Pro-Israel Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel was beaten out of his position as a New York congressional candidate for the 2020 US general election in the Democratic primaries by progressive Jamaal Bowman.
Incumbent Engel, 73, held the New York 16th congressional district for around 30 years, enjoying the support of the Democratic Party establishment, gaining endorsements from former presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while Bowman had the backing of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
.@JamaalBowmanNY's victory over @RepEliotEngel foreshadows where the Democratic Party is headed. Jamaal won this election despite the Democratic and Jewish establishments doing everything they could to stop him.
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Our statement >> pic.twitter.com/sCXss6r72H
— IfNotNow🔥 (@IfNotNowOrg) June 24, 2020
Engel, a firm Israel supporter famed for his hawkishness, reportedly received $100,000 worth of campaign funding from Republican Party-backing Political Action Committee (PAC), which was funneled through super PAC “Democratic Majority for Israel”.
Also, this particular pro-Israel PAC reportedly spent over half a million dollars on a smear campaign directed at Bowman, a 44-year-old former educator.
Jamaal Bowman loses NY-16 Primary, places 1st. pic.twitter.com/2smCyn7ThK
— MSDNC – Commentary & Satire (@MSDNCNews) June 24, 2020
Leaflets condemning Bowman’s comments on Israel’s well-documented human rights violations were circulated amongst the district to hurt his campaign.
Jewish anti-occupation group IfNotNow declared that Bowman’s won a “seismic victory” for local constituents, the progressive movement, and the dignity of Palestinians and Israelis alike.
Bowman was criticized by pro-Israel hardliners for comparing the systemic, racist violence faced by black people in the US on a daily basis, to the plight of Palestinians in territories illegally occupied by Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Bowman won the congressional district by thousands of votes. This is the second time in just over a year that establishment-backed New York Democratic congressmen have been dethroned by progressives, with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ousting Joe Crowley in 2019.
(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)