Rift emerges between Jamaal Bowman and Democratic Socialists

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Woke Yonkers Congressman Jamaal Bowman is facing the fury of his comrades at the Democratic Socialists of America — who have accused their party member of betrayal for daring to visit Israel and meet with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Bowman made the jaunt in early November with five other Democratic House members in a delegation that was sponsored by the liberal but pro-Israel nonprofit J-Street.

The DSA is staunchly pro-Palestinian, supports the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, and accuses the Jewish State of “apartheid.”

In a Nov. 16 statement, the DSA said it “received letters from various DSA chapters and members about the situation” and called the issue “its highest priority right now.

Congressmen Jamaal Bowman at a press conference in Oct. 2021.
Congressmen Jamaal Bowman at a press conference in Oct. 2021.
KEVIN C DOWNS

“Our platform proudly states continued support for and involvement with the Palestinian-led …. BDS movement, and efforts to eliminate U.S. military aid to Israel, while resisting the ‘normalization’ of relationships between the Israeli government and other governments,” they wrote.

Party leaders held a meeting with Bowman three days later. One senior official told The Post “people walked away being disappointed” with the congressman’s performance.

Calls have grown from DSA chapters around the country to boot Bowman, which have been met by declarations supporting the pol from other chapters.

Early this month, the liberal non-profit J-Street  sponsored a trip for Bowman and five other Democratic House members to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, pictured above.
Early this month, the liberal non-profit J-Street sponsored a trip for Bowman and five other Democratic House members to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, pictured above.
EPA

“There is a knee-jerk reaction from the membership to hold people accountable but the truth is we don’t have the infrastructure or mechanism to make any of that happen,” said the DSA member.

The DSA’s endorsement played a large role in Bowman’s upset primary win over longtime Rep. Eliot Engel last year. The 16-term liberal warhorse had been chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a ferocious Israel advocate.

Bowman is also a close ally of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens), and as a member of “The Squad,” he has aligned himself with the Democratic party’s most vocal anti-Israel voices, including Reps. Cori Bush (D-Missouri), Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan).

Bowman, seen above in Jun. 2021, is a close ally of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Bowman, seen above in Jun. 2021, is a close ally of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
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“Incumbency may be more important than principle for DSA people,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran Democratic political consultant who noted that several swaths of Bowman’s district were “heavily Jewish.”

As such, the congressman has declined to express support for BDS and voted in favor of funding Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which had been depleted during a brief but bloody conflict with Hamas in May.

But he hasn’t sided with Israel on every issue. He took heat in January for rebuking the country for not initially providing coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian territories.

One local lawmaker told The Post Bowman would likely face a bruising primary next year and Israel issues would be a flashpoint.

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