Democrats Throw BDS and the ‘Squad’ Under the Bus

By: Noah Rothman

Outlet: Commentary Magazine

Date: July 24, 2019

Three hundred ninety-eight out of 432 seated members of the Democrat-led House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to condemn the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement, an amalgam of anti-Zionist interests that advocates for the delegitimization and ostracization of all Israeli institutions. It was a vote that Democrats would not have had to take but for the upstart progressives in their midst. The party’s progressive House freshmen have made a name for themselves by pushing their caucus to the left on a series of issues, one of which is support for America’s strategic alliance with Israel. They pushed too far.

Last week, Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib—two members of the quadrumvirate its members refer to as the “squad”—introduced a resolution backing BDS under the auspices of supporting the right of anyone to boycott anything. This cover story was illustrative of how unpopular their attempt to legitimize BDS was. Twenty-seven states have adopted measures opposing the boycott of Israeli goods or imposing costs on institutions that comport with BDS’s demands. This March, Gallup found that 59 percent of American adults sympathize with Israel in its conflict with the Palestinian Authority. Only 21 percent backed the entities in Gaza and the West Bank. Although this represents a modest decline in support for Israel from 2018, pro-Israel sentiment remains palpable among a majority of Republicans and independents and a plurality of Democrats. Only among self-described “liberal Democrats” has sympathy for Israel collapsed to a virtually non-existent 3 percent.