If Rep. Rashida Tlaib wants to boycott Bill Maher’s show because he’s not a fan of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against Israel, does she want to boycott her own party as well?
It’s an interesting question. BDS, while supported by Tlaib, generally isn’t popular among Democrats.
They voted overwhelmingly to condemn it in the House of Representatives in July. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, during a speech in March, said: “We must also [be] vigilant against bigoted or dangerous ideologies masquerading as policy and that includes BDS.”
In short, Tlaib’s stance isn’t a popular position, even among her own people. Maher made sure she knew this in his return salvo to Tlaib, calling out “cancel culture” as a bonus.
“Some people have one move only: boycott. Cancel. Make-go-away,” Maher wrote in a tweet.
“But here’s the thing, the house voted 318 to 17 to condemn the #BDSmovement, including 93% of Dems. Does Tlaib want to boycott 93% of her own party?”
Here’s the tweet. (We must warn you, it includes a clip from Maher’s show that contains profanity. Viewer discretion is advised.)
Some people have one move only: boycott. Cancel. Make-go-away. But here’s the thing, the house voted 318 to 17 to condemn the #BDS movement, including 93% of Dems. Does Tlaib want to boycott 93% of her own party? pic.twitter.com/0QrPQmwwiw
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) August 21, 2019
In case you haven’t been following the drama, Maher had originally called out BDS — along with Tlaib’s anger over being denied entry to Israel on a political trip organized by an openly anti-Semitic group — on his Friday show.
“BDS is a bulls— purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class,” Maher said.
“It’s predicated on this notion, I think — it’s very shallow thinking — that the Jews in Israel, are mostly white, and the Palestinians are browner, so they must be innocent and correct, and the Jews must be wrong. As if the occupation came right out of the blue, that this completely peaceful people found themselves occupied,” he continued.
Instead, Maher said, BDS supporters wanted us to “forget about the intifadas and the suicide bombings and the rockets and how many wars.”
Another thing they want us to forget about: BDS’ anti-Semitic roots.
“Let me read Omar Barghouti, one of the cofounders of the [BDS] movement. His quote: ‘No rational Palestinian … would ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine,’” Maher said.
“So that’s where that comes from, this movement. Someone who doesn’t even want a Jewish state at all. Somehow, this side never gets presented in the American media.”
Tlaib wasn’t going to actually engage with this logic. Instead, she basically said Maher was canceled.
“Maybe folks should boycott his show,” she tweeted last week.
“I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom. This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn’t work then and it won’t now.”
Maybe folks should boycott his show.
I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom. This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn’t work then and it won’t now. https://t.co/Oa49ZVfrVN
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 17, 2019
Tlaib was retweeting Mehdi Hasan, a writer for The Intercept, who had criticized Maher’s show because it featured “an all-white panel featuring no Palestinians, no Arabs, no Muslims, no people of colour.”
Hasan apparently didn’t feel he needed to engage with the logic of Maher’s argument, simply noting that #MaherSoWhite.
It’s difficult to fathom the kind of mind of a woman who gets banned from a country because she supports a movement to boycott it out of existence, gets called out because that boycott movement was germinated from the seed of anti-Semitism, and then responds by calling for the boycott of an anti-BDS host who happens to be ethnically Jewish. (Maher is an atheist, but he identifies as half-Jewish.)
Then again, it might be a bit more difficult for Tlaib to boycott her own party. After all, they’ve been the ones running damage control for her.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.