First public boycott of Israel by a US congresswoman gets overwhelming support

US congresswoman Ilhan Omar
Afroze Zaidi-Jivraj

US congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar has made history in more ways than one. And in a recent interview with Muslim Girl, Omar revealed her support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Since then, she’s received overwhelming support. But she has also faced a backlash from right-wing and pro-Israel voices in the US.

Making history

On a personal note, Omar’s track record has continued to impress me. Rather than just being a tick-box for representation, her congressional win is looking like a genuine gain for progressive politics.

In particular, Omar’s stance makes her the first ever member of Congress to publicly support a boycott of Israel:

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Right-wing outrage

Voices on the right, however, weren’t happy:

In response to their outrage, though, Omar received overwhelming support through the hashtag #IStandWithIlhan:

Democracy

Many of Omar’s supporters pointed out that a boycott of Israel is not just a legitimate pressure tactic, but also a vital expression of the democratic freedom enshrined in the US constitution:

Walking the walk

Omar has already proven herself as a political candidate. But more than that, as a Somali-American, a hijab-wearing Muslim woman, and a refugee, she’s an effective role model for many people. Citizens from disenfranchised backgrounds, for example, see a representation of themselves in her:

A petition for Americans to show support for the congresswoman-elect is also doing the rounds:

As far as US politicians go, especially in recent years, Omar is unique in paving the way for revolutionary change. And many people are now desperately hoping (and expecting) for more good things to come.

Get Involved!

– Tweet #IStandWithIlhan to support Ilhan Omar.

– Learn more about the BDS movement and see how you can show solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

– Take action with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

– See previous Canary articles on Palestine and Israel.

– Support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.

Featured image via Flickr/ Lorie Shaull

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