Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Congressional Resolutions Are Not Law But They Are Not Harmless

 

Ilhan Omar, a supporter of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement, has decided that the government needs to protect its citizens—from our government. House Resolution 496, passed last week, claimed that the government was going to stop citizens from boycotting! In fact, it states as much:

Whereas despite this tradition, governments and nongovernmental organizations alike have sought to criminalize, stigmatize, and delegitimize the use of boycotts in an attempt to stifle constitutionally protected political expression . . .

The language is quite odd, since I know of no government organization that has tried to “criminalize” boycotts, although there has been much promotion of stigmatizing and delegitimizing boycotts, specifically against Israel. The last I heard, those actions all fall under the free speech amendment.

The resolution also states that the House–

(1) affirms that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution;

(2) opposes unconstitutional legislative efforts to limit the use of boycotts to further civil rights at home and abroad; and

(3) urges Congress, States, and civil rights leaders from all communities to endeavor to preserve the freedom of advocacy for all by opposing antiboycott resolutions and legislation.

Let’s parse these statements to clarify their meaning. First, Americans don’t need a resolution to be able to boycott anything, anywhere, as long as they aren’t breaking the law. There are no efforts to limit boycotts, although the government and many agencies are discouraging them; the degree to which universities may want to limit BDS activities is up to the universities, not the government. In reality, Omar was trying to stop resolutions that would discourage boycotts against Israel.

Ironically (maybe) The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed an anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution unanimously on July 17 (two days before Omar’s resolution).

House Resolution 246

(1) opposes the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement) targeting Israel, including efforts to target United States companies that are engaged in commercial activities that are legal under United States law, and all efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel;

(2) affirms that the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement undermines the possibility for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by demanding concessions of one party alone and encouraging the Palestinians to reject negotiations in favor of international pressure;

(3) urges Israelis and Palestinians to return to direct negotiations as the only way to achieve an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;

(4) supports the full implementation of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-296); 128 Stat. 4075) and new efforts to enhance government-wide, coordinated United States-Israel scientific and technological cooperation in civilian areas, such as with respect to energy, water, agriculture, alternative fuel technology, civilian space technology, and security, in order to counter the effects of actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel; and

(5) reaffirms its strong support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states—a democratic Jewish State of Israel, and a viable, democratic Palestinian state—living side-by-side in peace, security, and mutual recognition.

So the Resolution for the anti-BDS Movement discourages not only boycotting Israel, but it states that resolutions to the Palestinian-Israeli problem might be hampered by this movement. Clearly Omar objects to it because it supports Israel, and her goal is to do whatever is in her power to harm Israel and the Jewish people.

Omar’s positions are disingenuous and misleading. The government is not delegitimizing boycotts—it is discouraging boycotts against Israel. The government is not threatening to take away the right to boycott anyone; it is not threatening to limit boycotting, although there was discussion about making it difficult for companies to boycott Israel, but it wasn’t pursued; the government isn’t threatening to take away the right to advocacy.

To back up Omar’s point that the U.S. has boycotted in the past, the resolution listed other times when the government boycotted governments, such as Germany or Japan. I don’t think I would equate boycotting Germany and Japan (a legitimate strategy in a time of war) with boycotting Israel (which is done to destroy a peaceful country).

So at best, Ilhan Omar is making up false arguments; at worst, she is simply lying to continue to pursue her anti-Semitic actions and rhetoric. If you need a reminder of all the comments she has made against Israel and the Jews, go here .

Omar’s actions and words are dangerous on multiple levels. First, she is trying to de-legitimize the actions of our government and accusing it of taking “unconstitutional” actions against our citizens. Second, she continues to try to damage the U.S. relationship with Israel; I’ve no doubt that she would like to sever the relationship completely and for the U.S. to treat the Palestinians differently. Third, she is trying to legitimize the BDS Movement as another way to harm Israel and the Jews.

Ultimately my concern is that Ilhan Omar continues to promote the perception that Israel is not legitimate and by association, neither are the Jews; there are plenty of other countries that agree with her. In these times, I don’t take our support for Israel for granted.

It’s also clear that her fellow Representatives aren’t going to stop her.

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There are 47 comments.

  1. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    I wonder if Omar’s resolution is aimed at colleges, universities, and pension funds. Those are quasi-governmental. A resolution condemning anti-Constitutional actions seems like a waste of ink, but I hope she does the 2nd Amendment next.

    • #1
    • July 22, 2019, at 11:37 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    DonG (View Comment):

    I wonder if Omar’s resolution is aimed at colleges, universities, and pension funds. Those are quasi-governmental. A resolution condemning anti-Constitutional actions seems like a waste of ink, but I hope she does the 2nd Amendment next.

    The only reason I think her primary focus was Congress is they had passed the “anti-” resolution the day before. But I’m sure she’d be happy to have anyone limited, @dong.

    • #2
    • July 22, 2019, at 11:45 AM PST
    • 1 like
  3. Stad Thatcher

    I think these resolutions are pretty much harmless, especially when they are clearly politically motivated. There may be examples, but I can’t of one that made any difference about anything . . .

    • #3
    • July 22, 2019, at 12:26 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Stad (View Comment):

    I think these resolutions are pretty much harmless, especially when they are clearly politically motivated. There may be examples, but I can’t of one that made any difference about anything . . .

    But these are different times, @stad. Many things have happened in the last couple of years that we would never have imagined.

    • #4
    • July 22, 2019, at 1:01 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    She is significantly involved in Somali politics. Her father was a war lord and they falsified their ID to gain admission under asylum rules. Their real name is Elmi and the Omar family were not related. She is an enemy agent.

    • #5
    • July 22, 2019, at 1:02 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    The one issue I didn’t bring up in the post was that she is, after all, a Muslim, and she dresses conservatively. I suspect more information will be coming out about her connections. A whole lot doesn’t add up . . .

    Can you refer me to a link on her ongoing Somali connections? Or is that mainly through her father?

    • #6
    • July 22, 2019, at 1:07 PM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Stad Thatcher

    Regardless of all the accusations leveled against her (Somali agent, married her brother, etc.) I’d like to know if there are government officials looking into them.

    • #7
    • July 22, 2019, at 2:18 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    and she dresses conservatively.

    For a muslim. Her rhetoric says otherwise. Her sympathies lie with every group hell-bent on the destruction of Israel, and her anti-American rhetoric implies our country isn’t far behind and is likely next.

     

    • #8
    • July 22, 2019, at 2:21 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. Front Seat Cat Member

    Susan – she is a junior freshman at the job. She has a big mouth and uses it. We have laws. Our laws, and common sense cancel out her big mouth and her racial and prejudiced stance against Israel and the Jewish community. We know where our president stands. We know where common sense stands. She and her other three mouthpieces will not prevail because of truth. 

    • #9
    • July 22, 2019, at 3:05 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. Stina Inactive

    Another perspective on this type of legislation:

    https://www.thefire.org/first-test-of-floridas-commitment-to-campus-free-speech-looms/

    I am not an anti-semite and I support Israel Zionism, but even some of the things I have to say run afoul of this law. Like the double standard that some of the biggest critics of American Nationalism are Zionists.

    And I believe a teacher (not involved in BDS) was fired because she refused to sign a document saying she would never participate in it in Texas. This isn’t conservative.

    I don’t like Omar at all and her motives are wrong (morally), but she stumbled on a constitutional truth in her broken state – this resolution sounds needed.

    • #10
    • July 22, 2019, at 4:18 PM PST
    • Like
  11. Barfly Member

    Ilhan Elmi (sometime Omar) is a snake. I can only suppose she was raised to despise the infidels and therefore finds it natural to lie. I’d add the suggestion that she finds it natural to conspire but she seems of limited intelligence, so I guess her to be a catspaw similar to Ms. Cortez. Whose hand is it, inside the puppet? Mr. Chakrabarti runs Ms. Cortez, but I’ve not seen any coverage of Elmi’s handlers.

    • #11
    • July 22, 2019, at 5:15 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Stina (View Comment):

    Another perspective on this type of legislation:

    https://www.thefire.org/first-test-of-floridas-commitment-to-campus-free-speech-looms/

    I am not an anti-semite and I support Israel Zionism, but even some of the things I have to say run afoul of this law. Like the double standard that some of the biggest critics of American Nationalism are Zionists.

    And I believe a teacher (not involved in BDS) was fired because she refused to sign a document saying she would never participate in it in Texas. This isn’t conservative.

    I don’t like Omar at all and her motives are wrong (morally), but she stumbled on a constitutional truth in her broken state – this resolution sounds needed.

    I have a couple of observations, Stina. I think that you’d find that the distinguishing factor with Zionists is that many of them are on the Left; they were socialists. They are still expressing the views that emerged after the World Wars that were anti-nationalistic against almost any country. I don’t agree with it, but I don’t know if it is a dominant belief of Zionists. It sounds like the teacher in Texas may have been fired unjustly, and she should fight the firing (and she is). I see her situation as an overreaction by Texas, and should be corrected; I agree the law should be changed. I’d be curious to know if this happened in any other state, or anything like it. For Omar to enact a resolution that suggests that this is a pervasive problem ofthe Federal government is misleading and disturbs me greatly. Since the teacher can fight her firing, she should. If we want to identify problems, let’s do it. Let’s not make it sound like it dominates the government. If we want to talk pervasive problems, I’d point to anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic actions by government officials that are not called out.

    • #12
    • July 22, 2019, at 5:21 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Ilhan Elmi (sometime Omar) is a snake. I can only suppose she was raised to despise the infidels and therefore finds it natural to lie. I’d add the suggestion that she finds it natural to conspire but she seems of limited intelligence, so I guess her to be a catspaw similar to Ms. Cortez. Whose hand is it, inside the puppet? Mr. Chakrabarti runs Ms. Cortez, but I’ve not seen any coverage of Elmi’s handlers.

    I don’t that she is contributing much to Congress, unless you count disruption and chaos. I definitely distrust her motives with her resolution, @barfly.

    • #13
    • July 22, 2019, at 5:24 PM PST
    • 1 like
  14. MarciN Member

    Susan, in the first extract you quote, I think the second paragraph shown as part of the resolution quote is actually yours. I think it needs to be unquoted. :-)

    • #14
    • July 22, 2019, at 5:25 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Susan, in the first extract you quote, I think the second paragraph shown as part of the resolution quote is actually yours. I think it needs to be unquoted. :-)

    Thanks so much, @marcin. Fixed!

    • #15
    • July 22, 2019, at 6:14 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    My apologies to @cm (Stina). On further review, several states have taken legal action to stop companies that boycott Israel from doing business with government agencies. There have also been actions against individuals. I need to point out, however, that there are better ways to deal with these issues; they should be legally challenged at the state level. Resolutions of this kind only serve to cast Israel in a poor light (since ultimately Israel will be blamed for the lawsuits, from the perspective of some people). Challenges to state law is the best way to address these problems.

    If people have thoughts on this issue, I’m open to your suggestions.

    • #16
    • July 22, 2019, at 6:34 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Stina Inactive

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    My apologies to @cm (Stina). On further review, several states have taken legal action to stop companies that boycott Israel from doing business with government agencies. There have also been actions against individuals. I need to point out, however, that there are better ways to deal with these issues; they should be legally challenged at the state level. Resolutions of this kind only serve to cast Israel in a poor light (since ultimately Israel will be blamed for the lawsuits, from the perspective of some people). Challenges to state law is the best way to address these problems.

    If people have thoughts on this issue, I’m open to your suggestions.

    From my understanding, AIPAC was behind these and they were launched during the government shutdown.

    Honestly, I didn’t have that big an issue with them on merit, but I was highly miffed that the same conservative pundits preaching at concerned conservatives over Google, Facebook, and MasterCard actions against conservatives and defending those companies’ rights gave such full throated support to these laws.

    It was rank and makes me question their loyalties, because they argued against government action defending conservative Americans while supporting government action where it benefited Israel.

    • #17
    • July 22, 2019, at 8:40 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. Zafar Member

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/texas-speech-pathologist-fired-sign-israel-palestine-pledge-anti-bds-intercept-a8688031.html

    From which:

    A speech pathologist at a Texas elementary school has sued after allegedly being forced out of her contract job at an elementary school for refusing to sign a mandatory pro-Israel pledge.

    …Explicitly, the certification she was mandated to sign pledged that Ms Amawai “does not boycott Israel,” and that she “will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract.” In addition, she must also pledge to refrain from any action “that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel or with a person or entity doing business in Israel,” or in the occupied West Bank, which the contract called “Israeli-controlled territory,”

    …The lawsuit Ms Amawi has filed against the school district and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, argues that the pledge violates her right to free speech, and that “Texas’s ban on contracting with any boycotter of Israel constitutes viewpoint discrimination that chills constitutionally-protected political advocacy in support of Palestine.”

    • #18
    • July 22, 2019, at 9:40 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  19. JosePluma Thatcher

    Zafar (View Comment):

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/texas-speech-pathologist-fired-sign-israel-palestine-pledge-anti-bds-intercept-a8688031.html

    From which:

    A speech pathologist at a Texas elementary school has sued after allegedly being forced out of her contract job at an elementary school for refusing to sign a mandatory pro-Israel pledge.

    …Explicitly, the certification she was mandated to sign pledged that Ms Amawai “does not boycott Israel,” and that she “will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract.” In addition, she must also pledge to refrain from any action “that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel or with a person or entity doing business in Israel,” or in the occupied West Bank, which the contract called “Israeli-controlled territory,”

    …The lawsuit Ms Amawi has filed against the school district and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, argues that the pledge violates her right to free speech, and that “Texas’s ban on contracting with any boycotter of Israel constitutes viewpoint discrimination that chills constitutionally-protected political advocacy in support of Palestine.”

    I know one of the attorneys for the State in that case; He admitted that the law was unconstitutional even though he agreed with the principle behind it.

    • #19
    • July 22, 2019, at 10:25 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. Stina Inactive

    JosePluma (View Comment):
    I know one of the attorneys for the State in that case; He admitted that the law was unconstitutional even though he agreed with the principle behind it.

    Yet we don’t pass laws demanding loyalty oaths to America…

    • #20
    • July 23, 2019, at 5:02 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Zafar (View Comment):

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/texas-speech-pathologist-fired-sign-israel-palestine-pledge-anti-bds-intercept-a8688031.html

    From which:

    A speech pathologist at a Texas elementary school has sued after allegedly being forced out of her contract job at an elementary school for refusing to sign a mandatory pro-Israel pledge.

    …Explicitly, the certification she was mandated to sign pledged that Ms Amawai “does not boycott Israel,” and that she “will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract.” In addition, she must also pledge to refrain from any action “that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel or with a person or entity doing business in Israel,” or in the occupied West Bank, which the contract called “Israeli-controlled territory,”

    …The lawsuit Ms Amawi has filed against the school district and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, argues that the pledge violates her right to free speech, and that “Texas’s ban on contracting with any boycotter of Israel constitutes viewpoint discrimination that chills constitutionally-protected political advocacy in support of Palestine.”

    I can’t argue with the injustice of this @zafar, as I said earlier. I’m very concerned.

    • #21
    • July 23, 2019, at 5:23 AM PST
    • Like
  22. Zafar Member

    It’s a slippery slope Susan. Today States limit this bit of freedoms of expression etc. If it stands it establishes precedent regarding limiting constitutional rights. What happens when States limit freedom of expression in a way that Conservatives don’t like in the future? I like Ilhan Omar, and I wouldn’t want limits on freedom of expression or loyalty oaths that purported to support her POV either.

    I guess the point is: this undermines the principles that safeguard your rights too. I think it does affect any dissenters from groupthink, and that is definitely going to be Conservatives sooner rather than later.

    • #22
    • July 23, 2019, at 5:56 AM PST
    • 1 like
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Zafar (View Comment):

    It’s a slippery slope Susan. Today States limit this bit of freedoms of expression etc. If it stands it establishes precedent regarding limiting constitutional rights. What happens when States limit freedom of expression in a way that Conservatives don’t like in the future? I like Ilhan Omar, and I wouldn’t want limits on freedom of expression or loyalty oaths that purported to support her POV either.

    I guess the point is: this undermines the principles that safeguard your rights too. I think it does affect any dissenters from groupthink, and that is definitely going to be Conservatives sooner rather than later.

    I think we’re on the same page, @zafar. It does concern me, no matter who is impeding on freedom of expression. If a protest is done non-violently and legally (without new laws drawn up to limit it), we shouldn’t be passing laws that are unconstitutional.

    • #23
    • July 23, 2019, at 7:02 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Valiuth Member

    Susan Quinn: It’s also clear that her fellow Representatives aren’t going to stop her.

    Stop her how? I assume the House will probably not vote to uphold her resolution, in which case they have stopped her. I also assume that the other resolution against BDS will make it to a floor vote and it will probably win (it did get unanimous support in committee). 

    • #24
    • July 23, 2019, at 7:05 AM PST
    • Like
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Stop her how? I assume the House will probably not vote to uphold her resolution, in which case they have stopped her.

    They passed her resolution.

    • #25
    • July 23, 2019, at 7:09 AM PST
    • Like
  26. Zafar Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    It’s a slippery slope Susan. Today States limit this bit of freedoms of expression etc. If it stands it establishes precedent regarding limiting constitutional rights. What happens when States limit freedom of expression in a way that Conservatives don’t like in the future? I like Ilhan Omar, and I wouldn’t want limits on freedom of expression or loyalty oaths that purported to support her POV either.

    I guess the point is: this undermines the principles that safeguard your rights too. I think it does affect any dissenters from groupthink, and that is definitely going to be Conservatives sooner rather than later.

    I think we’re on the same page, @zafar. It does concern me, no matter who is impeding on freedom of expression. If a protest is done non-violently and legally (without new laws drawn up to limit it), we shouldn’t be passing laws that are unconstitutional.

    So pro 496 or anti 496?

    • #26
    • July 23, 2019, at 8:14 AM PST
    • Like
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Zafar (View Comment):
    So pro 496 or anti 496?

    If she was interested in more than punishing Israel and the Jews, she should have made the argument for legislation. Better yet, it really is a states’ issue, not the federal government. I think her continual attacks on Israel and Jews make her sponsoring this sort of resolution or law questionable, because her credibility is questionable, IMHO.

    • #27
    • July 23, 2019, at 8:20 AM PST
    • 1 like
  28. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    She is a clear antisemite. Just like most of the left is today. Just like most of the world. 

    Being the Chosen People comes with a high price tag of being hated. Personally, I think it is because there is another team on the field, and it hates all that brings us closer to God.

    But, that is a faith statement. 

    • #28
    • July 23, 2019, at 9:17 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. Valiuth Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Stop her how? I assume the House will probably not vote to uphold her resolution, in which case they have stopped her.

    They passed her resolution.

    So are they passing the anti BDS resolution as well? 

    • #29
    • July 23, 2019, at 10:40 AM PST
    • Like
  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Stop her how? I assume the House will probably not vote to uphold her resolution, in which case they have stopped her.

    They passed her resolution.

    So are they passing the anti BDS resolution as well?

    Yes. But the anti-BDS is not just the opposite (from above)

    House Resolution 246

    (1) opposes the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement) targeting Israel, including efforts to target United States companies that are engaged in commercial activities that are legal under United States law, and all efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel;

    (2) affirms that the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement undermines the possibility for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by demanding concessions of one party alone and encouraging the Palestinians to reject negotiations in favor of international pressure;

    (3) urges Israelis and Palestinians to return to direct negotiations as the only way to achieve an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;

    (4) supports the full implementation of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-296); 128 Stat. 4075) and new efforts to enhance government-wide, coordinated United States-Israel scientific and technological cooperation in civilian areas, such as with respect to energy, water, agriculture, alternative fuel technology, civilian space technology, and security, in order to counter the effects of actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel; and

    (5) reaffirms its strong support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states—a democratic Jewish State of Israel, and a viable, democratic Palestinian state—living side-by-side in peace, security, and mutual recognition.

    • #30
    • July 23, 2019, at 10:45 AM PST
    • Like