TEL AVIV – An event in the House of Representatives advocating an economic boycott of Israel sponsored by a Democratic House lawmaker has been canceled following the Congresswoman’s withdrawal amid complaints from fellow Democrats.
Texas congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee had reserved a room on Capitol Hill for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, The Weekly Standard reported Tuesday.
The invitation said the event would feature “actual practitioners” of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS).
Jackson Lee and a number of other Democrats denied any connection to the event, and a spokesperson from her office said that while a room had been booked by a former employee, neither Jackson Lee nor her aides were made aware of the arrangement.
“That room was actually booked by a staffer that’s no longer with us, back in March,” Jackson Lee’s communications director, Mike McQuerry, told the Standard. “This was done without the knowledge of anyone in the office.”
“We’ve taken our name off of booking the room,” he continued. “We weren’t involved with planning.”
Asked if the congresswoman supports or opposes either the event or the BDS Movement, McQuerry said “I don’t know anything about BDS as of yet.”
A list of lawmakers supporting the event has not been disclosed, the Standard said, with an official at the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation saying, “We don’t give out that information.”
However, the Standard contacted a number of offices, including those of congressmen Jim McDermott and Hank Johnson, who both said they would not be attending the event. At an earlier event this year also sponsored by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Johnson, who is a Democratic member of the House Armed Services Committee, likened Israeli settlers to termites who destroy homes.
At the same event, Johnson compared Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to Donald Trump.