Vulnerable Squad Democrat Says Anti-Israel Chant 'From the River to the Sea' Isn't Hate Speech


New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman should, ordinarily, be in a safe seat.

Not only is he a progressive Democrat incumbent in a deep-blue seat, he’s got himself a national profile. He’s a member of the so-called “squad,” a group of hard-left representatives who have made waves ever since Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a founding member of the informal group, upset a high-ranking establishment Democrat in the 2018 midterm primary.

However, Bowman’s progressivism is an issue precisely because he represents a district with a significant number of Jewish constituents — and Bowman has been one of the most prominent voices calling for an unconditional cease-fire from Israel in its war against the terrorist group Hamas, as well as a loud critic of the Israeli government itself.

If you needed more evidence why polls show him trailing his Democratic primary opponent, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, all you needed to do was look at Monday’s debate between the two, in which both men were asked whether the pro-Palestinian protest phrase “from the river to the sea” is hateful.

The phrase is necessarily hateful; it implies the annihilation of the Jewish state by stating that from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, since it’s second half is “Palestine will be free.” Considering this encompasses the entirety of the state of Israel, it isn’t difficult to see what the implications of this phrase really is.

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Unless, of course, you’re Rep. Bowman and you’re being asked if you find it hateful.

“I know some do, others don’t,” he said. “I do not.”

Latimer displayed why Bowman has a problem because he was able to say the obvious.

“I think it is hate speech because I think it’s clear that ‘from the river to the sea’ has meant specifically the eradication of the Jewish population from the land of Israel,” Latimer said.

Latimer, who wants a “two-state solution,” said that campus activists might be parroting what they’d heard without being hateful: “What’s behind the marketing campaign that’s being advanced is to try to delegitimize Israel and that there be a free Palestine is a hopeful sign, but it has to accept the fact that there is an Israel there as well,” he said, as the New York Post noted.

Now, how difficult was that? I may not agree with Latimer’s interpretation, but that’s essentially the sensible Democratic Party position.

But, nothing is ever easy — or for that matter, logical — in “squad”-land. Once one is married to an ideology divorced from reality, one has commit to all manner of stupidities to cover the comrades on the left, especially on college campuses.

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The campus comrades are chanting “from the river to the sea” as they take over quads from Columbia to UCLA and points in-between. The campus comrades support the “squad” so long as it pays lip service to them.

Ergo, Jamaal Bowman can’t say the bleeding obvious out loud: Any kind of move to retake Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea would involve not only the invasion of a sovereign state by de facto terrorist organizations, it would then require ethnic cleansing of the Jewish inhabitants.

But, nope. Not hateful at all. I mean, some people find it hateful, as Jamaal Bowman pointed out. He sympathizes, in other words. But he sees nothing wrong with this scenario.

It’s little wonder, then, that a poll released last month by the Democratic Majority for Israel, which surveyed 400 registered voters in Bowman’s 16th Congressional District, found 52 percent of respondents supported Latimer and only 35 percent supported Bowman.

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“With a robust campaign, George Latimer is in a strong position to unseat the now unpopular Congressman Bowman,” said DMFI head Mark Mellman, according to the left-wing, Jewish publication The Forward.

While it’s worth noting that DMFI has endorsed Latimer and isn’t exactly an uninterested party, a 17-point gap in any poll — partisan though it may be — should catch the attention of the incumbent.

After all, Bowman has had a long history of bad blood with Jewish voters in his district.

He got into office by beating former Rep. Eliot Engel, who is Jewish and a strong supporter of Israel, in the 2020 Democratic primary. Now, it appears Latimer is prepared to do the same to Bownman — and for those who favor common sense when it comes to right and wrong in the Middle East, that should be a cause for celebration.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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