Pro-Israel Democrat Group Endorses ‘Squad’ Primary Opponents

Democratic Majority for Israel announced on April 3 its backing of George Latimer and Wesley Bell.
Pro-Israel Democrat Group  Endorses ‘Squad’ Primary Opponents
(Left) Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) speaks at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on June 22, 2023. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Just Majority); (Right) St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell speaks during an interview in Clayton, Miss., on July 29, 2019. (Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)
Jackson Richman

A Democrat pro-Israel group has endorsed candidates challenging incumbents who are members of the far-left congressional group “The Squad.”

Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) announced on April 3 its backing of Westchester County Executive George Latimer and St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell.

DMFI did not state its reasons for backing the two other than through announcing a slate of endorsements.

Mr. Bell is running in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District to take on Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), while Mr. Latimer is running in New York’s 16th Congressional District against Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.).

In a statement to The Epoch Times, Mr. Latimer expressed his support for Israel and thanked DMFI for the endorsement.

“With democracy under attack across the globe, it is more important than ever to have leaders who support our democratic allies, and Israel is the only true democracy and our strongest ally in the Middle East, and I am proud to stand with them, now and forever,” he said.

“I am committed to defeating Hamas’ terrorism and working toward a true lasting peace in which Israelis and Palestinians can both be secure and safe in their homes,” added Mr. Latimer, who visited Israel in November, where he toured the kibbutz Kfar Aza, where residents were attacked by Hamas terrorists.

Kfar Aza is just a few miles from the Gazan border.

The group supports candidates for federal office whom they deem supportive of Israel.

Mr. Bell expressed his appreciation for being endorsed by DMFI.

“The United States and Israel are bound by a commitment to common interests and shared, progressive values.

“I know what’s possible when people come together and get the job done, and in Congress, I'll work to ensure that the bond between our two democracies continues to strengthen,” he said in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter.

The Epoch Times has reached out to the Bush and Bowman campaigns for their reaction to DMFI endorsing their primary opponents.

DMFI has endorsed 96 congressional candidates—11 of whom are not incumbents.

The DMFI endorsements exemplify a pattern of groups in the Jewish and pro-Israel community endorsing primary opponents against candidates they consider to be hostile toward Israel, especially in the aftermath of Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023—the largest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has a political action committee, AIPAC PAC, and a super PAC, United Democracy Project. Those groups, which were founded in 2021, have been involved in primaries since the 2022 cycle.

Mr. Bowman and Ms. Bush have a record that has been criticized for being anti-Israel.

A video recently surfaced of Mr. Bowman labeling the condemnation of rapes committed by Hamas on Oct. 7 as “propaganda.”

“There was propaganda used in the beginning of the siege,” he said at a Nov. 17 rally, according to Politico, citing a TikTok video.

“There’s still no evidence of beheaded babies or raped women. But they still keep using that lie [for] propaganda.”

Mr. Bowman has since walked back those remarks.

“As I said at this rally, what Hamas did on Oct. 7 is a war crime and they must release all the hostages,” he told Politico.

“The United Nations confirmed that Hamas committed rape and sexual violence, a reprehensible fact that I condemn entirely,” continued Mr. Bowman.

“I also voted ‘yes’ on Resolution 966, which officially condemns the rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas. So let me be clear, and ensure my words are not twisted: I always stand against sexual violence in all forms and stand for peace for all.”

Mr. Bowman and Ms. Bush voted against pro-Israel resolutions in July and October. Both have called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. They also voted in November and February against giving Israel supplemental assistance.

In a statement explaining her vote against the February vote to give Israel $14 billion in assistance, Ms. Bush said: “it is unconscionable for the United States government to spend billions of dollars to continue enabling mass atrocities.”

“Instead of flouting domestic and international law in support of the continued killing of children, hostages, and other innocent people, we should be prioritizing the needs of our communities,” she added.

Finally, Mr. Bowman and Ms. Bush were two of the nine Democrats who voted against a pro-Israel resolution in July.

Jackson Richman is a Washington correspondent for The Epoch Times. In addition to Washington politics, he covers the intersection of politics and sports/sports and culture. He previously was a writer at Mediaite and Washington correspondent at Jewish News Syndicate. His writing has also appeared in The Washington Examiner. He is an alum of George Washington University.