‘BDS Is a Bullsh*t Purity Test’ for Democrats: Bill Maher Rants Against Boycott Israel Movement


Comedian Bill Maher lashed out at the Boycott Israel movement and its popularity among some progressive Democrats, saying “BDS is a bullshit purity test” within the party.

His comments came after a days-long public furor over the planned visit to Israel and Palestine by Muslim Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.), who are vocal BDS supporters. Their visit was foiled after the Israeli government backtracked on its initial approval a month ago and decided to block the pair from entering after President Donald Trump publicly encouraged the country to do so. (Israel later flip-flopped once more, to allow the Congresswomen in, but both Tlaib and Omar ultimately chose not to go.)

Maher, not holding back, slammed the boycott efforts as mere virtue signaling.

“BDS is a bullshit purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class,” he said, to both cheers and jeer. “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.”

“Let me read one of the cofounders of the [BDS] movement, Omar Barghouti. His quote: “No rational Palestinian would ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.’ So that’s where that comes from, this movement. Someone who doesn’t even want a Jewish state at all. Somehow, this side never gets presented in the American media.”

Maher’s quote above comes from a longer video where Barghouti offers more context about his thoughts on Israel and Palestine. And contrary to Maher’s claim, the mainstream US press routinely covers the BDS movement, including this critical New York Times look at its rhetoric and motivations from just two weeks ago. And that same Barghouti quote appeared in an anti-BDS op-ed in the New York Times in January 2018.

“I think it’s absolutely become one of these litmus tests inside inside the hard progressive movement now,” Republican strategist Rick Wilson told Maher.

“Congresswoman Omar has said things like, ‘It’s all about the Benjamins,’ ‘Israel has hypnotized the world,’ ‘May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.'” Maher pointed out. “She apologized for it, but it’s out there: Jews control the world, control the money. I can see why they don’t get a hero’s welcome” in Israel, he concluded.

Watch the video above, via HBO.

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