“He’s losing his mind,” Jon Lovitz’s character says in The Wedding Singer while watching his rival experience an emotional breakdown. “And I’m reaping all the benefits.”

I suppose that’s how George Latimer is feeling right now.

Latimer, the Westchester County executive and former New York state senator, is running against incumbent Jamaal Bowman in his district’s Democratic House primary next week. When Latimer first entered the race, his sanity relative to his rival’s eccentricity was the subtext of the campaign. Now it should be the text.

Bowman is the squadnik whose anti-Semitic obsessions have occasionally culminated in semi-violent fantasies about Israelis. From a policy perspective, Bowman has turned against funding for Iron Dome—a purely defensive system—and the Abraham Accords, which expanded normalization with the Arab world and increased Jewish integration in formerly hostile countries. He is against every instrument of peace and every expression of American allyship with our fellow democracy.

In other words, his voting record contains no redeeming qualities whatsoever. No one loses anything by Bowman getting booted from Congress.

But of course it goes beyond policy. Temperament-wise, Bowman is volatile. He was recently censured—a rather serious reprimand in the House—for trying to disrupt congressional business by pulling a fire alarm and then lying about it, even though the whole fiasco was on video. (Does Jamaal Bowman not think Congress has security cameras?)

As Bowman spins out, he keeps losing backers, such as the left-wing J Street and the progressive erstwhile ally Mondaire Jones. And so he has doubled down on whoever’s left in his camp, which he assumes to be exclusively made up of rabid anti-Semites.

His rhetoric has become indistinguishable from that of the Ayatollah Khamenei. Recently he was caught on video saying to a crowd of supporters: “Because I am fighting against genocide, I am being attacked by the Zionist regime we call AIPAC.”

A conspiracy theorist extraordinaire, Bowman can be seen ranting that the documented rape of Israelis on Oct. 7 by Hamas is made-up “propaganda.”

Yesterday, Jewish Insider revealed that in 2022, as Bowman began alienating every Jewish constituent he could find, he texted a local Jewish community leader: “Do you have pics of us? So I can show the world I’m friends with Jewish People.” That Jewish leader declined to provide such a photo because, he said, “I don’t want to be his court Jew.”

In fact, tokenism is a recurring problem with Bowman. He delusionally insists “Thank God I still have a lot of support within the Jewish community,” but he means the As-a-Jewish community. He is celebrated by the anti-Zionist fringe group Jewish Voice for Peace, which considers Bowman “an unapologetic progressive leader, fighting for better education, the Green New Deal, and against racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia and all forms of hate. He has also become a leading voice in Congress calling for accountability for the Israeli government and an end to U.S. complicity in Israel’s brutal bombardment and siege of Palestinians in Gaza.”

As you can see, his brand is entirely dependent on his reputation as a courageous crusader against all things Israel. His fellow progressive House members laud him for that very courage: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised his past Jew-baiting “given the community that he’s in”—a reference to the fact that his old district had a large Jewish community. Redistricting has liberated him from those scary Jews, however.

Ironically, many Jews in his old district have now been placed in the district represented by Ritchie Torres, one of the most unflinchingly dependable allies the Jewish community has had in Congress in a very long time. Naturally, then, Bowman spends increasing amounts of time attacking Torres. Bowman specifically accused Torres of cozying up to the Jewish community in a cynical bid for power, neither the first nor the last time Torres will be subject to insidious dog whistles for his crime of standing against anti-Semitism—which at the moment, in progressive circles, requires actual courage. Torres, meanwhile, runs circles around the increasingly erratic Bowman without a breaking a sweat: “I care as much about his opinion on me as I do about his opinion on how to properly pull a fire alarm or his opinion on how to remain in Congress,” Torres posted. “His opinion of me is worse than a rubber stamp—it leaves no impression, much like his legislative record.”

Bowman can barely utter a sentence without grumbling about AIPAC, his stand-in for the Jewish money he will blame for his defeat, should he lose next week. As City & State NY noted this week, “Jamaal Bowman has given up on changing minds.” He’s at risk of losing his own, as his steady Jew-baiting campaign descends into something approaching madness.

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