Wednesday, Jun 19th

In Support of George Latimer: From Diane Greenwald, Paul Feiner and Mark Lewis

GeorgeLatimer(This letter was written by Diane Greenwald) Congressman/candidate Jamaal Bowman is having a hot mic moment. As reported in the NY Times and The Daily Beast, Bowman was taped last month defending his commitment to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Last fall, he claimed he let his DSA membership lapse, but now he admits he really didn’t! Bowman lied out of political calculation, not genuine beliefs. Jaw dropping.

He has now been endorsed by the DSA and is receiving help from the Justice Democrats PAC, but it is a desperate strategy. With over 150,000 Jews and many allies, district voices express strong support for Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. Constituents expect that calls for hostage release and condemnation of brutal sexual violence against Israelis are expressed as readily as compassion for the hungry and displaced in Gaza. Instead, Bowman applies binary narratives borrowed from the intersectional ideology of oppressed vs. oppressor that do not readily translate to the Middle East. Bowman is not an expert on the region but shows little humility and even less solidarity with his Jewish constituents. His sound-bite approach is neither a path to peace nor a savvy reelection strategy.

Bowman seeks funding, not votes, when he courts DSA approval. His is exactly the power-hungry behavior he denounces in others. Bowman has a popular primary opponent, the long-time Democrat and Westchester County Executive, George Latimer, who he claims is funded by AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby. But Latimer, who is polling way out ahead, is not going to win because of outside support. That is just Bowman’s cover; he is losing all on his own.

George Latimer has a proven track-record supporting reproductive rights, fighting gun violence, ensuring fiscal responsibility, investing in job development and infrastructure, and championing equitable education. Latimer has supported Israel’s right to self-defense and been consistent in his calls to bring hostages home. He does not use incendiary language or oversimplify what is complicated and worthy of criticism. Latimer earned the endorsement of nearly all the local Democratic Committees, while none supported Bowman, a stunning lack of confidence in the incumbent. Latimer earned the endorsement of a wide range of Democratic leaders, from Secretary Hillary Clinton to Mondaire Jones, the progressive Democrat running for Congress in the next district over.

Bowman has lots of issues. A Democratic stronghold, few in the district supported his “no” vote on Biden’s groundbreaking infrastructure plans. Bowman’s few statements condemning the atrocities committed by Hamas against Israel on Oct 7th were always lukewarm and he has not shown up at community vigils. In an open letter, twenty-six rabbis from his district, representing a range of institutions, expressed frustration with Bowman’s lack of responsiveness to their repeated efforts for dialogue. They encouraged Latimer to run. The progressive, pro-Israel organization J Street who had invested time and energy into Bowman, rescinded their endorsement.

Sadly, Bowman’s search for scapegoats goes on. The NYT and The Daily Beast report that Bowman describes AIPAC as his and the DSA’s “common enemy,” a deeply troubling approach.

For better or worse, AIPAC supports a range of politicians from far right to far left, and many in between, based on a politician’s support for Israel, and nothing else. There is room for criticism of AIPAC’s singular and non-partisan approach without calling the lobby an enemy. But Bowman leaps far beyond concern with his aggressive rhetoric that makes AIPAC into the sinister power “to destroy.” Bowman, the DSA, and the Justice Democrats use AIPAC as an antisemitic dog-whistle, relying on ancient and ugly tropes and Jewish blood libel to fearmonger for funds. It is truly grotesque. It’s also divisive and dangerous. Bowman seems unwilling to acknowledge the line through from his own DSA-endorsed anti-Zionist rhetoric to the distressing escalation of overt antisemitism on display across the nation. Where is his allyship? Where is his peace and love?

Karen Attiah in her Washington Post column (June 11,) also assigns AIPAC a sinister role, and wonders, “how far America’s right wing will go to crush progressive movements.” It’s a misleading concern, given that Latimer is neither right wing nor does he have a racist track-record of any kind. Latimer is a progressive Democrat, has tremendous local support, and he has a chance to unite the dynamic, diverse district with respect and tolerance. Maybe the better questions are: why is the progressive movement aligned with radical narratives of a complex foreign war? How far will the DSA go to vilify Democrats and undermine historic, domestic allyship between Black and Jews?

Bottom line is, if Bowman loses this primary it won’t be because of AIPAC engagement or his identity as a strong Black man. If Bowman loses it will be because he repeatedly ignores his constituents and votes against local interests.

I am voting for George Latimer for Congress NY-16, in the New York primary on Tuesday June 25. (early voting is available!) Join me.

Diane Greenwald
Scarsdale, NY

Democrat, Jew, Zionist, Progressive, Humanitarian, Mom, Enemy to None
supporting peace, compassion and compromise here and abroad

(This letter was written by Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner)

I would like to thank former United States Congressman Mondaire Jones for endorsing George Latimer for Congress and highlighting a major reason for doing so: George's support of Israel. Congressman Jamaal Bowman's critical stance on Israel highlights the need for voters in the Congressional primary to send a message to other Congressman across the nation that it's unacceptable to reelect a Congrssman who refused to vote for a resolution in Congress in support of Israel in the wake of the Hamas attack.

If Congressman Bowman is re-elected other members of Congress may feel more comfortable joining the movement to end support for the state of Israel. This primary is probably the most important Congressional primary in recent history because the consequences are so great. A victory by Congressman Bowman could lead to the end of Israel as a Democratic Jewish state. The slogan "from the river to the sea" will become a reality if more and more members of Congress do what Congressman Bowman has been doing and voting against Israel.

Former Congressman Mondaire Jones should be commended for putting the interests of the world first. I'm not surprised. When Mondaire Jones represented Greenburgh he fought hard for the town -his constituent services were among the best and his responsiveness to the community was appreciated by many grateful constituents. Congressman Mondaire Jones took a chance speaking out for Israel and for George and is losing some support from Anti Israel Democrats. But - the former Congressman did what he always does--he does what he thinks is right for the nation and community. I think that a team of Congressman Latimer and Congressman Jones will do great things for Westchester next year.

Paul Feiner
Greenburgh Town Supervisor

(This letter was written by Mark Lewis)

Letter to the Editor:GeorgeLatimer
I am supporting George Latimer for Congress. I have known George for over 30 years. George is always available to his constituents. I got to know George Latimer when he represented two election districts in Scarsdale. George worked with me on a variety of issues, i.e. stopping the County from putting in a driving range at the Saxon Woods golf course, putting in a walking path along the Bronx River Parkway, repaving it and Post Road.

George Latimer is pro-choice. He has passed a bill to protect access to abortion clinics and stop the invasion of these clinics by anti-choice protestors. He has been endorsed in all his races by Choice Matters, the Pro-Choice advocacy group.

George Latimer became Westchester County Executive, he inherited a County Budget with almost no reserves and Westchester’s bond rating had been downgraded from AAA to AA. Under George’s prudent fiscal leadership, the bond rating has been upgraded, once again, to a AAA rating. In addition, George has been able to reduce County taxes four years in a row.

On October 7, 2023 Hamas attacked Israel and kidnapped 240 people in. George condemned the action and came out in support of Israel. In contrast, a few days later his opponent condemned Israel for attacking Hamas. George asked Congressman Bowman to support President Biden’s Infrastructure Act bill, because it would bring badly needed funds to Westchester. Instead Bowman voted against it and our interests.

Mail in voting for the June 25, 2024 Primary Election has begun. Early voting at designated polling places for the Primary Election runs from June 15-June 23 and voting in person voting is on June 25, 2024. Join with me and vote for George Latimer for Congress.

Mark Lewis
80 East Hartsdale Ave. Apt. 117
Hartsdale, N.Y. 10530

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