Home News Rep. Jamaal Bowman trashes pro-Israel PAC for $1.8M ad buy against him...

Rep. Jamaal Bowman trashes pro-Israel PAC for $1.8M ad buy against him in Democratic primary



Rep. Jamaal Bowman lashed out Wednesday against a pro-Israel political action committee that has launched a $1.8 million ad campaign against him in his contentious Democratic congressional primary.

Bowman (D-Westchester, Bronx) accused the United Democracy Project, which is tied to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), of spending lavishly to unseat him and silence his harsh criticism of Israel’s war in Gaza.

“New Yorkers know that if George Latimer is willing to sell out to Donald Trump’s biggest donors, he will sell you out, too,” Bowman said.

Bowman is locked in what is thought to be a tight battle with Westchester County Executive Latimer in June 25’s 16th Congressional District Democratic primary. Latimer is trumpeting his strong support for Israel.

Bowman says the AIPAC-affiliated group is bankrolled by conservative megadonors who usually back pro-Trump Republicans.

“Voters — not GOP billionaires — should be the ones who decide Democratic primaries,” said Jasmine Gripper of the Working Families Party, which is backing Bowman.

“Now he’s complaining … it’s not fair,” said a spokesman for Latimer’s campaign. “He needs to grow up.”

The two candidates traded barbs over Israel during their first debate Monday night.

Bowman accused Latimer of being “bought and paid for” by pro-Israel donors, while Latimer said the former Bronx middle school principal should focus more on legislating and less on grabbing media attention.

The 16th Congressional District covers most of the southern half of Westchester, including the majority minority cities of Mount Vernon, Yonkers and New Rochelle, along with some of the nation’s most affluent suburbs. It also includes slivers of the Bronx.

The district is strongly Democratic, and the winner of the primary will be an overwhelming favorite to win in November.

Political pundits say the pro-Israel group’s spending is likely just the start of a $10 million spending spree aimed at toppling Bowman, who is one of their top targets among the so-called squad of pro-Palestinian progressive lawmakers.

“It’s likely the tip of the iceberg,” said Jacob Rubashkin, an analyst with Inside Elections. “[AIPAC] thinks they can boost Latimer’s chances by spending a bunch of money.”

Although the AIPAC-affiliated group is funded by pro-Israel donors, its ads typically focus on other issues of more general interest to voters.

In the 16th Congressional District, Rubashkin predicted, the ads may echo Latimer’s attacks on Bowman for voting against President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure plan or emphasize an embarrassing episode in which Bowman pulled a fire alarm during a congressional vote.

The congressional ad wars are unfolding as Israel continues to be a key issue on Capitol Hill.

The Republican-led House of Representatives is pushing a measure that would pressure Biden to end a pause on delivering huge bombs to Israel that have been dropped on Palestinian civilian targets in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the White House announced a new $1 billion arms sale to the Jewish state, a move that Bowman called “disappointing.”

Bowman says the U.S. should be pushing much harder to get Israel to end the war in Gaza, negotiate an end to its 57-year occupation of Palestinian lands and establish an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

 

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