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Rep. Jamaal Bowman targeted for expulsion by fellow socialists for Israel visit

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The Democratic Socialists of America’s BDS & Palestine Solidarity Working Group has called for the immediate expulsion of Rep. Jamaal Bowman after the New York congressman did not apologize for participating in a diplomatic trip to Israel, which the group characterized as “Zionist propaganda.” 

Bowman, a far-left legislator who supports defunding the police, is one of several congressional Democrats who are DSA members. 

The BDS & Palestine Solidarity Working Group stated in a Monday letter that anti-Zionism and support for “BDS” policies — boycotting, divesting and sanctioning the Israeli government and Israeli businesses — were non-negotiable stances for membership in the party. The Working Group’s call for expulsion comes after Bowman allegedly failed to conform to the party platform after a previous email warned Bowman of the group’s discontent.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., is one of several DSA members in Congress. 
((Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images))

“[W]e explicitly told Bowman that just like the propaganda trips sponsored by Zionist groups, Zionist propaganda events are carefully constructed to validate Zionism by advancing certain narratives that normalize Israeli apartheid and the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from historic Palestine,” the Monday letter stated. 

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Bowman attracted the ire of DSA pro-Palestinian groups after attending an early November diplomatic trip to Israel sponsored by lobby group J Street.  

“Last week, Congressman and DSA member Jamaal Bowman took part in a propaganda trip to Israel that was sponsored by J Street — a pro-Israel lobby group,” the group wrote in its original Nov. 17 complaint about Bowman. 

Bowman, who is often lumped into the “Squad” with other left-leaning progressive Democrats, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, disappointed his socialist supporters with a series of decisions that pushed back against BDS and anti-Zionist movements.  

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaking with reporters on Capitol Hill in June.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaking with reporters on Capitol Hill in June.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Bowman also voted in favor of granting an additional $1 billion to the Israeli Iron Dome defense system in September — a bill that passed with an overwhelming 420-9 vote. Bowman’s affirmative vote was another blow to the DSA’s trust in the congressman. 

“Despite insisting that he is sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinian people, he has continued to show that he simply is not in solidarity with Palestinians, nor that he is willing to do what solidarity would actually necessitate,” the letter continued. “Building real solidarity and social bonds with Palestinians requires more than just recognizing and feeling bad for their plight.”

The group added, “A number of Palestinian DSA members — within and outside of our working group — support expulsion.” 

“Thus, in line with our Working Group’s overwhelming vote, we call on the NPC to immediately begin the expulsion process for Rep. Bowman,” the letter continued. “Will we be a socialist organization that builds electoral power that is accountable to our socialist values, or will DSA devolve into a congressional advocacy organization that trades out its values for access to anyone on Capitol Hill offering us crumbs?” 

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The Working Group cited the DSA Constitution as a basis for Bowman’s termination from the organization.

According to the DSA Constitution and Bylaws, “Members can be expelled if they are found to be in substantial disagreement with the principles or policies of the organization or if they consistently engage in undemocratic, disruptive behavior or if they are under the discipline of any self-defined democratic-centralist organization.” 

Both local and national-level expulsions from the DSA are possible. However, a national-level expulsion requires a two-thirds vote from the National Political Committee. 

Fox News reached out to Bowman’s campaign and the DSA BDS & Palestine Solidarity Working Group for comment but did not receive responses. 

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