The World Jewish Congress (WJC) finds it deeply disturbing that Rep. Rashida Tlaib would demonstrate disregard for freedom of speech by suggesting a boycott of Bill Maher’s HBO show after the popular television host denounced the anti-Semitic Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement seeking to delegitimize the Jewish state.
“It is outrageous that Tlaib, who has repeatedly deployed anti-Semitic tropes, would promote the boycott of the only democracy in the Middle East and the one nation that fully respects human rights and guarantees freedom for Muslims, Christian and Jews. Serious questions need to be asked about Tlaib’s motivation in supporting the extremist BDS Movement, which is allied with terrorists and is not shy about its ultimate aim of destroying Israel," said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder.
“The WJC fully supports the constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech and has borne witness to the historic horrors associated with boycotts and the suppression of free speech. Adolf Hitler infamously boycotted Jewish-owned businesses and worked to ban those in the entertainment and media industries who were critical of the Nazi party. After annexing Austria in 1938, Hitler quickly targeted for censure the Kabarett satirical reviews renowned for their expression of independent thought. We Jews know what boycotts can lead to. We find it concerning that a member of the U.S. Congress would lobby for BDS and so easily suggest that Maher’s show should be boycotted simply because he expressed an opinion with which she disagrees," Lauder said.