Anti-Israel ‘Squad’ member Jamaal Bowman suffers landslide loss to pro-Israel moderate candidate

Left-wing pundits in America blamed a pro-Israel lobbying group for the loss despite numerous controversial statements by Bowman in recent months


Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) speaks at a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol building, November 13, 2023 (Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

One of the most vociferous opponents of Israel in the United States’ Congress has been ousted following Tuesday’s Democratic Party primary in New York, with left-wing commentators blaming the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for the result.

New York congressman Jamaal Bowman, a member of the far-left informal collection of US lawmakers known as the “squad”, suffered a landslide loss to the more moderate candidate George Latimer, a Westchester County executive.

The race was watched closely around the country as being emblematic of the rift that has permeated within the Democratic party over the Israel-Hamas war. Bowman is the first member of the “squad” to lose an election and be unseated.

On Saturday, a few days before the election, Bowman told attendees at a rally in the Bronx: "We are going to show f***ing Aipac the power of the motherf***ing South Bronx."
The race was reported to be the most expensive House primary in history, with over $23 million spent on advertisements.

In the months following the October 7 terrorist attacks on Israel, Bowman has among other things accused Israel of both “apartheid” and “genocide”, urged the US to end all military aid to Israel – including for the Iron Dome, Israel’s air defence system – and dismissed the widely reported and corroborated allegations of Hamas terrorists raping women as “propaganda”, a comment he later apologised for and retracted.

Just three weeks after the October 7 terrorist attacks, Bowman declined to back a resolution because it referred to the onslaught - which saw some 1,200 people massacred and 250 taken hostage - as “unprovoked”. He also earlier this month compared the Jewish State unfavourably to the United States, claiming both countries were built upon the foundation of “white supremacy”.

Bowman was criticised heavily and formally censured by colleagues in September when, in an attempt to stall a vote to avert a government shutdown, he activated a fire alarm while Congress was in session, triggering an evacuation. He initially claimed his actions were caused by a panic attack, but CCTV footage that surfaced subsequently showed Bowman calmly removing warning signs near the fire alarm before pulling its lever. For this stunt, Bowman agreed to pay a $1,000 fine and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour.

Bowman, a former school principal who won office in 2020, accused AIPAC of trying to “buy” the race in the district, which spans Westchester Country and part of the New York City borough of the Bronx, after the pro-Israel lobbying group spent a record-breaking $14.5 million attempting to unseat him.

Prominent left-wing commentators immediately shifted blame toward AIPAC following his loss, attributing it solely to the group’s financial influence.

Briahna Joy Gray, a left-wing political pundit and former press secretary for progressive US Senator Bernie Sanders, accused AIPAC of weaponizing “wealthy whites” to defeat Bowman. She implored black politicians intensify criticism of Israel and ignore accusations of antisemitism.

“Black electeds are too afraid to tell their black and working-class constituents the truth: that wealthy [AIPAC]-backed candidates are using foreign money to turn out wealthy whites and put Israel’s interests over their own. But they need to get over it. They’ll be called antisemitic anyway,” she said on X/Twitter.

Gray was recently sacked from The Hill’s television show, ‘Rising’, after rolling her eyes at the sister of an Israeli hostage who claimed Hamas sexually assaulted women on October 7.

Cori Bush, another member of the “squad”, posted to X/Twitter accusing AIPAC and “far-right Donald Trump megadonors” of pouring “a tidal wave of cash into this primary race showing us just how desperate these billionaire extremists are in their attempts to buy democracy, promote their own gain, and silence the voices of progress and justice.”

She added, “20 million dollars. That was the staggering price tag put on unseating Jamaal Bowman – a black, former middle school principal and a transformative, effective progressive legislator unafraid to challenge the status quo and stand up for regular, everyday people.”

Former New York City mayoral candidate Cynthia Nixon wrote on X/Twitter: “Bowman is the last Congress person of color in a NY district not wholly in NYC. And let’s be clear — the record $20 mill spent against him did not come from Dems in this Dem primary but from anti-abortion, anti-climate justice, anti-worker far-right Republicans. You do the math,”

George Latimer, 70, a pro-Israel Democrat who has been involved in local politics for more than three decades, is set to win the congressional election in November against a Republican candidate, given the heavily Democratic makeup of the district.

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