NYC mayoral candidate Andrew Yang faces social media backlash for comparing BDS movement to fascism

NYC mayoral candidate Andrew Yang faces social media backlash for comparing BDS movement to fascism

New
York
City
mayoral
candidate

Andrew
Yang
faced
a
social
media
backlash
Friday
after
he
wrote
a
column
in
which
he
likened
the
pro-Palestine
BDS
movement
to
Nazi
boycotts
of
Jewish
businesses.

In
the
column,
entitled
“My
vision
for
New
York
City’s
Jewish
community,”
Yang
said
he
would
be
a
“reliable
partner”
by
cracking
down
on
hate
crimes
and
instances
of
anti-Semitism.
The
former
Democratic
presidential
candidate
pledged
to
“push
back
against
the
BDS
movement,”
which
he
argued
“singles
out
Israel
for
unfair
economic
punishment.”

“Not
only
is
BDS
rooted
in
anti-Semitic
thought
and
history,
hearkening
back
to
fascist
boycotts
of
Jewish
businesses,
it’s
also
a
direct
shot
at
New
York
City’s
economy,”
Yang
wrote
in
his
column
for

Forward.
“Strong
ties
with
Israel
are
essential
for
a
global
city
such
as
ours,
which
boasts
the
highest
Jewish
population
in
the
world
outside
of
Israel.
Our
economy
is
struggling,
and
we
should
be
looking
for
ways
to
bring
back
small
businesses,
not
stop
commerce.”

BDS,
or
“Boycott,
Divestment
and
Sanctions,”
is
a
nonprofit
founded
in
2005
by
pro-Palestine
groups
seeking
to
pressure
Israel
over
its
presence
in
the
West
Bank.
The
organization
calls
for
opposition
to
Israel
through
nonviolent
means,
such
as
boycotts,
to
protest
alleged
abuses
against
Palestinians
in
the
region.

Social
media
critics
ripped
Yang
over
his
remarks,
arguing
the
former
entrepreneur
went
too
far
by
likening
the
BDS
movement
to
fascism.

“At
a
time
when
actual
Nazis
are
murdering
Jews
in
synagogues
and
leading
insurrections
at
the
Capitol,
it
is
just
baffling
that
Andrew
Yang
would
compare
BDS
to
violent
fascists
(while
playing
into
dangerous
dual
loyalty
tropes),”
said
Amy
Spitalnick,
executive
director
of
nonprofit
Integrity
First
for
America.

“Absolutely
grotesque,
ahistorical
Nazi
comparison
by
Andrew
Yang
on
BDS,
that
is
even
to
the
right
of
anti-BDS
organizations.
@AndrewYang
you
need
to
apologize
and
rescind
this
statement
now,”
another
Twitter
user
wrote.

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Yang
announced
his
intent
to
run
for
the
mayor’s
office
earlier
this
month.
The
businessman
previously
drew
criticism
on
social
media
after
he
said
he
had
left
New
York
City
during
the
coronavirus
pandemic
because
his
two-bedroom
apartment
was
too
cramped.

Some
progressive
Democrats,
including
Rep.
Ilhan
Omar
of
Minnesota
and
Rep.
Rashida
Tlaib
of
Michigan,
have
publicly
called
for
a
boycott
of
Israeli
businesses.
In
July
2019,
the
House
overwhelmingly
passed
a
resolution
condemning
the
boycott
movement.

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