Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Tuesday rejected criticism from Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib about a bipartisan pro-Israel bill he has co-sponsored.
“We don’t have a better ally than Israel,” the West Virginia senator told Fox News’ America’s Newsroom. "We’ve never had a better ally. We don’t have a better economic trading partner than Israel.”
The legislation would punish companies that take part in the "Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions" (BDS) global movement against Israel, which seeks to pressure the Jewish state through economic and other means.
Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, tweeted about the bill’s supporters that "They forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away."
Manchin described the bill as a rebuke to anti-Semitism in the BDS movement.
“Anti-Semitism can’t be tolerated in any way, shape, or form,” he said. “I’m going to defend Israel in every way and every time I can.”
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, another co-sponsor of the bill, accused Tlaib of using a “typical anti-Semitic line” by suggesting “dual loyalty” for those supporting the bill and pointed out that “if boycotting #Israel is constitutionally protected, then boycotting companies that boycott #Israel is also constitutionally protected.”
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