Bowman accuses Latimer of anti-Arab ‘dog whistle’ in NY-16 primary debate

NEW YORK — Rep. Jamaal Bowman hit back Tuesday at Democratic primary rival George Latimer for what he called an anti-Arab “dog whistle” in their NY-16 debate.

The incumbent congressman, who is a fierce critic of Israel’s war in Gaza, said Latimer used an Islamophobic trope when he claimed Bowman’s “constituency is Dearborn, Michigan” during a Monday night campaign forum.

“(The remark) shows the difference between my opponent and me,” Bowman tweeted. “I love our Muslim and Arab neighbors in NY16 just like I love our Jewish, white and Black neighbors here and across the country.”

Latimer was apparently referring to the Detroit-area city that includes the nation’s single largest Arab-American community to suggest Bowman is politically indebted to the anti-Israel movement.

The Westchester County executive trumpets his strong support of Israel and has enjoyed strong support from pro-Israel donors and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

“When you get as much money as you get from outside the district, your constituency is Dearborn, Michigan. Your constituency is San Francisco, California,” Latimer said during the League of Women Voters forum. “It’s not Harrison. It’s not Tuckahoe. It’s not Scarsdale.”

New York’s 16th includes most of southern Westchester County and a slice of the Bronx.

While it’s true Bowman has raised significantly more money from outside the district than Latimer, just 2% of his campaign donations come from Michigan residents.

Only three Bowman donors live in either Dearborn or neighboring Dearborn Heights, according to federal campaign documents from May.

Dearborn mayor Abdullah Hammoud slammed Latimer for invoking his city as a bogeyman in the tightly matched June 25 primary.

“Glad to hear AIPAC is so afraid of Dearborn that they passed on that talking point,” Hammoud tweeted. “(Bowman) is a true public servant and we’ll be celebrating his victory all the way from Dearborn.”