Rep. Bowman Does a U-Turn on Hamas and Sexual Assault

It might be time for Rep. Jamaal Bowman to pull another fire alarm. Today, Politico has a story about his reversal on the question of whether or not Hamas militants sexually assaulted Israeli women during the 10/7 attack on Israel. More than a month after the attack, Rep. Bowman told a pro-Palestinian gathering in White Plains, NY that those reports were a “lie” and “propaganda.” Here’s video.


There’s a bit of bait and switch happening here. On the day he made those comments Rep. Bowman gave an interview to a local news outlet in which he sounded much less extreme. “We don’t want anyone to be killed. What happened on October 7 was horrible and I condemn that and we condemn it,” he said in a much calmer voice. So it’s one face for the ceasefire protesters and a different one for the media even on the same day. Maybe Bowman thought his comments about rape claims being a lie hadn’t been captured on video?

Whatever the case, as of last week Rep. Bowman was singing a very different tune.

Asked about those remarks on Thursday outside the House floor, Bowman declined to talk about them on the record.

“I’m focused on my votes and other things. I’m not talking,” he said. When asked if he still doubted those claims, he added: “I’m not talking about that now. My team will get back to you.”…

“As I said at this rally, what Hamas did on October 7th is a war crime and they must release all the hostages,” he said. “The UN confirmed that Hamas committed rape and sexual violence, a reprehensible fact that I condemn entirely. I also voted yes on Resolution 966, which officially condemns the rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas. So let me be clear, and ensure my words are not twisted: I always stand against sexual violence in all forms and stand for peace for all.”


It has been a tough couple of months for Bowman. In January he was forced to walk back some 9/11 conspiracy theories he had promoted years earlier as a blogger.

Web archives show that while Bowman was a 35-year-old educator running the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action in the Bronx, he maintained an online journal at, where he published poems and brief essays there on personal, political, and pedagogical concerns through 2014…

Bowman there invoked a favorite, disproven trope of the paranoid fringe: that the collapse of Building 7 was the result of a controlled demolition. In fact, the National Institute of Standards and Technology determined that Building 7 buckled and fell after debris from its taller peers struck it and ignited a blaze inside, undermining its structural integrity. The agency found that none of the details of collapse, from the manner in which the building’s windows broke to the sounds reported in the area, were consistent with the massive blasts a controlled demolition would have required.

The poem then pursues even more obscure conspiratorial musings.

“Allegedly/Two other planes/The Pentagon/Pennsylvania/Hijacked by terrorist [sic]/Minimal damage done/Minimal debris found/Hmm…” he wrote.

The poem ended with Bowman recommending people watch two conspiracy videos: Loose Change and Zeitgeist. That Bowman was promoting this Alex Jones level claptrap little more than a decade ago is pretty amazing. Of course there was also a shout-out to Michael Moore which seems less surprising. In any case, the 9/11 conspiracy theorizing did not go over well with first responders.


The comments have infuriated first responders, and multiple law enforcement groups who spoke with Playbook said the writings have all but disqualified him from their endorsement.

“I’ve been dealing with these imbeciles for over 20 years now, where I’ve been accused of planting bombs every 10 floors in the Trade Center and things like that,” said Thomas von Essen, the city’s fire commissioner on Sept 11.

Rep. Bowman faces a primary challenge from Westchester County executive George Latimer. Latimer is running, in part, on his support for Israel and has raised significant money from AIPAC. Overall, Latimer has raised about twice as much money as Bowman.



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