NEW YORK (Diya TV) —

George Latimer, a centrist with pro-Israel views, defeated U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman in a Democratic primary in suburban New York, emphasizing the party’s internal disagreements regarding the Gaza conflict.

Latimer’s win removes one of the most liberal and outspoken critics of Israel from Congress. Bowman had accused Israel of acts of genocide in Gaza, where numerous Palestinians have been killed in military actions.

Latimer, who has served as Westchester County executive since 2018, joined the race with the encouragement of Jewish leaders and financial support from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In his victory address, Latimer called for increased civility post-election.

“We have to fight to make sure we don’t vilify each other and we remember that we’re all Americans, and our common future is bound together,” he told his supporters in White Plains.

Bowman, who was pursuing a third term representing New York City’s northern suburbs, saw his defeat as a setback for the party’s progressive faction. His loss also marked a significant change in an otherwise stable primary season for congressional incumbents. Most have successfully fended off intra-party challenges, though GOP Rep. Bob Good is in a close contest with a Trump-backed rival.

“This movement has always been about justice, humanity, and equality,” Bowman said during his concession speech in Yonkers, remaining firm in his opposition to the Gaza conflict. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s political action committee spent nearly $15 million on the primary, aiming to unseat Bowman, who accused the group of attempting to influence the election with money.

“The result of this race demonstrates that the pro-Israel stance is sound policy and good politics for both parties,” stated the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Prominent progressives supported Bowman in the final days of the race, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders, while Latimer received an endorsement from former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and a number of Indian American groups.

Both candidates support a two-state solution and condemned the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel that killed around 1,200 people. However, Bowman was one of the few progressives who opposed a symbolic House resolution supporting Israel following the attack. Latimer, in contrast, strongly supports Israel and argued that negotiating a cease-fire with Hamas is unfeasible, labeling it a terrorist organization.

Nationally, Democratic Party leaders have emphasized moving toward centrist candidates who might fare better in suburban races.