Home>Congress>Watson Coleman votes no on House resolution opposing Israel boycott movement

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing)

Watson Coleman votes no on House resolution opposing Israel boycott movement

Congresswoman was only member of NJ delegation to oppose measure on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement

By Nikita Biryukov, July 24 2019 10:40 am

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Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) was the lone New Jersey vote against a bipartisan House resolution opposing international efforts to boycott Israel.

The resolution was in opposition to the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Watson Coleman was one of 17 to vote against the measure, which passed the House with 398 affirmative votes.

Among the other House members who voted with Watson Coleman was Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), who has drawn fire for invoking anti-Semitic tropes in her criticism of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group.

Earlier this month, Omar introduced a resolution affirming that economic protests like those employed by proponents of the BDS movement are constitutionally protected.  Watson Coleman is a cosponsor of Omar’s resolution.

Israel has viewed the movement as a threat.

Three of the other no votes came from members of the “squad,” a four-person group of first-term congresswomen who fall to the left of the Democratic party’s mainstream.  The fourth member of the group, Rep. Alyana Pressley (D-Massachusetts), voted in favor of the resolution.

The “squad” has won national attention after President Donald Trump attacked them.  Watson Coleman was at a Trenton press conference on Tuesday to criticize Trump for what some viewed as racist remarks.

Though the House measure passed Tuesday does little to stop the BDS movement, New Jersey has a law on the books that does a little more.

In 2016, New Jersey overwhelmingly passed a law that banned pension investments in firms supporting the BDS movement. Watson Coleman had already left the legislature at the time.

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