Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York, a Democrat, is calling for a “clear distinction” to be drawn between Israel’s citizens and the country’s government, as anti-Semitism has risen in the US and around the world amid the war between Israel and Israel. forces and terrorists of Hamas.
Bowman explained that people can hold the Israeli government accountable while standing with the Jewish people against hatred and anti-Semitism.
“The Israeli government does not represent the Jewish people. Those are two different things,” the lawmaker said in a video posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “And so when I criticize the Israeli government, I’m not criticizing the Jewish people. When I criticize the Myanmar government, I’m not criticizing the Buddhists. When I’m criticizing Saudi Arabia, I’m not criticizing the Muslims. I’m criticizing the US, I’m criticizing the US government.” .
“Because our governments need to do better for their people as opposed to using our people and our trauma and our grief and our pain for their own power,” he continued.
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More than 10,000 people have been killed in Gaza and Israel by Hamas launched the biggest attack against the Jewish state in decades on October 7, leading to retaliation by Israeli forces. Thousands more have been injured and many more have been taken hostage by Hamas and raped, tortured and murdered.
Bowman is among several progressive Democrats who have been critical of the Israeli government since the war against Hamas began. A motion to impeach Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., over comments critical of Israel failed last week.
The New York lawmaker co-sponsored a resolution last month with more than a dozen other progressive members of the House calling for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Bowman was also one of more than 20 members of the House, including one Republican, who voted against a separate resolution calling on US university administrators to condemn anti-Semitism on their campuses and ensure that Jewish professors and students can exercise free speech without intimidation.
In his video Saturday, Bowman also urged the Biden administration to ensure Israel follows international law in its war against Hamas.
CALL FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST JEWS ROCK DC AMID MASS PRO-PALESTINIAN PROTESTS
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“I think when we talk about human rights and international law, we need to have honest conversations, and we need to hold even our allies accountable when they violate international law,” Bowman said. “I think the U.S. hasn’t done a good enough job of that.”
The Biden administration has strongly supported Israel in its war against Hamas, including supporting its right to defend itself and pledging billions in aid. Last week, the government called for a “humanitarian pause” in the war to help civilians in Gaza.
“Yes, we want to [Israel] to be our allies. Absolutely. They have the right to defend themselves and to self-determination,” Bowman said. “Palestinians have the same right.”