ZOA Condemns Anti-Israel Letter Led by Cong. Jamaal Bowman & Bernie Sanders Demanding Investigation of Israeli Use of U.S. Weapons
News Press Release
April 18, 2023

ZOA Praises 13 Local Rabbis for Condemning Bowman’s Hostile Actions Towards Israel

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

ZOA condemns the latest anti-Israel letter drafted by Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and co-led by Senator Bernie Sanders (D/I-VT). Bowman’s letter was also signed by his fellow Jew-hating, Israel-hating House “Squad” members: Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (D-MN); Rashida Harbi Tlaib (D-MI); Betty McCollum (D-MN); Cori Bush (D-MO); André Carson (D-IN); Summer Lee (D-PA); Delia Ramirez (D-IL); Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY); and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). The letter demands unjustified actions against Israel, including “determinations” regarding the legality of the IDF’s use of U.S. arms. It is in fact clear that Israel is defending her citizens against non-stop Palestinian Arab terrorism (over nine serious Arab terror attacks against Israelis every day) and rocket and missile attacks from Iranian proxies in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, etc.

Bowman’s letter also obscenely defames Israeli counter-terrorism operations against Arab terrorists who murdered Jewish children and other Jewish civilians. The letter misleadingly states that “Palestinians” were killed in Israeli raids – without mentioning that these Palestinian Arabs were almost all Palestinian terrorists, and Palestinian gunmen who shot at the IDF when the IDF attempted to arrest the terrorists. Bowman’s letter also absurdly and falsely accuses Israel of “systemic violence against Palestinians.” In fact, it is the Palestinian Authority that is perpetrating “systemic violence against Jews” – by inciting and paying enormous financial rewards to terrorists to murder Jews. Just this week, Palestinian Authority television broadcasted a deranged “musical” with gun-toting teenage Arab dancers, dancing to songs calling on Palestinian Arabs to become “martyrs” by attacking Jews in every city and village in Israel with blood, stones, machine guns, grenades, daggers and guns. (See video, reported by MEMRI.)   

Notably, Bowman cites, as the sources for the blood libels in his letter, anti-Israel NGOs that specialize in defaming Israel with grotesque falsehoods – including “Defense of Children International-Palestine” – which is a front group for designated terror organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; ACRI and B’tselem (funded by hostile-to-Israel foreign governments and NIF-New Israel Fund); and out-of-context quotes from a Biden State Department report that relies on the same and similar defamation-spreading NGOs.

Bowman’s anti-Israel record also includes: co-sponsoring (J Street-funded) Betty McCollum’s annual bill attempting to penalize Israel for arresting teenage Palestinian Arab terrorists/murderers; co-sponsoring the AOC/Squad bill to block previously-approved munitions sales to Israel while Israel was being bombarded with 4,600 Hamas rockets in May 2021; and co-sponsoring Rashida Tlaib’s falsehood-filled resolution to “recognize” Israel’s rebirth as a “catastrophe” (Nakba). Bowman’s top contributor for his most recent election was the anti-Israel J Street. Other major contributors to Bowman’s election campaigns include the so-called “Justice Democrats” (which supports the anti-Israel “Squad” members); Moveon.Org; and sadly, Nancy Pelosi’s “PAC to the Future.” Bowman’s election was also supported by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). 

In the one instance, when Bowman did the right thing by voting to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system (several months after the May 2021 Hamas rocket onslaught), one of Bowman’s main backers, the anti-Israel BDS group, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) warned Bowman that the DSA would “not re-endorse Bowman unless he is able to demonstrate solidarity with Palestine in alignment with expectations we have set.” The DSA and Squad seem like an antisemitic gang whose members must constantly outdo one another in attacking the Jewish state. Bowman’s letter is a hateful example of this.

ZOA Praises Local Rabbis’ Letter: ZOA was pleased to see the strong show of Jewish unity condemning Bowman’s letter and pattern of anti-Israel Congressional activity: Thirteen rabbis in Bowman’s district (Westchester County and parts of the Bronx, New York) from every stream of Judaism sent a letter condemning Bowman’s actions. The rabbis’ letter notes:

“Congressman Jamaal Bowman is cementing his place among the members of Congress most hostile to Israel. . . Rep. Bowman has chosen to . . . align himself with the most caustic anti-Israel voices in Washington. Last year, Congressman Bowman removed his name from a bill to expand the Abraham Accords peace deals — this, after signing on as an early supporter. Three months later, he co-sponsored a resolution with Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Betty McCollum and Cori Bush commemorating the Palestinian “Nakba,” a term that characterizes Israel’s founding on May 14, 1948 (the same day that the U.S. officially recognized the new state) as a “catastrophe.”

“Last week, a new effort was pushed by the anti-Israel squad, with Bowman in the driver’s seat. Along with Senator Bernie Sanders, Rep. Bowman mobilized colleagues to sign a scathing, one-sided letter to President Biden and Secretary Blinken calling on the administration “to undertake a shift in U.S. policy” toward Israel. Their letter castigates Israel — and only Israel — for the lack of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It cites “the bloody reality in the occupied West Bank,” yet makes no mention of the Palestinian Authority and its “pay-to-slay” martyrs fund that rewards terrorists for killing Jews.

“It chastises Israel for counter-terrorism operations in the West Bank, but fails to recognize that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians killed in recent raids were in fact terrorists planning attacks and Palestinian gunmen shooting at IDF troops trying to arrest those terrorists. It . . . pressures the administration to be far more hostile toward our ally.

“And perhaps most concerning, the letter accuses Israel of human rights abuses that would disqualify it from receiving lifesaving security aid from the United States. While those accusations are unfounded in and of themselves, the suggestion that the Biden administration is negligent in its oversight of our aid has been formally debunked as recently as this month.

“Congressman Bowman is no longer merely an accessory to anti-Israel rhetoric in Washington. He is now leading the effort to erode support for Israel on Capitol Hill and within the Democratic Party. If he succeeds, it will leave the world’s lone Jewish state further isolated and exposed to those who want to cause it harm. It will hurt America’s interests in the region, where we need more allies working with us against foes like Iran, China, and Russia. . . . If Congressman Bowman truly cares about advancing peace, he will abandon his damaging and counterproductive agenda. Those of us who care deeply about the U.S.-Israel relationship call on Rep. Bowman to change course.”

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