- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2019

Rep. Rashida Tlaib fired back at late-night comedian Bill Maher’s criticism of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, suggesting that people should exercise their First Amendment rights and boycott his show.

Mr. Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time,” sparked debate after Friday night’s live episode when he stated that the BDS movement is a “bulls– purity test” by “people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class.”

He was responding to the news that Israel had banned Ms. Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar, both Democrats, from entering the country due to their support of the BDS movement. Ms. Tlaib was later told she could enter Israel on humanitarian grounds to visit her sick grandmother in the West Bank, but she refused the offer Friday out of protest.

Mr. Maher declared Friday that support for the BDS movement is based on “shallow thinking.”

“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,” he said. “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.”

On Twitter, Ms. Tlaib defended her boycott of Israel as a form of free speech and slammed Mr. Maher for trying to discredit it, saying “maybe” people should respond by boycotting his show.

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