Top Democrats endorse anti-Israel ‘Squad’ member

The statement backing the New York Representative did not mention his anti-Israel views.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Democratic New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman on Friday received the endorsement of the three top congressional Democrats to help him in his battle to retain his seat this November.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY), Democratic House Whip Katherine Clark (Mass.), and Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (Cal.) penned a statement lauding their colleague for being “a public servant who fights for economic justice and in defense of historically underrepresented communities.”

Bowman is a member of the so-called “Squad” of far-left Democrats, all of whom are outspoken critics of Israel.

The 48-year-old lawmaker began calling for a ceasefire just weeks into the Israel-Hamas war and after the invasion of October 7, 2023 and subsequent massacre of 1,200 Israelis, including women, children, and the elderly.

He has also gone as far as repeating the Palestinians’ false charge that the IDF is committing genocide in the Gaza Strip and at one point denying the evidence that Hamas terrorists systematically raped and sexually abused many of their victims.

Bowman’s 16th district includes the northern tip of the Bronx and a large slice of Westchester County.

Some residents of the district, which includes a significant Jewish population, have taken issue with Bowman’s rhetoric on Israel.

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His genocide charge led the left-leaning Israel advocacy group J Street to rescind its backing of the incumbent, who replaced pro-Israel stalwart Eliot Engel in 2021.

The Democratic leaders’ endorsement comes just days after the socially progressive, pro-Israel, Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) threw its backing to Bowman’s challenger, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, who supports Israel’s position against Hamas.

Latimer espouses “the priorities that Jewish Americans are prioritizing when they go to the polls,” JDCA communications director Sam Crystal said.

This includes abortion rights, universal health care, opposing gun violence, and fighting “in support of Israel and combating antisemitism,” he added.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the large and powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington, recruited Latimer, a former state legislator, to unseat Bowman, and has been his biggest funder through its political action committee.

“We are proud to endorse George Latimer who — in clear contrast to his opponent — is strongly committed to strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship and standing by our ally as it fights Hamas terrorism,” said the group.

It is part of AIPAC’s plan to financially support primary challengers of Squad members in order to reduce the anti-Israel voices in Congress.

Their main targets besides Bowman are Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

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It is considered the norm for House leaders of both parties to endorse incumbents over challengers in tough races, and Latimer reacted to it by saying he understood the leadership’s position, although he intends to win.