Guest Columns

Bowman’s Shameless Dishonesty as 16th Congressional District Primary Race Nears Finish

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When the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) responded to the Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli civilians with a celebratory rally in Times Square, Rep. Jamaal Bowman raced to distance himself from the group.

Bowman, who is facing Westchester County Executive George Latimer in the Democratic primary, condemned the rally and told The New York Times that he had secretly let his DSA membership lapse. He had, he swore, no more affiliation with the far-left socialist group.

“Congressman Bowman no longer has a DSA membership and is not endorsed by the organization,” his spokesperson told The Examiner the week after the rally. “He’s forcefully condemned the rally in Times Square, condemned Hamas and all hate speech.”

As it turns out, this was all a charade if not an outright lie. Last month, Bowman told the DSA that he never let his dues lapse and he has always been a member of the group, according to reporting in The New York Times.

When asked why he previously claimed otherwise, Bowman reportedly told members, “We wanted to make sure we were focusing on our race at that time and getting re-elected.”

In other words, he felt it was fine for him to lie about being part of a group that celebrated the rape, murder and kidnapping of women and children, because if he told the truth people might not want to vote for him.

Shameless mendacity has become Bowman’s lodestar during his term in Congress. His most notable accomplishment in the House was to pull a fire alarm to prevent a vote, then lie about it even as footage was published of him clearly committing the act.

Equally concerning is what Bowman promised in order to ensure the group’s support. Bowman pledged to back the BDS movement – a bigoted push to discriminate against Israelis based on their national identity – and to oppose funding for Iron Dome, a missile defense system that saves countless Israeli and Palestinian lives by shooting down rockets fired at Israel.

Bowman previously voted to fund Iron Dome and said he opposed BDS.

“I didn’t want my ‘no’ vote (on Iron Dome funding) to be misinterpreted as ‘I want Jews to be killed,’” he told T Times in May.

Apparently, that’s no longer a worry for Bowman, who represents a district with a large Jewish population.

A Dog Whistle?

With polls showing Latimer leading in the race’s waning stages, Bowman and his allies have appeared increasingly dishonest and desperate. On June 10, during a debate, Latimer told Bowman, “Your constituency is in Dearborn, Mich.” and San Francisco.

Bowman previously formed a joint fundraising effort with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who represents Dearborn and has been called “the biggest Jew hater” in Congress and named antisemite of the year for 2023 by a watchdog group. Latimer was clearly referring to this arrangement, which lets Bowman tap Tlaib’s donors, as well as a fundraiser with wealthy donors held in San Francisco.

But Bowman and his supporters in Congress and in anti-Israel media claimed that the statement was an anti-Arab or anti-Muslim “dog whistle,” since Dearborn has one of the country’s largest Middle Eastern populations.

This is a rich accusation coming from someone who has based his closing argument on the claim that pro-Israel forces like AIPAC are trying to buy the election. His tagline has become some variation of “They’ve got the money, we’ve got the people,” implying that only shadowy big-money groups are backing Latimer.

While it is true that this race has attracted national attention, Latimer still receives more than half his donations from within the district, according to Politico. For Bowman, a whopping 90 percent of campaign contributions come from outside the district, meaning, according to his own logic, he is answering almost entirely to donors who want to advance his anti-Israel and anti-capitalist agenda but have no concern for the areas he represents.

Meanwhile, some of Latimer’s most ardent supporters come from Westchester’s vibrant Jewish community.

“It is a big, big deal for Jewish Westchester, the likes of which no race has ever taken on before,” Rabbi Evan Hoffman, president of the Westchester Board of Rabbis, told The Examiner in March.

And the numbers seem to back him up; 40 percent of the Westchester Democrats who requested early mail-in ballots were Jewish voters, according to the New York Post.

Bowman doesn’t need to always agree with his Jewish constituents, but he can at least acknowledge that they, too, are people.

From shouting shortly after October 7 that reports of Israeli women being raped were lies, to refusing to vote for a resolution condemning the attacks as unprovoked, Bowman has cast his lot with those in the DSA who celebrate the murder of innocent Israelis. When his constituents and American supporters of Israel object, he paints them as monied MAGA-supporters while ignoring their concerns.

In less than a week, we will find out how voters feel about that strategy.

Andrew Vitelli is the former editor of The White Plains Examiner and The Putnam Examiner. He earned a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Tel Aviv University.


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