Trending Topics:

Ro Khanna says he supports resolution condemning BDS because he doesn’t believe the movement will lead to a two-state solution or the recognition of Palestinian rights

News
on 19 Comments

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) told Mondoweiss that, while he doesn’t support criminalizing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), he doesn’t believe that “BDS will help achieve either a two state solution or the recognition of rights for Palestinians.”

Khanna is currently one of the one hundred seventy-four Democrats cosponsoring House Resolution 246 (H.Res.246), a bipartisan piece of legislation that affirms the U.S. government’s commitment to a two-state solution while condemning BDS as a movement that “promotes principles of collective guilt, mass punishment, and group isolation…”

Mondoweiss reached out to Khanna’s office inquiring why the congressman supports the resolution and he responded with the following statement:

“I oppose criminalizing the BDS-movement and have stayed off bills that do so or impose any penalty. The First Amendment is a key foundation of our country that we must protect. Nothing in the Schneider resolution that I cosponsored infringes on any American’s First Amendment right to protest the U.S. or any foreign country, and I advocated with other progressives to have that clarifying language included. I have supported numerous pieces of legislation that prevented any U.S. funds from being used towards the unlawful detention of Palestinian children and have stood up for the human rights of Palestinian children—but like Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and other progressive leaders, I do not believe BDS will help achieve either a two state solution or the recognition of rights for Palestinians. We should continue to work to find constructive ways to achieve peace and a resolution to the conflict.”

Like Khanna, a number of the resolution’s supporters have also pointed to its First Amendment protections but its critics believe that the political capital generated by the bill’s passage will be used to pass much more aggressive anti-BDS measures in the future. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) has tweeted that the bill is “unconstitutional” and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has introduced her own resolution to affirm Americans’ right to boycott foreign countries.

Khanna’s statement references H.R. 4391, the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act. That bill was introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) in 2017 and would have required the Secretary of State to certify annually that U.S. funds weren’t used by Israel to detain children. That bill ended up dying in a previous congressional session after obtaining 31 cosponsors, but McCollum reintroduced a similar piece of legislation this April: H.R. 2407. This version would amend the Foreign Assistance Act to block funding for the military detention of children in any country, including Israel. “Israel’s system of military juvenile detention is state-sponsored child abuse designed to intimidate and terrorize Palestinian children and their families,” McCollum has said of the legislation, “It must be condemned, but it is equally outrageous that U.S. tax dollars in the form of military aid to Israel are permitted to sustain what is clearly a gross human rights violation against children.” Khanna isn’t signed on as a cosponsor for H.R. 2407, but his office told Mondoweiss that he’s currently evaluating the bill as it’s changed since the last time it was introduced.

Since being elected to Congress in 2017, Khanna has distinguished himself as a progressive leader on foreign policy issues. Most notably he has become the legislative face of the campaign to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen. Earlier this year, the House approved a bill introduced by Khanna that would have cut off U.S. involvement from the conflict, but it was vetoed by President Trump.

H.Res.246 was just marked up by the House Foreign Affairs Committee and it’s expected that the House of Representatives will vote on the measure this week.

Michael Arria

Michael Arria is the U.S. correspondent for Mondoweiss.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

19 Responses

  1. eljay on July 23, 2019, 8:54 am

    … Khanna is currently one of the one hundred seventy-four Democrats cosponsoring House Resolution 246 (H.Res.246), a bipartisan piece of legislation … condemning BDS as a movement that “promotes principles of collective guilt, mass punishment, and group isolation…” …

    So what? The U.S. government routinely “promotes principles of collective guilt, mass punishment, and group isolation” (see Iran, North Korea, Iraq, Afganistan, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Libya, etc.). Shame on Khanna and the U.S. government for “applying a double standard” to and “singling out” Israel.

    • Citizen on July 24, 2019, 8:06 am

      When your own government does it, it’s not evil. That goes for all forms of imposition of collective guilt by actual economic or military force on the targeted collective group.

    • Misterioso on July 24, 2019, 10:22 am

      @eljay, et al

      Khanna lives in a dream world. The “two state” solution is dead in the water. Apart from being unworkable, it has long since been made irrelevant by “Israel.”

      • jon s on July 29, 2019, 3:25 am

        Gamal,
        Too bad that you repeat the unfounded allegations of Zionist agents planning bombs to “simulate Anti-semitism”. The Farhud in Iraq was not “simulated “. The Iraqi authorities effectively expelled the Jews.

      • Talkback on July 29, 2019, 2:49 pm

        jon s: “Too bad that you repeat the unfounded allegations of Zionist agents planning bombs to “simulate Anti-semitism”.”

        “unfounded”?

        The debate whether it was the Mossad has been the subject of lawsuits and inquiries in Israel.

        jon s: “The Iraqi authorities effectively expelled the Jews.”

        During the Fahoud, which was a mob riot against Jews? Many of the Jews who left returned.

        And in the 50s it was Israeli that airlifted them out of Iraq, because they chose to emigrate to Israel and give up Iraqi citizenship.

      • jon s on July 29, 2019, 4:23 pm

        Talkback,

        Unfounded? Yes , as in “bogus”.
        No, the Jews were not expelled during the Farhud, but a few years later. The Farhud destabilized and traumatized the community. They chose to emigrate to Israel after the Iraqi authorities effectively kicked them out.
        And they certainly didn’t return to Iraq.

      • Talkback on July 30, 2019, 12:10 am

        jon s: “Unfounded? Yes , as in “bogus”.”

        Strange that this was not only the main opionion of Iraqi Jews, but it has also been the subject of lawsuits and inquiries in Israel.

        So what was “unfounded at “bogus” about it?

        jon s. “They chose to emigrate to Israel after the Iraqi authorities effectively kicked them out.”

        They “chose to immigrate” AFTER they were “kicked out”?!? That’s not only false, but even a violation of temporal logic.

        First they chose to emigrate to Israel and went to Baghdad to be transported. Then the Israeli goverment delayed the whole process which created problems politically, economically and for domestic security. And then Iraq pushed the transportation company to maintain its daily quota of 500 Jews. So they weren’t “kicked out” at all by the Iraqi authorities.

        Hasbara seems to be in a constant flux. First “magic carpets”, than “ethnic cleansing” …:
        “The WOJAC [The World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries] figure who came up with the idea of “Jewish refugees” was Yaakov Meron, head of the Justice Ministry’s Arab legal affairs department. Meron propounded the most radical thesis ever devised concerning the history of Jews in Arab lands. He claimed Jews were expelled from Arab countries under policies enacted in concert with Palestinian leaders – and he termed these policies “ethnic cleansing.” Vehemently opposing the dramatic Zionist narrative, Meron claimed that Zionism had relied on romantic, borrowed phrases (“Magic Carpet,” “Operation Ezra and Nehemiah”) in the description of Mizrahi immigration waves to conceal the “fact” that Jewish migration was the result of “Arab expulsion policy.” In a bid to complete the analogy drawn between Palestinians and Mizrahi Jews, WOJAC publicists claimed that the Mizrahi immigrants lived in refugee camps in Israel during the 1950s (i.e., ma’abarot or transit camps), just like the Palestinian refugees.

        The organization’s claims infuriated many Mizrahi Israelis who defined themselves as Zionists. As early as 1975, at the time of WOJAC’s formation, Knesset speaker Yisrael Yeshayahu declared: “We are not refugees. [Some of us] came to this country before the state was born. We had messianic aspirations.”

        Shlomo Hillel, a government minister and an active Zionist in Iraq, adamantly opposed the analogy: “I don’t regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.”

        In a Knesset hearing, Ran Cohen stated emphatically: “I have this to say: I am not a refugee.” He added: “I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee.”

        The opposition was so vociferous that Ora Schweitzer, chair of WOJAC’s political department, asked the organization’s secretariat to end its campaign.”
        https://www.haaretz.com/1.5361803

        Historian Tom Segev stated in his book ‘1949: The First Israelis’:
        “Deciding to emigrate to Israel from own of the Arab countries was often a very personal decision, as it was in Europe. It was based on the particular circumstances of the individual’s life. They were not all poor, or ‘dwellers in dark caves and smoking pits,’ as poet Nathan Alterman put it. Nor were they always subject to persecution, repression or discrimination in their native lands. They emigrated for a variety of reasons just as the ones who had immigrated from Europe depending on the country, the time, the community, and the person.”

  2. gamal on July 23, 2019, 9:14 am

    “We should continue to work to find constructive ways to achieve peace and a resolution to the conflict.”

    Greenstein writes

    “Labour’s Pathetic Analysis of ‘Zionism’ Throws the Palestinians Under the Bus”

    which is about the Labour Anti-semitism saga, but seems to cover Khannas’ meaningless phrases,

    “What is most depressing about Labour’s new Web Page on Anti-Semitism is not that it gets most things wrong, which it does, nor that it indulges in what Salo Baron called the ‘lachrymose version of Jewish history’, but its clumsy, childish anti-intellectualism.

    By lachrymose I mean the tale of never ending woe, the Zionist fable that Jews were always persecuted, poor dears, non-stop for 2,000 years. They weren’t. For many of those years they ruled over others and occasionally suffered terribly for it but the Jewish experience in the Jewish diaspora was a mixed and rich one.

    It is also true that Jewish communities prospered in particular in Islamic countries where the oldest Jewish communities were to be found, such as in Iraq, until Israel and Zionism destabilised those countries. That was why, in Iraq and Morocco Zionist agents planted bombs in Jewish places to simulate anti-Semitism.
    In its childish simplicity coupled with a poverty of thought, Labour’s statement completely fails to place anti-Semitism in any form of context. It is a childish monologue of good people and bad people. It is the kind of history that would be rejected in a GCSE essay”

    https://azvsas.blogspot.com/2019/07/corbyns-latest-anti-semitism-proposals.html

  3. Eric on July 23, 2019, 9:16 am

    …condemning BDS as a movement that “promotes principles of collective guilt, mass punishment, and group isolation…”

    Isn’t that what the Zionist occupying entity has done to Palestinian civilians every single day since 1948?

  4. Donald on July 23, 2019, 10:09 am

    Very disappointing. And frankly, a load of horse manure. Even if he disagreed with BDS as a tactic for some reason ( I can’t think of a good one) he didn’t have to support this bill condemning it. Whether he wants to admit or not, he has just lined up with the enemies of Palestinian human rights.

    Why doesn’t he propose a bill condemning the blockade of Gaza, an actual example of murderous collective punishment?

    • echinococcus on July 23, 2019, 10:49 am

      Certainly “a load of horse manure” but “disappointing”, how so?
      A dog that barks doesn’t disappoint.
      Same for a Democrat who lines up with US Zionist Empire.

      • Donald on July 23, 2019, 12:25 pm

        Disappointing because he has been good on the issue of Yemen.

      • echinococcus on July 23, 2019, 2:30 pm

        Some guard dogs are trained to occasionally pretend to growl at their master. That’s the only way to make the voting booby continue to stay in the fold even when he knows better.

        There will always be some show-window Dims with atypical positions on selected points. Not all the same. Like an Ocasio who is Medicare-correct but LibZio-friendly or an Omar, fearless on Zionism but supporting the WW3 imperialist warmongering. They are needed to keep the boobies voting for the single party.

        Most of them (surely not the Fraud Sanders, though), are probably still believing the fairy tale of the poor little schoolteacher from Podunk who single-handedly changed the ownership of the Single Party and the Country from the ruling class to “the People”. If they didn’t, they would be the lowest criminals…

  5. Talkback on July 23, 2019, 6:44 pm

    Israel appeaser

  6. just on July 23, 2019, 7:59 pm

    “The House voted 398-17 in favor of a nonbinding resolution condemning efforts to boycott or economically isolate Israel over its policies toward Palestinians.

    The measure, which received overwhelming bipartisan support, faced pushback from a few progressive lawmakers — including representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib — who have been publicly supportive of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, a nonviolent campaign that aims to register protest against the country’s policies towards Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

    The resolution urges “Israelis and Palestinians to return to direct negotiations as the only way to achieve an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

    It was introduced in March, as Democratic lawmakers debated how to respond to tweets and comments by Omar that were criticized as being anti-Semitic.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2019/jul/23/trump-news-today-live-mueller-hearing-testimony-latest-updates

    And another thing: Why does Khanna still believe in a “two state solution”? Take off yer blinders, Ro!

  7. JustJessetr on July 23, 2019, 10:06 pm

    ““I oppose criminalizing the BDS-movement and have stayed off bills that do so or impose any penalty. The First Amendment is a key foundation of our country that we must protect. Nothing in the Schneider resolution that I cosponsored infringes on any American’s First Amendment right to protest the U.S. or any foreign country, and I advocated with other progressives to have that clarifying language included. I have supported numerous pieces of legislation that prevented any U.S. funds from being used towards the unlawful detention of Palestinian children and have stood up for the human rights of Palestinian children—but like Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and other progressive leaders, I do not believe BDS will help achieve either a two state solution or the recognition of rights for Palestinians. We should continue to work to find constructive ways to achieve peace and a resolution to the conflict.”

    Glad someone in congress has their head screwed on straight. Or maybe even 398 do. HR246 just passed!

  8. Citizen on July 24, 2019, 8:12 am

    The man’s obviously very aware of the power of the Israel Lobby, and this easily explains his inconsistent conduct and selective boxing of principles.

    On April 25, 2018, 57 members of the House of Representatives, led by Khanna, released a condemnation of Holocaust distortion in Ukraine and Poland. They criticized Poland’s new Holocaust law and Ukraine’s 2015 memory laws glorifying Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and its leaders, such as Roman Shukhevych.

    He’s mum on Israel’s new nationality law excluding 20% of its population. Mum on Nakba. Mum on Israel shooting peaceful protesters & journalists, etc.

  9. genesto on July 24, 2019, 12:56 pm

    I’m sure Khanna and Co. believe this bill will appease AIPAC for the moment while taking the pressure off them from the progressive base to address the Palestinian issue in a way that acknowledges and protects the human rights of the Palestinian people. Right on the first – wrong on the second. Supporting the mythical 2SS while condemning BDS will NOT pacify the progressive base. It will only serve to embolden it further to overhaul the corrupt Democratic Party establishment that still insists on pandering to the Israel lobby while helping to usher in Trump and his fascist regime.

  10. James Canning on July 24, 2019, 5:04 pm

    Is Khanna willing to help suppress free speech in the US, to benefit Israel? Apparently.

Leave a Reply