- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 17, 2019

Comedian and HBO host Bill Maher spoke out Friday against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, calling it “a bulls—- purity test” for fellow liberals.

The host of “Real Time with Bill Maher” made the comment during a live episode of his weekly program in light of Israel recently banning two U.S. congresswomen from entering the country over their support of the international BDS movement.

“BDS is a bulls—- purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class,” said Mr. Maher.

“It’s predicated on this notion, I think it’s very shallow thinking — that the Jews in Israel, 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. Forget about the intifadas and the suicide bombings and the rockets and how many wars,” he said.

Israel on Thursday banned Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, both Democrats, from entering the country due to their support of the BDS movement. Staunch critics of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians, the lawmakers had planned to visit Jerusalem and several cities in the Israeli-occupied West Bank this weekend before being barred.

Ms. Tlaib was subsequently told she could enter Israel to visit her 90-year-old grandmother in the West Bank, but she balked Friday and said she would not.

“Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me,” Ms. Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, said on Twitter. “It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in—fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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