RJC Statement on Rep. Eliot Engel's Primary Defeat

Washington, DC – The Republican Jewish Coalition issued the following statement on Rep. Eliot Engel’s defeat in yesterday’s Democratic primary in New York:

The shift in the Democrat Party away from support for Israel accelerated dramatically yesterday with the primary defeat of 16-term incumbent Democrat Rep. Eliot Engel by Justice Democrats-endorsed challenger Jamaal Bowman in New York’s 16th congressional district.

Engel is a mainstream Democrat who has done a great deal for the US-Israel relationship as chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. Bowman, who was recruited and supported by Justice Democrats, has an extreme and dangerous agenda. He subscribes to the full list of radical and anti-Israel policies espoused by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, including support for the US rejoining the dangerous Iran nuclear deal and opposition to Israeli “settlements” in the “West Bank.” Bowman wants the US to use “financial leverage” to push Israel to make “peace” concessions to the Palestinians. His platform’s section on combating antisemitism focuses exclusively on “white nationalism” at a time when attacks on Jews in New York City, almost all perpetrated by non-whites, have soared. Given that NY-16 is an overwhelmingly Democrat district, Bowman will coast to victory in November.

Jewish Republicans have had plenty of disagreements with Rep. Engel during his 32 years in Congress, but his defeat is a blow to the historically bipartisan support for Israel in the US Congress. Rep. Engel’s primary loss to a far-Left anti-Israel extremist clearly shows that the GOP is the only solidly pro-Israel party – led by the most pro-Israel President in US history, Donald J. Trump.