Andrew Vitelli

The mask is off on Bowman’s support for antisemites

There’s a classic Netflix sketch, immortalized in a meme, in which a hot dog-shaped car plows into a men’s clothing store. As the dust clears and the customers look around to find the culprit, they realize one man is wearing a full frankfurter costume.

“We’re all trying to find the guy who did this!” the wiener-clad man says unconvincingly.

It would be hard to find a better analogy for Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s post on X (formerly Twitter) this weekend wishing his followers a “Happy Jewish American Heritage Month!”

“I’m celebrating the Jewish American community members, leaders, and culture in NY-16 and around the country and continuing to join them in fighting against antisemitism and hatred in all forms,” the New York Democrat’s post concluded.

When one hears of antisemitism and hatred, they might think threatening to kill Jews, or calling for the vast majority of Jews to die, would fit the bill. But that is clearly not what Bowman had in mind. After one of the leaders of Columbia University’s anti-Israel and pro-Hamas protest movement was seen on video saying that Zionists – i.e. the 90+ percent of Jews who believe Israel should exist – “don’t deserve to live,” Bowman made the pilgrimage to Columbia to kiss the ring of that same protest movement’s leaders.

“I visited the Columbia encampment last week, and they were completely peaceful,” Bowman bizarrely claimed in an appearance on MSNBC last week. He later added, “there is nothing more American than protesting injustice and war.”

The protests at Columbia were anything but peaceful and were calling not for peace but for an unending global war against Israel and its supporters, aimed at the total destruction of the Jewish state.

Bowman may not have met with Khymani James, the spokesperson of the protest movement who said university administrators should “Be grateful that I’m not just going out and murdering Zionists.” But the fact that James felt comfortable sharing a video of himself making these statements and was still welcomed into the movement’s leadership shows that his hatred is far from an outlier.

And forget what its leaders said on Zoom calls; just listen to what the protestors are chanting themselves. Some of the most popular chants are calls to “Globalize the intifada,” the intifada referring to a series of suicide bombings in the 2000s targeting bars, busses, pizza parlors, and anywhere else Jewish civilians gathered in Israel. Calls to “globalize” this campaign can only be interpreted as wishing for similar violence against Jews outside of their homeland, including in America. Protesters have also been recorded chanting “Hamas, we love you” and “burn Tel Aviv to the ground.”

Despite what Bowman may have seen during his brief stop at the encampments, violence has been a regular feature of the protests. Jewish students have been physically prevented from accessing public areas in their own campus by the same thugs in keffiyeh calling for global violence. Jews have also been regularly assaulted and told to “Go back to Poland,” where 90 percent of the pre-war Jewish population was murdered in the Holocaust.

The violence is not all against Jews and pro-Israel students. Last month, the masked rioters forcibly took over Hamilton Hall. Armed with duct tape and zip ties, they forcibly held several custodial workers hostage as they barricade themselves into the building. “I could have been killed in there,” one of the janitors later told the Free Press.

In this incident again, Bowman sided with the hostage takers – including one 40-year-old trust fund anarchist– over the blue collar workers they felt entitled to attack and hold hostage.

“When I was 11, I was a victim of police brutality just for being Black in America,” tweeted Bowman. “Now I see that brutality being inflicted on peaceful students at Columbia and across the country.”

Put aside the false and gratuitous slander of police, who cleared the building without incident. Bowman’s apparent belief that students at the $86,000-a-year college are entitled to kidnap, attack, threaten, and harass janitors making $19 an hour without consequence should put an end to the lie that Bowman stands for the working class.

Opposing the antisemitic protests and violence at Columbia and other schools does not require supporting Israel or its war against Hamas. A politician who opposes Israel continuing its war in Gaza or believes the US should not support such an effort should still be able to condemn calls to Globalize the Intifada and denounce those who say Zionists deserve to die.

For much of his political tenure, Bowman has sought to distance himself from the craziest, most openly antisemitic parts of the “pro-Palestinian” movement. After October 7, Bowman criticized a Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) rally celebrating the attacks and the massacre of innocent women and children, revealing that his membership in the group had lapsed.

Now, the mask is off. Bowman is cheerleading rallies in which calls for more October 7-like attacks are a regular feature. He is unreservedly supporting a movement prominently backed by groups that call 10/7 justified, and that believe Jews should be harassed whenever they appear in public.

Bowman claiming to fight antisemitism has as much validity as OJ Simpson promising to find the real killer. The Nazi-like thugs who took over college campuses – those who believe Jews should go back to Poland, or die – are not hiding their views. And Jamaal Bowman has made clear that he’s on their side.

About the Author
Andrew Vitelli is a New York-based journalist. A former Fellow for the Government Press Office in Jerusalem, Vitelli earned his master's degree from Tel Aviv University.
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