Socialist group criticizes US congressman for Israel journey

A outstanding socialist group is at odds with a Democratic congressman for visiting Israel. 

Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York visited Israel and the West Bank this month as a part of a visit organized by the foyer group J Street, which describes itself as “pro-Israel, pro-peace.” Bowman is a member of the self-dubbed “squad” of progressives in Congress, who’re comparatively vital of Israel. In February, Bowman wrote a letter to the Israeli consulate in New York concerning the comparatively gradual COVID-19 vaccine rollout within the Palestinian Territories vis-a-vis Israel. 

Bowman traveled with a small group of different Democrats in Congress. On Nov. 10, he met with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who described the dialog as “great.” The identical day, he met with Palestinian youngsters within the West Bank metropolis of Hebron. He criticized Israel’s occupation of the territory afterward.  

“When I asked about their dreams, their answer was simple: freedom,” Bowman tweeted concerning the youngsters. “The occupation must end.”

Democratic Socialists of America launched an announcement on Nov. 16 about Bowman’s journey to Israel. The group stated that it “unapologetically stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their ongoing struggle for liberation.” The group additionally reiterated its assist for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions motion, which requires quite a lot of boycotts towards Israel, together with a travel boycott.

Democratic Socialists of America added that they acquired letters from many chapters and members throughout the nation on the problem. Some Democratic Socialists of America chapters have been extra direct with their criticism. The Las Vegas chapter wrote on Nov. 13, “It is time that we hold Representative Jamaal Bowman accountable” for the journey. 

A spokesperson for Bowman declined to remark at this time on the letter. Democratic Socialists of America stated they may meet with Bowman quickly. 

Bowman was endorsed by Democratic Socialists of America in 2020, when he defeated longtime Rep. Eliot Engel within the Democratic main. This is just not the primary time members of the group have criticized him for his report on Israel, nevertheless. Last month, a Wisconsin Democratic Socialists of America chapter demanded they “expel” Bowman after he voted in favor of further funding for Israel’s Iron Dome, which is an air protection system that protects Israel from rocket fireplace. 

The Wisconsin chapter additionally took concern with Bowman issuing condolences upon the dying of Colin Powell, who was secretary of state throughout the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. 

Solidarity with Palestine and opposition to Israel is a trigger célèbre for a lot of on the political left around the globe, together with within the United States.