Jamaal Bowman
Jamaal Bowman Getty Images

NYC Rep. Jamaal Bowman suffered a heavy defeat in his primary, which had partly become a referendum on his broadly critical stance of Israel in its war with Hamas and garnered national headlines as it became the most expensive such race ever.

Bowman was beat by moderate Democrat George Latimer by a high double-digit difference, according to a tally by Politico. Latimer received historical amounts of cash from AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby group, as Bowman became the center of media attention due to some of his statements on the war, including questioning whether sexual violence occurred during the October 7 attack by Hamas, where some 1,200 Israelis were killed and 250 taken hostage. Bowman then apologized for his comments.

Overall, AIPAC spent more than $14 million on TV ads aimed at unseating Bowman, although the outlet clarified that most of them were less focused on Israel and more on infrastructure spending and other local issues.

In fact, the outlet said, allies of Latimer said that Israel was one of several factors that led to Bowman's ousted. They mentioned him not being present in the district during his two terms and a high-profile incident when he pulled a fire alarm during a House vote, a move for which he was later censored, and his vote against a key infrastructure spending package.

The group-aligned United Democracy Project celebrated the electoral outcome and vowed to continue working on that direction in other races. "Latimer's victory is another example of how support for the U.S.-Israel alliance is both good policy and good politics," the group said in a statement.

"UDP will continue to support leaders who promote our partnership with Israel and oppose detractors, regardless of political party."

Bowman had also gotten entangled in a row with fellow Democrat Ritchie Torres, who has been a vocal supporter of Israel since October 7.

The feud was catalyzed by a statement from Bowman. In a recent podcast interview, he described Torres' pro-Israel stance as "very calculated" and aimed at gaining "political power for himself toward an ultimate objective." "I don't know if it's U.S. Senate. I don't know what it is. But it's something," added Bowman.

Torres, on his end, told Axios that he has a "general rule of not weighing in against a Congressional Democrat who has not weighed in against me," but that "Bowman's gratuitous attack on my character might cause" him to "rethink that rule." In that context, he expressed his desire that Bowman lose the primary.

Former Rep. Mondaire Jones, another former ally, endorsed Latimer saying him and Bowman have "very different views on Israel," and that he was "horrified" by some of his comments on the issue.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.