Jamaal Bowman Makes Israel-Related Claim Outed As Lie
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) has sparked controversy yet again with claims about his experience at Israeli checkpoints during a trip to the West Bank. According to Bowman, he had gotten stopped at Israeli checkpoints during his travel to the Jewish nation because he was not a Jew.
As seen in a video shared on X, Bowman stated, “So we’ve been using a lot of rhetoric about a two-state solution for decades, and when I went there I saw that we are nowhere near a two-state-solution. Myself, as a sitting member of Congress, could not walk through certain checkpoints in the West Bank because I wasn’t Jewish.”
Anti-Israel Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman: "Myself, as a sitting member of Congress, could not walk through certain checkpoints in the West Bank because I wasn't Jewish!" pic.twitter.com/UkqmCFgC0p
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 22, 2023
The Democrat’s claims were met with skepticism by some, including New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-NY), who tweeted, “I checked with two people on the same trip and this didn’t happen. He traveled with a delegation of American Congressmen.”
I checked with two people on the same trip and this didn't happen. He traveled with a delegation of American Congressmen.
— NYS Assembly Member Amy Paulin (@AmyPaulin) November 22, 2023
Political analyst Eitan Fischberger, in a pinned tweet, criticized Bowman’s statement as an “outrageous lie” and accused him of harboring anti-Semitic sentiments.
An outrageous lie from @RepBowman: "Myself, as a sitting member of Congress, could not walk through certain checkpoints in the West Bank because I wasn't Jewish!" There isn't a single checkpoint like this. He hates the Jews so much. He really does. pic.twitter.com/uc0tl8L2dt
— Eitan Fischberger (@EFischberger) November 22, 2023
Former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman shared the same sentiments, labeling Bowman’s claim as “false antisemitic libel.” He expressed concern that such intentional falsehoods could incite violence and called for Bowman’s removal from Congress.
Jamaal Bowman isn’t just lying. He is advancing a false antisemitic libel that is going to rile up a crowd and get someone hurt. Intentional lies about Israel and the Jewish People should find no quarter in the halls of Congress. Send Bowman home! https://t.co/TlEdv19cbh
— David M Friedman (@DavidM_Friedman) November 22, 2023
Even a fellow leftist, Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY), chimed in to say, “Jewish checkpoints are as fictional as Jewish space lasers,” echoing the belief that Bowman’s claims were unfounded.
While J Street president Jeremy Ben Ami, who had accompanied Bowman on the trip, tried to defend the congressman’s statement by asserting that there are indeed checkpoints in Hebron where security measures are based on religion, he got schooled, too. Ami had also mentioned that other checkpoints aim to maintain security by separating Palestinians from Israelis and foreigners.
However, podcast host Noam Blum contested his claims, arguing that the separation at checkpoints is not based on religion but rather on nationality, involving both Israeli Muslims and foreigners.
Bowman’s claims, made on Tuesday in an interview with MSNBC, came after he was cleared on Wednesday by a congressional ethics panel of pulling a Capitol Hill fire alarm during a chaotic vote on a stopgap spending bill in September.
That particular interview with MSNBC earned him backlash on many fronts as he also got criticized for calling on Israel to end the fighting in Gaza and asking Americans to focus on pushing Israel to negotiate an independent Palestinian state.
Speaking to the host, he said, “We have been saying for so long, we are pro-Israel, pro-Israel’s right to exist, pro-Israel’s right to defend itself and self-determination. But we haven’t been saying the same thing about Palestinians… Israel’s safety and security [are] directly connected to Palestinian freedom, safety, and security.”