New York Rabbis push George Latimer to challenge Congressman Jamaal Bowman for House seat
Dozens of rabbis and other Jewish leaders are pushing Westchester County Executive George Latimer in New York to challenge Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) for his congressional seat next year.
In a letter to the New York Democrat, the Jewish leaders cited Bowman’s refusal to support Israel as going against their values and justifying a run against him. They said Bowman “brought a deeply concerning agenda to Washington,” particularly his “damaging” position toward “America’s relationship with Israel.”
Dear Mr. Latimer,
We are rabbis from across the Jewish denominational spectrum. While we represent congregations and organizations throughout New York’s 16th Congressional District, today, we are writing in our personal capacities, to urge you to announce your run for Congress.
For over three decades, our community was represented in Congress by a Democratic champion who consistently delivered for the people of Westchester and represented our core values in Washington, especially in unwavering support for Israel’s safety and security.
Three years ago, Jamaal Bowman unseated Eliot Engel and brought a deeply concerning agenda to Washington. Many of us tried to engage the Congressman early in his term, seeking constructive dialogue about the damaging positions he took – especially on matters related to America’s relationship with Israel.
Regrettably, Congressman Bowman disregarded our outreach and doubled down on his anti-Israel policy positions and messaging.
Last April, many of us signed an open letter to Bowman citing his troubling record and urging him to change course.
We were once again met with silence – and then, even more damaging actions in Congress. Bowman boycotted President Herzog’s historic speech, refused to sign a resolution that rejected Israel as a racist or apartheid state, and voted against legislation supporting the Abraham Accords and celebrating Israel’s 75th anniversary of statehood.
Last week, more than 1,300 Israelis were brutally massacred by Hamas terrorists. Thousands of others were physically, sexually, and psychologically injured, to say nothing of the nearly 200 taken hostage. Your statement of unequivocal support for our ally was immensely appreciated by our community.
Inexplicably, but predictably, while Congressman Bowman condemned the attacks, he put the blame on Israel for its “blockade of Gaza.” He now is calling for an immediate ceasefire, effectively a position of appeasement toward Hamas’s terror regime.
Since being elected, Bowman has led the effort to erode support for Israel on Capitol Hill and within the Democratic Party. That’s why we’re turning to you, in the hope that you will announce your candidacy for Congress and restore our values to this important seat in Washington.
Your election would be a vital course correction from the last three years. We are behind you, and we know that our communities will strongly support you if you enter the race. Your remarks at the Westchester Jewish Council Community Rally on Tuesday, October 10th, gave us great hope that you would bring the same unflinching moral courage and conviction to an office where it is desperately needed at this crucial time.
We look forward to hearing from you soon and continuing our dialogue.
Rabbi Jonathan E. Blake
Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz
Rabbi Chaim Axelrod
Rabbi Sasha Baken
Rabbi Adam Baldachin
Rabbi Lester Bronstein
Rabbi Jeffrey Brown
Rabbi Leah Citrin
Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Rabbi Reuven Fink
Rabbi Leora Frankel
Rabbi Howard Goldsmith
Rabbi Daniel Gropper
Rabbi Shmuel Hain
Rabbi Evan Hoffman
Rabbi David Holtz
Rabbi Nuriel Klinger
Rabbi Binyamin Krauss
Rabbi Chaim Marder
Rabbi Jonathan Morgenstern
Rabbi Daniel Reiser
Rabbi David Schuck
Rabbi Zach Sitkin
Rabbi Jay Stein
Rabbi Annie Tucker
Rabbi Scott Weiner