- The Washington Times
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Late-night comedian Bill Maher on Wednesday dismissed Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s call for a boycott against his show.

“Some people have one move only: boycott. Cancel. Make-go-away,” the HBO host tweeted. “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?”

Ms. Tlaib had suggested earlier that people boycott Mr. Maher’s show “Real Time” after he criticized the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel during Friday’s episode.

“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,” Mr. Maher said on the show. “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.”

The comedian 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 out of protest.

Ms. Tlaib responded to Mr. Maher’s initial criticism in a tweet Saturday, saying, “maybe folks should boycott his show.”

“I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom,” she wrote. “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..”

Ms. Tlaib is one of the 17 Democrats mentioned by Mr. Maher who voted last month against a House resolution condemning the BDS movement, which the congresswoman characterized as an attack on the First Amendment.

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