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Progressives Lash Out at AIPAC After Anti-Israel ‘Squad’ Loses First Member in US House Race

US Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) speaks during the National Action Network National Convention in New York City, US, April 7, 2022. Photo: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Prominent left-wing commentators are lashing out in the aftermath of US Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s landslide loss in Tuesday’s Democratic Party primary in New York, blaming the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for the result. 

Westchester County executive George Latimer cruised to a commanding victory over Bowman, winning by a margin of 58 percent to 41 percent. With the win, Latimer has ousted one of the most vociferous opponents of Israel in the US Congress.

In the months following Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on Israel, Bowman has accused the Jewish state of committing “genocide” in Gaza and enacting an “apartheid” regime in the West Bank. Bowman infamously dismissed the widely reported and corroborated allegations of Hamas terrorists raping Israeli women during the Oct. 7 onslaught as “propaganda” before being forced to walk back his remarks. In the final days of his campaign, the congressman also urged the US to end all military aid to Israel — including for Iron Dome, an air defense system that saves Israeli lives from rockets and missiles launched by neighboring terrorist groups.

In the hours following Bowman’s loss, left-wing commentators immediately shifted blame toward AIPAC, the foremost pro-Israel lobbying organization in the US, attributing the election results solely to the group’s financial resources. 

Olayemi Olurin, a leftist pundit and fierce critic of Israel, floated the idea that AIPAC engineered a smear campaign against Bowman by inundating voters with misleading campaign ads. 

It’s not a leftist conspiracy theory that AIPAC quite literally spent more money than ever before to unseat Jamaal Bowman for his stance on Israel,” Olurin posted on X/Twitter. “New Yorkers were drowned in ads smearing Bowman — that coupled with the redistricting of his district cost him the seat.”

Bowman appeared on Olurin’s YouTube channel earlier this month to discuss the state of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. During the interview, the congressman compared Israel unfavorably to the United States, claiming that both countries were built upon a foundation of “white supremacy.” He also suggested that the Jewish state was responsible for the Hamas terrorist group’s Oct. 7 attacks, which resulted in the biggest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

Cynthia Nixon, a former New York City mayoral candidate and progressive commentator, accused AIPAC of being operated by “far-right Republicans” and blamed the group for flooding the primary race with millions of dollars in an attempt to remove Bowman from office. Similarly, Bowman has denounced AIPAC as being an alleged tool of “racist” Republicans and allies of former US President Donald Trump. 

“Bowman is the last Congress person of color in a NY district not wholly in NYC. And let’s be clear — the record $20 mill spent against him did not come from Dems in this Dem primary but from anti-abortion, anti-climate justice, anti-worker far-right Republicans. You do the math,” Nixon posted on X/Twitter.

The stated mission of AIPAC, which poured a staggering $14.5 million into the race in an attempt to unseat Bowman, is to seek bipartisan support to strengthen the US-Israel relationship.

Nixon has spent the months following Oct. 7 accusing Israel of committing “war crimes” in Gaza and subjecting Palestinians to “inhumane treatment.” Nixon participated in a “ceasefire hunger strike” in November, demanding the Jewish state abandon its war against Hamas terrorists.

Jeet Heer, a progressive writer and anti-Israel critic, argued that AIPAC’s involvement tilted the race against Bowman. Heer has lambasted Israel for perpetrating a supposed “siege” on Gaza. He’s also stated that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is “unbearable.”

“It’s instructive to see how centrist liberals are trying to minimize what AIPAC is doing in the Bowman-Latimer race, where the lobby group has spent more than $14 million to make this the most expensive house primary in history. Denial is a big part of their ideology,” Heer posted on X/Twitter. 

Briahna Joy Gray, a left-wing political pundit and former press secretary for US Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), argued that AIPAC weaponized “foreign money” and “wealthy whites” to defeat Bowman. She implored black politicians to ramp up anti-Israel rhetoric and ignore any accusations of antisemitism. 

Black electeds are too afraid to tell their Black & working class constituents the truth: that wealthy [AIPAC]-backed candidates are using foreign money to turn out wealthy whites & put Israel’s interests over their own. But they need to get over it. They’ll be called antisemitic anyway,” Gray posted on X/Twitter. 

Gray has a long history of making controversial comments against Israel. She has rejected the notion that Mizrahi Jews are of Middle Eastern descent, insisting that they are from Europe. Roughly 45 percent of Israeli Jews are Mizrahi — Jews who can trace their ethnic origins to the Middle East and North Africa.

The progressive pundit has also repeatedly accused Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza and cast doubt on the sexual violence perpetrated against Israeli women during the Hamas-led onslaught on Oct. 7.  Gray was recently fired from The Hill‘s TV show, “Rising,” after aggressively cutting off and rolling her eyes at the sister of an Israeli hostage who said that Hamas sexually assaulted women during the Palestinian terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and that people should believe those women.

Bowman was not the only member of the so-called “Squad” of far-left US lawmakers outspoken against Israel who was up for reelection on Tuesday night. US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most virulent opponents of Israel in Congress, managed to throttle her opponent, Martin Dolan, by a margin of 82 percent to 18 percent in the New York Democratic primaries.

Though AIPAC spent a record-breaking $14.5 million on the race, the ultimate impact the organization had on the final result remains unclear. Bowman trailed Latimer by double digits prior to AIPAC deploying a single ad against the incumbent congressman.

Bowman also made himself particularly vulnerable after he pulled a fire alarm in a congressional building last year in an apparent attempt to obstruct a key vote, an act that embarrassed moderate voters in his district. The congressman initially claimed his actions were caused by a panic attack, but video later surfaced of Bowman calmly removing warning signs near the fire alarm before pulling its lever. The House of Representatives voted to censure Bowman in response to the surfaced video footage.

The post Progressives Lash Out at AIPAC After Anti-Israel ‘Squad’ Loses First Member in US House Race first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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