Divisions over the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel were on full display at an eight-candidate forum for New York’s 10th Congressional District last night at Brooklyn’s Congregation Beth Elohim.
In the lineup were former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY), City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, former House impeachment counsel Dan Goldman, small business owner Brian Robinson, former public defender Maud Maron and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.
Niou — who appeared virtually due to a COVID diagnosis on her campaign team — defended the BDS movement, although she said that she does not personally boycott Israel or intend to so do. She also said an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement could take “many shapes… including a two-state solution. If that’s where the parties land, I’ll fully support it.”
“I support the BDS movement’s right to political speech,”Niou said. “I share the movement’s commitment to human rights, equality and freedom for everyone in the region. I do not support calls to oppose the BDS movement. At the same time, I do not always agree with every single statement that’s made or all of its demands, nor do I embrace all of its tactics. No movement is perfect.”
Niou, who spoke first on the topic, faced targeted criticism from several other candidates.