Bill Maher invites Rashida Tlaib to discuss Israel, BDS on his show
HBO host calls the BDS movement a 'purity test by people who want to appear woke'; reaction from the 'America's Newsroom' panel.
Maher's challenge came just days after the congresswoman suggested viewers might want to stop watching his weekly HBO talk show over the host's recent comments about the boycott effort, known as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Last week, Maher blasted BDS, calling it a "bulls--- purity test by people who want to appear 'woke' but actually slept through history class." That didn't sit well with Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American to serve in Congress.
"Maybe folks should boycott his show," Tlaib reacted on Twitter. "I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom. This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn't work then and it won't now."
Maher shot back, tweeting, "Some people have one move only: boycott. Cancel. Make-go-away. But here’s the thing, the house voted 318 to 17 to condemn the #BDS movement, including 93% of Dems. Does Tlaib want to boycott 93% of her own party?"
Maher mentioned the boycott Tlaib suggested during the panel discussion of Friday's show, in which he and his guests debated what Maher described as an emerging "boycott culture."
"We've invited her onto this show, I hope she comes," Maher said. "But you know, if you come on this show, then you actually have to defend your point as opposed to this one go-to that so many people seem to have today, which is just go away because then you don't have to argue, you don't have to defend your point of view. Just go away, boycott, you're bad, too evil to talk to and I'm too good to talk to you."
Maher went on to list several boycott efforts that have been in the news, promoted either by liberals and conservatives, against products and services from Nike, Ben & Jerry's, Equinox and SoulCycle, and Chik-fil-A.
The HBO star jokingly celebrated that he was "on both lists."