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update deskBoycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS)

Biden campaign to host state Democratic lawmaker who opposes anti-BDS measures

Michigan state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud called laws to combat BDS a “complete and unilateral infringement” on First Amendment rights.

Michigan state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud. Source: Screenshot.
Michigan state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud. Source: Screenshot.

The presidential campaign of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is scheduled to host a Democratic National Convention virtual watch party on Monday night with Michigan state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, who has expressed opposition to government measures to combat the anti-Israel BDS movement and has accused Israel of “well-documented human rights violations.”

In 2018, Hammoud, who is the first Arab-American and Muslim to represent Michigan’s 15h district, called laws to combat BDS a “complete and unilateral infringement” on First Amendment rights.

“This isn’t about Palestine,” he told The Arab American News. “This is about having the right to peacefully protest through BDS means on any issue.”

In response to Israel blocking entry last year to Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who support and have advocated for BDS, Hammoud said, “Trying to shield some of the most vocal critics of the [Trump] administration’s participation in ongoing and well-documented human rights violations will further delay the possibility of any just resolutions to both the ongoing humanitarian crises and the lack of Palestinian self-determination.”

The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment over whether it agrees with Hammoud’s views on Israel.

Michigan has the third-largest number of Arab-American residents after California and New York—the only state where Arabs account for more than 1 percent of the population.

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