, which was live-streamed on Facebook by TC Jewfolk, can be viewed above.

Omar's reversal on BDS came almost immediately after she was elected last November and was celebrated by anti-Israel advocates.

Omar on Wednesday compared the efforts to boycott Israel to actions taken against Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.