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Bowman asked rabbi for photo to ‘show world I’m friends with Jewish people’

The unnamed Jewish leader said the request made him think, “I don’t want to be his court Jew.”

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.). Credit: House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democrats.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.). Credit: House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democrats.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), a member of the progressive congressional “Squad,” tried to bolster his image among Jews by soliciting “pics of us” from a rabbi, a screenshot of a spring 2022 text exchange provided to Jewish Insider reveals.

The representative, one of the most vocal in condemning Israel even before the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel, had requested via text: “Do you have pics of us? So I can show the world I’m friends with Jewish people.” Jewish Insider has kept the rabbi’s name private at his request.

Rather than provide an image, he deflected, saying, “‘Oh, I’m sure you guys have it. Don’t worry about it,’” wrote the Jewish Insider.

Bowman did not request photos from the rabbi again, who told the news outlet: “I was like, ‘I don’t want to be his court Jew.’ That wasn’t what I signed up for.”

Justin Brasch, a Jewish Democrat who serves as a councilman in White Plains, N.Y., told Jewish Insider that Bowman “is not someone who wants to build bridges with Jews and the Jewish community.”

Brasch said “he doesn’t reach out. He doesn’t reach back. He’s not interested at all in the Jewish community.”

Amy Paulin, a Democrat and member of the state assembly, said Bowman “doesn’t tell the truth” since he had told her and others that he did not support the BDS movement before coming out in favor of the effort to destroy the Jewish state.

She described Bowman’s BDS advocacy as “clearly antisemitic” and told Jewish Insider, “I don’t believe anything he says anymore.”

The anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace has endorsed Bowman. In May, the congressman sought—and received—the endorsement of the BDS-supporting Democratic Socialists of America.

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