Daniel Reingold’s recent letter [“An open letter to congressional candidate Jamaal Bowman,” June 19] raised important questions for residents of our district to consider as we cast our votes on June 23. Fortunately, Jamaal Bowman recently published a letter in the Riverdale Press answering many of the questions Reingold posed. As his letter demonstrates, Jamaal’s foreign policy platform — like his domestic policy stances — are rooted in love and concern for all people.
I hope my neighbors will vote for Jamaal not in spite of his positions on Israel, but because of his positions on Israel.
Jamaal is anti-BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] and has been from the outset of his campaign, but also pledges to “defend the rights of all people to express their First Amendment right to peacefully organize for political change.” He also supports “the right of Israelis to live in safety and peace, free from the fear of violence and terrorism from Hamas and other extremists” and further supports “continued U.S. aid to help Israel confront these security challenges.” I use Jamaal’s own words because I believe they are powerful and speak for themselves.
In his letter, Jamaal sympathizes with Israeli Jews’ need for peace and security as a minority who has lived being “targeted by violence and hatred.” I participated in The Jewish Vote’s endorsement process of Jamaal this past December, and I can attest to how closely he has worked with our organization to work in partnership with the Jewish community. I have met Jamaal personally multiple times since then, and his passion for fighting anti-Semitism in our country as well as upholding and fighting for Israel’s right to exist is apparent.
Israel’s current settlement policy creates more violence than peace, and further endangers Israel. Continuing to annex Palestinian lands while ignoring the violence done to Palestinians by the Israeli government will only add more fuel to the fire. I fear that allowing [U.S. Rep. Eliot] Engel’s polarizing policies to continue will endanger Israel further.
If we want Israel and our district to thrive, we must elect Jamaal.