Jamaal Bowman Claims Anti-Israel Phrase Is Not ‘Hate Speech’

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Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York claimed during a Monday night debate that the anti-Israel phrase “from the river to the sea” is not hate speech.

The phrase, which has been used since the 1960s, has received more attention after being used at multiple anti-Israel demonstrations since the Oct. 7 attack by the terrorist group Hamas. Bowman debated Westchester County Executive George Latimer as the June 25 primary nears, and was asked by a constituent if he thought the phrase was hate speech. (RELATED: ‘Jesus Probably Would Have Killed You Himself’: Pro-Palestinian Speaker Goes On Unhinged Rant At City Council Meeting)

“I know some do, others don’t, I do not,” Bowman answered.

Bowman was one of nine Democrats to oppose an October 2023 resolution supporting Israel after the attack.

“I think it is hate speech, because I think it’s clear that ‘from the river to the sea’ has meant specifically the eradication of the Jewish population from the land of Israel,” Latimer responded.


Bowman trailed Latimer by 17 points in a poll released in April.

Bowman and other left-wing members of the House of Representatives known as “The Squad” released statements calling for a ceasefire almost immediately after Israel began its response to the terrorist attacks. Bowman also called on the Biden administration to admit Palestinian refugees displaced by the Israeli invasion into the Gaza Strip.

Bowman was charged with a misdemeanor after he pulled a fire alarm shortly before the House of Representatives passed a stopgap spending measure to avert a government shutdown on Sept. 30. He later circulated talking points about the incident to fellow Democrats that described some Republican members of the House of Representatives as “Nazi[s].”

Latimer has received support from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which has donated at least $600,000 to his campaign.

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