House candidate Yuh-Line Niou said Wednesday she would vote “no” on any pro-Israel resolution opposing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state.
“I would not vote for anything opposing the BDS movement’s right to exist,” Niou, a state assemblywoman, said during PIX 11’s Democratic primary debate for the 10th Congressional District.
Niou was asked about how she would vote on such a resolution — passed by the House of Representatives in 2019 but opposed by far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — after she expressed support for the BDS movement during an interview with Jewish Insider last month.
She infuriated pro-Israel activists further just days later when she posted a photo of herself preparing to take a bite out of a loaf of challah bread.
When asked to clarify her position Wednesday night, Niou said she “absolutely” supported Israel’s right to exist.
But she emphasized that it’s important to “protect the free speech rights of the BDS movement” to engage in “non-violent and peaceful protest.”
“I myself have never boycotted Israel. But I think it’s really important to make sure they have rights to free speech. I think the movement is important because I have so many friends who are obviously fighting for the human rights of Palestinians,” Niou said.
The newly drawn 10th District — which stretches from lower Manhattan through brownstone Brooklyn to parts of Borough Park — has a sizable pro-Israel Jewish population.
Critics of the BDS movement say it is an anti-semitic attempt to delegitimize Israel and ensure its economic and political isolation, with the ultimate goal of its destruction.
Other candidates running for the open seat include House impeachment lawyer Dan Goldman, Rep. Mondaire Jones, Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon and former Congresswoman and Brooklyn DA Elizabeth Holtzman.