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Bowman to appear at fundraiser with anti-Israel councilwoman in NYC

Councilwoman Shahana Hanif has faced criticism from constituents over her harsh stances against Israel and unwillingness to acknowledge growing antisemitism

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) arrives to the U.S. Capitol before the House voted to send an articles of impeachment resolution against President Joe Biden to committees on Thursday, June 22, 2023.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) will appear at a fundraiser on Monday hosted on his behalf by a local anti-Israel lawmaker as he faces a competitive primary challenge over his anti-Israel positions. 

Councilwoman Shahana Hanif, who represents the Park Slope and Carroll Gardens areas of Brooklyn, is listed as a member of the host committee on an invitation to the event. 

Hanif identifies as a “Muslim socialist” and has faced criticism from constituents over her harsh stances against Israel and unwillingness to acknowledge growing antisemitism, most notably when she was one of two council members to vote against establishing “End Jew Hatred Day.” A group of Hanif’s constituents accused the councilwoman of turning a blind eye to the uptick in Jew hatred in recent months in an op-ed in the Daily News

Hanif wrote on X, formerly Twitter, over the weekend that she was hosting the event because Bowman has “been consistent on his support and demand for a permanent ceasefire, had her back when Rep. [Rashida] Tlaib [D-MI] was censured, and is a tried and tested leader in Congress.”

Also listed on the invite are Abdullah Younus, Hanif’s husband who boasts on social media of his association with Antifa, and Hassan Naveed, whom New York City Mayor Eric Adams fired as his administration’s hate crimes czar over the precipitous rise in such incidents in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack. The firing was condemned by local Muslim groups, though Adams defended Naveed’s termination as unrelated to his Muslim faith. 

“We’re seeing an increase in hate crime,” Adams said in late April. “You are given a responsibility in a role, you’re in charge of hate crimes. I’m seeing an increase in hate crime, so to believe that you’re fired because you’re Muslim, as many Muslim staffers that I have, and I can’t go into the details of it because there’s a lawsuit. Let the lawyers figure it out. People have to live up to what they’re hired to do. Taxpayers deserve that.”

Bowman’s left-wing, anti-Israel record in Congress has alienated moderate Democratic voters to the point where he could lose a hotly contested primary against Westchester County Executive George Latimer on June 25. 

Bowman badly needs to improve his standing with suburban voters who find his hard-left activism problematic. Latimer has consistently polled ahead of the incumbent congressman with that moderate suburban constituency — most notably, among Jewish voters alienated by Bowman’s anti-Israel posture and ties to antisemitic groups.

While Bowman has cozied up to President Joe Biden recently, appearing at a fundraiser together and voting for the incumbent in the presidential primary, he has refused to seek middle ground on Israel issues despite his district’s large and active Jewish community. 

He has also voted against many Biden-backed bipartisan initiatives, including Biden’s infrastructure deal, the national security supplemental (which included Israel aid, TikTok divestiture legislation and a bill aimed at stemming the flow of fentanyl that rivals a proposal of his own), as well as numerous Democratic-led resolutions relating to Israel or condemning terrorism.

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