‘Squad’ Democrat Gets Brutal Campaign News


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Prominent religious leaders in the district of Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) have come forward to denounce what they claim is a pattern of betrayal right as the “Squad” member fights for his political life.

According to a new report from Jewish Insider, a number of prominent community leaders in the New York suburban district have backed away from their previous support of Bowman, who currently trails a moderate, pro-Israel Democrat by double digits ahead of their primary later this month. The congressman has made a habit of referring to Israel’s war against Hamas as a “genocide” and criticizing President Joe Biden’s decision to buck far-left members of his party. That posturing, in turn, has led to some awkward moments between former friends.

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The outlet reported on one discussion between Rep. Bowman and a notable Jewish figure who had remained neutral against him previously. “Do you have pics of us?” Bowman texted the person. “So I can show the world I’m friends with Jewish People.” According to the person, who spoke anonymously with the Insider, they pretended to laugh off the awkward ask and insisted Bowman’s office must have a picture somewhere.

Bowman, 48, is seeking his third two-year term and rode to victory in 2020 in part by promising to vote to strengthen the Abraham Accords, a Middle East peace initiative started by the Trump administration and promising to establish peace treaties between Israel and its surrounding Muslim-majority neighbors. Bowman later retracted his support and began to criticize the deal.

The New York Democrat defeated his first primary challenger in 2022 after he asked the individual for the photo. “I was like, ‘I don’t want to be his court Jew,’” the person explained of his thinking at the time of the exchange. “That wasn’t what I signed up for.”

Animosity between Bowman and the district’s Jewish community has hardened following the October 7th, 2023 attack by Hamas which claimed the lives of 1,400 Jewish civilians and left hundreds more taken hostage. Recent polling shows that the congressman’s criticism of Israel’s response is deeply out of step with the feelings of his voters. Westchester County Executive George Latimer, who is challenging Bowman in the June 25th election, has benefited from the antipathy, expressing full-throated support for Israel’s campaign to eliminate Hamas.

Despite reneging on the Abraham Accords, endorsing a movement to divest organizations with ties to Israel, and voting against funding for the nation’s Iron Dome, Rep. Bowman claims he still draws deep support from his Jewish voters. “Thank God I still have a lot of support within the Jewish community,” he told a local radio station on Monday. Still, the congressman has denounced the effort to unseat him as a right-wing conspiracy funded by AIPAC, the premier pro-Israel lobbying force in Washington, which has invested upwards of $11 million in the race.

More damning than his positions may simply be Bowman’s refusal to attend staple events in the Jewish community, including Shabbat meals or gatherings by the Westchester Jewish Council. Bowman “was always invited to events sponsored by the council,” said William Schrag, who recently stepped down from his position as the longtime president of the Westchester Jewish Council, according to the Insider. “He chose not to attend and frankly, by that point, I didn’t care whether he attended or not because it was obvious he was on a path antithetical to the mission statement of the Westchester Jewish Council.” Schrag noted that Bowman attended the group’s February 2023 gala but “arrived two hours late — in the middle of our program.”

After defeating a pro-Israel incumbent to win office, Bowman’s staff allegedly reached out to Schrag to follow up on his promise to back the Abraham Accords. “However, we weren’t consulted before Congressman Bowman flipped on the Abraham Accords and I don’t recall having been consulted since that time,” Schrag told the Insider last week.

Other community leaders share that sentiment of feeling neglected or outright ignored by Bowman. “That is not someone who wants to build bridges with Jews and the Jewish community,” Justin Brasch, a White Plains councilman and a Jewish Democrat, said of Bowman in an interview with the Insider. “He doesn’t reach out. He doesn’t reach back. He’s not interested at all in the Jewish community.”

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