Jamaal Bowman calls for end to Iron Dome funding, denounces AIPAC as ‘Zionist regime’

In an attempt to save his floundering reelection campaign, the progressive firebrand has attempted to consolidate support among the most left-leaning voters by continuously castigating Israel.

By Corey Walker, The Algemeiner

US Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) has recently intensified his anti-Israel rhetoric, condemning the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as a “Zionist regime” and calling for an end to all US funding to the Jewish state, including for its vaunted Iron Dome air defense system.

Bowman, a left-wing lawmaker and longtime critic of Israel, has been scrambling in recent months to shore up support among progressives in the final stretch leading up to the June 24 Democratic primary.

Recent polls show the congressman trailing his opponent, Westchester County executive George Latimer, by double-digits.

In a recent speech to a crowd of Muslim men, Bowman implored the audience to vote for him, exclaiming that he is “fighting against genocide” and therefore “being attacked by the Zionist regime we call AIPAC.”

Notably, there was virtually no applause from the audience for these lines.

During a debate against Latimer on Tuesday, Bowman asserted that the US government should “stop all funding” to Israel, including Iron Dome.

Earlier this month, to secure funding from the Democratic Socialists of America — a prominent left-wing organization that has made anti-Israel activism its top priority — Bowman agreed to stop his support for Iron Dome funding.

Iron Dome is an air defense system that saves Israeli lives from rockets and missiles launched by neighboring terrorist groups, such as Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Bowman asserted during the debate that there is no “military solution” to everlasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Instead, Bowman called for both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work together to negotiate a “permanent ceasefire” and an end to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Bowman then contended that “children are starving to death” in Gaza, an assertion that the United Nations Famine Review Committee has rejected.

He also dodged a question from the moderator on whether America is “condoning” a genocide of Palestinians by Israel, despite making this claim several times before.

In another portion of the debate, Bowman accused Latimer of an unwillingness to “acknowledge the existence of the Palestinian people.”

He also argued that AIPAC, the foremost pro-Israel lobbying organization in the US, has financed Latimer’s entire campaign under the condition that he reject Palestinian self-determination.

Latimer responded, stating that Bowman has denied Hamas’ Oct. 7 atrocities and has partnered with activist groups that want to eradicate the Jewish state.

Bowman struck a far more moderate tone on Israel during a Wednesday night appearance on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert. He called for a “ceasefire” and the establishment of a “pathway to peace.”

The congressman reiterated that he supports a “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and argued that the US foreign policy establishment should reorient its practices towards “leading through diplomacy” rather than securing peace through military strength.

The progressive lawmaker notably did not accuse Israel of “genocide” on “The Late Show” as he has done in other settings.

Observers speculate that Bowman’s repeated condemnations of Israel have made him a particularly vulnerable and weak candidate in the heavily-Jewish Westchester County district.

In an attempt to save his floundering reelection campaign, the progressive firebrand has attempted to consolidate support among the most left-leaning voters by continuously castigating Israel.

Bowman on Wednesday apologized for dismissing widely reported and corroborated claims of Hamas terrorists raping Israeli women. He called such claims “propaganda” before being forced to walk back his comments after receiving widespread scrutiny.

The congressman has also argued that Israel is a product of “white supremacy” and “white nationalism,” despite the fact that about half of Israeli Jews are Mizrahi, meaning they are of Middle Eastern or North African descent.

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An Emerson College poll conducted from June 6-8 shows Bowman trailing his opponent 48 percent to 31 percent.