Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D – Texas) originally denied her office was sponsoring an event by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, but when an official with the Jewish Federations of North America asked Nancy Pelosi to help cancel the event, it became clear that Lee was lying.
An event sponsored by a member of Congress to promote boycotts of Israel was quickly cancelled after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D – Calif.) found out about the event from a prominent Jewish advocate, the Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday.
The event was to have been hosted on Friday by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a group that promotes boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, and was scheduled by a former staffer of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D – Texas).
After being informed of the event’s existence by William Daroff, an official with the Jewish Federations of North America, Pelosi’s office called Jackson Lee to “demand” cancellation of the event, sources told the Free Beacon.
Daroff praised Pelosi’s quick actions. “The leadership of the Democratic Party, and the vast, vast majority of Democrats across the country reject BDS as a fringe movement that spouts hatred and discrimination,” he told the Free Beacon. “Leader Pelosi and her staff are to be commended for standing firmly for a strong Israel and for encouraging dialogue between the parties, as distinct from the BDS movement which seeks to abolish the Jewish state through discriminatory boycotts.”
The Free Beacon reported earlier this week that the event might have violated Congressional rules prohibiting the use of official offices to host groups that advocate discrimination.
Although Jackson Lee had originally denied that her office was hosting the event, The Weekly Standard confirmed her involvement when she cancelled the event Tuesday. Jackson Lee’s communications director, Mike McQuerry, said that the room for the event was booked by a low-level staffer who is no longer with the Congresswoman’s office and that Jackson Lee and her office had never heard of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. But when pressed whether or not Jackson Lee supported the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation or the BDS movement generally, McQuerry refused further comment.
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