The BDS Blow-Up: Liner Notes

I have a midday column up at The Federalist, “Far-Left Bucks Bipartisan Consensus To Back Anti-Israel Boycott.” It covers the House vote to condemn the BDS movement, over the objections of “squad” members like Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib — a story which got some, but not big play yesterday evening.

This is one of those “tough to do breaking news” columns. Only after I submitted the piece was it reported that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voted with Omar and Tlaib, while Rep. Ayanna Pressley broke ranks with the “squad.” AOC’s comments are a multi-layered onion of dumb:

“Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday that BDS is ‘a tough issue, especially for constituencies back home,’ but told BuzzFeed News that ‘ultimately it comes down to protecting free speech. And my concern with being overly punitive on nonviolent forms of protest is that it forces people into other channels and I would hate to be a part of, you know, paving that kind of path.”‘

First, as my column explains, the resolution in no way encroaches on the right to free speech; there is no way AOC would say this about a resolution condemning President Trump’s rhetoric. Second, a non-binding resolution is the opposite of “overly punitive.” Third, mere criticism does not force people to make like Palestinian terrorists.

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