‘I Will Oppose Occupation,’ New York Democratic Congressional Candidate Who Defeated Pro-Israel Incumbent Declares
The US Democratic congressional candidate who defeated a veteran pro-Israel legislator in the primaries to secure his party’s nomination for New York’s 16th District in this coming November’s general elections has explained how his approach to the Middle East would differ from his predecessor.
In an extensive interview with a local newspaper, Jamaal Bowman outlined the ways in which he would diverge from the pro-Israel policies of Eliot Engel — a 16-term incumbent who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Bowman defeated Engel in a July 16 primary that pitted the Democratic Party’s progressive wing against its more centrist leadership.
“One stark contrast between myself and Congressman Engel is I’ve been critical of occupation, annexation and detaining Palestinian children – where Congressman Engel has not,” Bowman told City&State New York on Wednesday.
Bowman went on to emphasize that he was not opposed to Israel.
“I am in full support of Israel,” he said. “I’m also in full support of the human rights of the Palestinian people. And it’s important for us to continue to uplift human rights in the Middle East and all over the world.”
The majority of the interview focused on Bowman’s views on alleviating poverty and inequality in the US during a year that has seen economic devastation.
“We have a system where [Amazon founder] Jeff Bezos made $13 billion in one day last week, and the millionaire and billionaire classes have grown, while 150,000 people have died from the pandemic,” he noted. “Our system is rotten and broken. And there’s no way democracy can flourish with this level of economic inequality.”