Embattled Representative Jamaal Bowman, Member of Far-Left ‘Squad,’ Loses Key Endorsements as 9/11 Hero Calls Him ‘an Imbecile’ for Truther Poem

Bowman, of New York’s 16th District, is facing a strong primary challenge and is on the defensive over anti-Israel rhetoric.

AP/John Minchillo, file
Representative Jamaal Bowman during an event at SUNY Westchester Community College, May 10, 2023, at Valhalla, New York. AP/John Minchillo, file

The embattled New York Democratic Congressman, Jamaal Bowman, a member of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s far-left ‘Squad’, has lost another key endorsement from a city committee to his challenger in June’s primary. This adds to what’s become a long list of city committees that have abandoned Mr. Bowman for the Westchester County Executive, George Latimer.

Mr. Bowman, a former middle school principal, has long been to the left of many of the constituents in his district, which comprises the southern part of affluent Westchester County and also a sliver of New York City’s poorest borough, the Bronx. The disconnect between Mr. Bowman and his constituents has become a bigger issue in recent months due to the anti-Israel sentiments endorsed by the ‘Squad’. Westchester County has a large Jewish population.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer is making a strong primary challenge against Rep. Jamaal Bowman, and is significantly outraising him. Courtesy George Latimer

On Friday, the Democratic Town Committee for Greenburgh became the eleventh town in New York’s 16th Congressional District to endorse Mr. Latimer. 

Alongside the more than half of the city committees in the district endorsing Mr. Latimer, influential local politicians are also closing ranks behind the county executive. Among them are a state Assemblywoman, Amy Paulin, and a state Senator, Shelley Mayer. Three town mayors and supervisors from Larchmont, Port Chester, and Rye have also endorsed Mr. Latimer.

Representative Jamaal Bowman (r) is pictured with two other ‘Squad’ members, Representatives Rashida Tlaib (l) and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (c).Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Despite his complaints of outside influencers aiding Mr. Latimer, Mr. Bowman’s largest endorsements have been from national or state-level progressive groups and politicians without significant ties to the district. Anti-Israel fellow ‘Squad’ members such as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, and Representatives Cori Bush and Rashida Tlaib, have been outspoken in their support of Mr. Bowman, denouncing the America Israel Political Action Committee, or Aipac, for supporting Mr. Latimer. 

As the Sun previously reported, Rep. Tlaib recently formed a joint fundraising committee with Mr. Bowman, hoping to shore up his campaign funds, which significantly trail Mr. Latimer’s. Unlike Mr. Bowman, Ms. Tlaib has a robust fundraising operation and is expected to easily win reelection.

The string of local endorsements lost to Mr. Latimer is the latest in a long string of setbacks for the Congressman. 

On Wednesday, Mr. Bowman was lambasted by a former New York City fire commissioner, Thomas von Essen, who oversaw the legendary fire department on 9/11 and was a first-responder at the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2001. In response to a poem Mr. Bowman penned and posted on his personal blog in 2011, when he was 35, that called 9/11 a false flag operation, Mr. von Essen stated that Mr. Bowman was an “imbecile”. 

Surveillance video shows Representative Jamaal Bowman illegally pulling a fire alarm on Capitol Hill. Capitol Police

“I’ve been dealing with these imbeciles for over 20 years now, where I’ve been accused of planting bombs every 10 floors in the Trade Center and things like that,” said Mr. von Essen, who was the FDNY commissioner from April 1996 to December 2001.

The poem, which Atlantic writer Graeme Wood speculated might allow Mr. Bowman to take the prize from President Carter for being “literally the worst poet in the United States,” read in part, “2001/Planes used as missiles/Target: The Twin Towers … Later in the day/Building 7/Also Collaspsed [sic]/Hmm…/Multiple explosions/Heard before/And during the collapse/Hmm…”

The poem continues, “Allegedly/Two other planes/The Pentagon/Pennsylvania/Hijacked by terrorist/Minimal damage done/Minimal debris found/Hmmm…” Bowman continued. “We blamed Osama/Went to war in Iraq/Captured Saddam/Killed him. Bin Laden is Afghan/So we went to war there too.”

Mr. Bowman also continues to deal with fallout from an embarrassing incident on September 30 of last year, when he illegally pulled a fire alarm on Capitol Hill.

Embattled Democratic Representative Jamaal Bowman has entered into a fundraising pact with fellow progressive ‘Squad’ member Rashida Tlaib. Both members of Congress are outspoken opponents of Israel’s conduct of the war in Gaza. Jemal Countess/Getty Images for We The 45 Million

Earlier this month,  the Office of Congressional Ethics found that the Mr. Bowman’s excuse for pulling the fire alarm prior to an emergency caucus meeting – that he was confused – was “less than credible or otherwise misleading.” The OCE did not pursue the investigation further, given that the 47-year-old congressman had already been censured on December 8 by the House for his actions. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.

Mr. Bowan’s fire alarm incident may have led to him becoming one of only a handful of members of Congress to be censured over the last two centuries (another recent one is Ms. Tlaib, who was censured for antisemitic rhetoric), but it’s his position on Israel that’s created the more dire threat to his reelection. 

Though once viewed as being a more moderate voice on Israel within the progressive camp, Rep. Bowman has in recent months pivoted to being among the most critical of the Jewish State on Capitol Hill. He’s become a mainstay at far-left anti-Israel protests. He’s featured prominently at anti-Zionist demonstrations –  sponsored by virulently anti-Israel groups such as  IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace –  alongside Reps. Tlaib and Bush. 

His hostile stance toward Israel in the wake of October 7 has lost him key endorsements, even from former allies. In January, the Sun reported that the progressive Jewish group, J Street, withdrew its support of Mr. Bowman after the congressman fawned over the anti-Israel academic, Norman Finkelstein, who had praised October 7 as an act of “heroic resistance.” The group had taken Rep. Bowman on a trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories in 2021, to the dismay of anti-Israel activists at the time.

The New York Sun

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