Marco Rubio and Rashida Tlaib Get Into Twitter Battle Over Anti-Semitic BDS Movement and Free Speech

Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, as Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk, the U.S. representative to the anti-Islamic State coalition, testified before the committee. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian woman to ever be elected to Congress, makes no effort to hide her sour thoughts on Israel, so much so that she’s an admitted supporter of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, which is a boycott of any and all Israeli companies or goods that may flow therefrom.


Earlier this week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced legislation alongside Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that would allow state and local governments to boycott U.S. companies who engage in boycotts of Israel should they so choose. This, of course, didn’t sit well Tlaib, and took to Twitter to accuse anyone who voted for the bill of being more invested in Israel than the United States.

Interestingly, Tlaib also accused them of taking rights away.

“They forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality,” Tlaib wrote. “Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away.”

Tlaib seems to think that a government being able to boycott companies who refuse to do business with Israel should their elected members so choose is a depletion of the right to freedom of speech.

In circumstances where state and local governments were forced to boycott anti-Israel companies, she might have a clear cut point, but there may be complications when looking at a ground level elected body voted in by the people, and those people may not want their government doing business with anti-Israel organizations or businesses and corporations that help out anti-Israel organizations.


Rubio saw what was happening and immediately called out Tlaib’s tactic as anti-Semitic.

“This “dual loyalty” canard is a typical anti-Semitic line BDS isn’t about freedom & equality, it’s about destroying Israel,” tweeted Rubio.

“And if boycotting Israel is constitutionally protected, then boycotting companies that boycott Israel is also constitutionally protected,” he added.

Tlaib doubled down on her claim that was Rubio was doing was depriving business and corporations of free speech, and proceeded to make Rubio out to be a Republican without his priorities in order in regards to the shutdown.

“Sen. Rubio, it’s clear my earlier tweet was critical of U.S. Senators like yourself, who are seeking to strip Americans of their Constitutional right to free speech,” she tweeted.

“The American people need Trump and Republican Senators to focus on ending the shutdown instead of inventing controversy to distract from your inaction,” she added.


Slight but related digression: She wants to end Citizens United.

Ditching Tlaib, Rubio made it clear what the BDS movement was and why giving state and local governments the ability to boycott them if they so choose is important.

“The anti-Israel BDS campaign pressures companies to stop doing business in #Israel & banks & funds to divest of investments in Israel,” he tweeted. “SB1 allows local & state govt’s to boycott the boycotters by ending contracts with companies that give in to these Anti-Israel demands.”

He then called out any politician attempting to stop the bill as the ones trying to halt free speech, and supportive of the anti-semitic BDS movement.

“Opposition to our bill isn’t about free speech,” continued Rubio. “Companies are FREE to boycott Israel. But local & state governments should be FREE to end contracts with companies that do. Many claim they oppose BDS. But shielding BDS from counter-boycotts is de facto support of BDS.”



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