Rashida Tlaib’s speech shames so-called ‘progressives’ who backed anti-BDS resolution

Rashida Tlaib
Ed Sykes

This week, as Israeli occupation forces demolished Palestinian homes and violently attacked peaceful protesters, the US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to condemn the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. And while a small number of congress members opposed the resolution, several so-called progressives backed it.

But Rashida Tlaib – the first ever Palestinian-American congresswoman – put all of the resolution’s backers to shame with a powerful statement in defence of free speech.

Tlaib said:

All Americans have… a constitutional right – guaranteed by the first amendment – to freedom of speech, to petition their government and to participate in boycotts. Speech in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad is protected by our first amendment.

And she stressed:

The right to boycott is deeply rooted in the fabric of our country. What was the Boston Tea Party but a boycott? Where would we be now without the boycott led by civil rights activists in the 1950s and 60s, like the Montgomery bus boycott and the United Farm Workers’ grape boycott?

She also noted numerous historical cases where people boycotted foreign countries which were abusing human rights:

Widespread disappointment with anti-BDS ‘progressives’

It wasn’t just Tlaib’s powerful speech that put anti-BDS ‘progressives’ to shame, though. Because Twitter was on hand to call out people like Ayanna Pressley, Ro Khanna, and Tulsi Gabbard for backing the resolution:


The anti-BDS resolution was an assault on free speech. It was also an attack on the non-violent movement of people suffering daily under a brutal occupation. So those so-called ‘progressives’ who voted to condemn BDS should hang their heads in shame. Those like Tlaib who stood up for freedom and human rights, meanwhile, deserve our full support.

Featured image via screenshot

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