The far-left organization Justice Democrats is continuing its campaign to purge certain left of center, pro-Israel Democrats from Congress. In 2018, Justice Democrats endorsed Democratic-Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib – all radicals who support the anti-Semitic Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS). One of Justice Democrats’ current targets is long-time Israel-supporter Rep. Eliot Engel, who is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Justice Democrats has endorsed Jamaal Bowman (pictured above), a middle school principal at the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action in the Bronx, who is mounting a primary challenge against Rep. Engel. There are other primary challengers seeking to unseat Engel, but Bowman is Justice Democrats’ choice.
Rep. Engel is normally a reliable Democrat vote against President Trump’s domestic and foreign policy agendas. He has supported progressive initiatives including the New Green Deal and received top grades for his voting record from a host of leftwing organizations. But that is not good enough for even more extreme leftist groups such as Justice Democrats. Engel is nowhere near as radical as his primary challenger Bowman who, for example, tweeted on April 16, 2020 that “There is systemic oppression and terror and racism that lives in every American institution.” The following day, Bowman tweeted, “I support a $1 trillion investment over 10 years to rebuild public housing into green social housing with net zero carbon emissions.” Bowman called “white male domestic terrorism” the “biggest issue in our country.” He also claimed that “99.9 percent of our immigrant neighbors that come here, come here in peace and come here looking for asylum.” Bowman, whose own school registered well below the New York City-wide average in its students’ scores on the state’s math and reading exams, has attacked public school standardized testing as “a form of modern-day slavery.”
By comparison, Engel is downright “mainstream.” And then there is Engel’s strong support for Israel, which is anathema to the far left. Last year he said, “We have to make sure that there is a strong majority to help the State of Israel. I don’t think it helps to make it a political football.” To Justice Democrats and like-minded radical leftist groups, helping the State of Israel is not only a partisan issue. It is a litmus test for these groups that Engel has flunked. Thus, they are mobilizing to oust Engel from Congress.
Rep. Engel strongly opposes the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. As the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he pushed for a resolution condemning BDS. Engel said that BDS “promotes a one-sided view of the Palestinian conflict, that seeks to marginalize Israel, that would deny the Jewish people the right of national self-determination, a right proclaimed by none other than the United Nations. BDS says the onus is entirely on Israel.” He added that “participating in an international commercial effort that undermines Israel’s legitimacy and scuttle the chances of a two-state solution isn’t the same as an individual exercising First Amendment rights.” The final vote for the resolution was 398 in favor, 17 against, and 5 members voting present.
Among those who voted against the resolution were the squad members backed by Justice Democrats – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Omar disgracefully compared the anti-Semitic BDS movement to boycotts of Nazi Germany and apartheid-era South Africa. Tlaib, who is Palestinian American, deceitfully described the anti-BDS resolution as intended to “silence opposition of Israel’s blatantly racist policies that demonize both Palestinians & Ethiopians.” AOC used the bogus argument of protecting free speech in defending her opposition to the anti-BDS resolution. If Bowman were to succeed in his primary challenge against the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Engel, one of Israel’s strongest supporters in the House Democratic caucus, will be gone. AOC is a member of that same committee. Her rising influence will strengthen the anti-Israel bloc. If Bowman were then to win the general election, which is likely, BDS will have another Democrat House supporter in its fold.
In addition to the Justice Democrats, a far-left, anti-Israel group called The Jewish Vote has come out in support of Bowman’s candidacy. Katie Unger, a co-founder of The Jewish Vote who spoke at a rally to endorse Bowman, co-signed a despicable anti-Semitic letter declaring in effect that Israeli Jews stole the Palestinians’ land. The letter supported BDS and protested “Israel’s colonial policies and discriminatory laws toward the Palestinian people, as well as the U.S. government’s political and financial support of these policies.” The Jewish Vote steering committee member Elana Levin tweeted in May 2019, “The state of Israel is doing the same thing to Palestinians as was done to Jewish people. But ignoring the why isn’t helping anyone end Apartheid in Israel.”
Josh Block, a former aide in the Clinton White House, said that “it is the deceptive tactics being practiced by these groups and their stooges and stage-managed ‘candidates’ that are intended to deceive and whitewash their anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic ideas, positions, partnerships, and true purpose, which is to undermine the Jewish State and America’s only steadfast ally in the Middle East.”
Jamaal Bowman is one of these stage-managed candidates who would push the House Democratic caucus even further to the left and add to the hate-Israel bloc. He must be stopped.