Apparent Bowman victory over Engel is a monumental collapse for Israel lobby

Jamaal Bowman at his campaign launch event (Photo: Twitter/@JamaalBowmanNY)
Jamaal Bowman at his campaign launch event. (photo: Twitter / @JamaalBowmanNY)

Jamaal Bowman’s apparent victory over Eliot Engel punctures the Israel lobby’s carefully cultivated mythology of invincibility.

By Josh Ruebner | Mondoweiss | June 24, 2020

Bowman’s apparent victory is not a setback for the Israel lobby–it is a monumental collapse.

In August 2014, I helped organize and moderated a gut-wrenching panel on Capitol Hill during Israel’s ferocious Operation Protective Edge, its 50-day spree of war crimes unleashed against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The panel featured searing testimony from Tariq Abukhdeir, the Florida teen who had been viciously beaten by Israeli border police while handcuffed the previous month after his cousin Mohammed had been savagely murdered by Israeli extremists, and author Laila El-Haddad, who had received the horrific news that very day that the Israeli military killed eight members of her family.

C-SPAN covered the event live, a move so disconcerting to Israel’s supporters on Capitol Hill that the network was forced to temporarily cut away from the panel to cover a rambling, impromptu paean to Israel delivered by Sen. Barbara Boxer to a largely empty chamber.

The room was so packed to capacity with Members of Congress, Hill staff, media, and the general public (former Rep. Keith Ellison, currently Minnesota’s Attorney General prosecuting the case against the police officers who killed George Floyd, took an unassuming seat on the floor) that we decided to run another panel immediately afterward to accommodate the crush of people who could not get in.

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