Jamaal Bowman Condemns Israeli Hostage Rescue Mission

‘Netanyahu launched a wave of attacks and killed innocent civilians,’ congressman says in post that does not mention hostages

Jamaal Bowman
Jamaal Bowman (Getty Images)

New York Democratic congressman Jamaal Bowman condemned an Israel Defense Forces mission that led to the rescue of two Hamas-held hostages, referring to the mission as a “wave of attacks” in a social media post that omitted mention of the hostages altogether.

“While we watched the Super Bowl, [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu launched a wave of attacks and killed innocent civilians in Rafah—a place where many refugees fled for relative safety—despite warnings from Biden,” Bowman wrote Sunday night. His post linked to a Reuters article detailing the mission, which the outlet called a “ferocious rescue operation” that “freed two Israeli-Argentine hostages held by Hamas”—60-year-old Fernando Simon Marman and 70-year-old Louis Hare.

But Bowman made no mention of the hostages, instead portraying the “attacks” as proof that Israel’s government “cannot receive support.” Bowman’s claim that the mission killed scores of innocent civilians also comes from the Hamas-run Gazan health ministry, which said the rescue operation killed 67 Palestinians, 70 percent of whom were civilians. Israel countered that claim, saying “many of those killed” during the mission were Hamas militants, according to Reuters.

The ordeal marks Bowman’s latest attack on the Jewish state as he faces a difficult primary campaign against pro-Israel Democrat George Latimer. Bowman has routinely disparaged Israel following Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, which he blamed on Israel’s “blockade of Gaza.” Bowman went on to accuse Israel of “mass murder,” “genocide,” and “ethnic cleansing.”

Those statements prompted criticism from local Jewish leaders, 26 of whom wrote an October letter urging Latimer to challenge Bowman. Latimer entered the race in December.

“Many of us tried to engage the congressman early in his term, seeking constructive dialogue about the damaging positions he took—especially on matters related to America’s relationship with Israel,” the rabbis wrote. “Regrettably, Congressman Bowman disregarded our outreach and doubled down on his anti-Israel policy positions and messaging.”

Bowman, who did not respond to a request for comment, has done little to repair his reputation with his district’s Jewish community since then. During a Jan. 14 panel discussion titled, “Palestine Oct. 7 and After,” for example, Bowman heaped praise on Norman Finkelstein, an anti-Israel author who celebrated Hamas’s attack as a “heroic resistance” that “warm[ed] every fiber” of his soul.

“I’m also a bit starstruck, because I watch them all the time on YouTube,” Bowman said of Finkelstein. “You have given me the knowledge on YouTube before even coming here.” After the remark prompted criticism, Bowman downplayed his affinity for the author, saying, “I had seen a few interviews but was unaware of Norman Finkelstein’s completely reprehensible comments before this event.”

Roughly one month later, in early February, a HuffPost report revealed that Bowman as a middle school principal curated a 2014 “Wall of Honor” that featured former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The Georgia Democrat is a prominent anti-Semite—in 2009, she attended a Holocaust denial gathering in London, where she praised anti-Semitic leaders and writers. McKinney has also blamed the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on “Zionists,” and her father similarly blamed Jews when McKinney lost her congressional seat in 2002.

“Jews have bought everybody,” he said. “Jews. J-E-W-S.”

McKinney’s history of anti-Semitism did not stop Bowman from defending the former congresswoman’s inclusion on the wall, with a campaign spokeswoman arguing that McKinney and other “leaders in the Black liberation movement” have “complicated biographies.”

“It is completely baseless, and a rhetorical tool of the far right, to insinuate educating students on major figures of Black American history is serving to promote hateful or divisive rhetoric or actions,” said the spokeswoman, Sarah Iddrissu. “Suppressing the education of black history only serves to enable violence against Black people.”

Original News Source – Washington Free Beacon

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