Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Olson Acts To Condemn Anti-Semitism

May 15, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC– Rep. Pete Olson (Tx-22) today acted to force a vote on legislation condemning anti-Semitism and supporting Israel. Anti-Semitism in the form of a troubling Boycott, Sanction, and Divestment (BDS) movement is on the rise. This punitive BDS movement seeks to prevent individuals, private companies and even entire countries from doing business with Israeli firms. House Democrats are blocking a vote on the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act, a package of bills developed to show American support for Israel and reject this movement. In order to force a vote on this bill, Olson and 159 of his colleagues signed Rep. Brian Mast’s (FL-18) discharge petition on the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act. A discharge petition is a tool that can force a vote on a bill. It requires 218 House members to sign on to trigger a vote.

“Israel is one of America’s closest friends, a staunch ally and the only democracy in the Middle East.” Rep. Pete Olson said. “The BDS movement’s ultimate goal is to exclude, isolate, and delegitimize Israel.  Support for Israel should never be partisan. Sadly anti-Semitic rhetoric has not been fully rejected by House Democrats.  I urge all of my colleagues to sign this petition and send a strong message to the world that America rejects this kind of hatred and anti-Semitism.”

The Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act includes four provisions:

  • A critical Israel security assistance bill that passed the House last Congress
  • A U.S.-Jordan defense cooperation bill that passed the House last Congress
  • A Syria sanctions bill that passed the House this Congress
  • The Combatting BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Act of 2019, which lends support to states that choose not to contract with companies that boycott Israel

This package of bills passed the U.S. Senate with a bipartisan supermajority.

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Media Contact: Cate Cullen
202-225-5951