Israel assault on Gaza continues, as Lebanon tensions rise

A pro-Israeli candidate beat a pro-Palestinian rival in New York on Tuesday in the most expensive House primary ever, a vote which exposed the Democratic Party’s internal divisions over the war in Gaza.

George Latimer, backed by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, ousted incumbent Jamaal Bowman, who has accused Israel of genocide in Gaza and advocated for a ceasefire in the Palestinian territory.

Latimer, 70, is a supporter of Israel and has called for the return of captives captured by Hamas before any eventual ceasefire.

The election for New York’s 16th district was also the most expensive House of Representatives primary in history, with an estimated $23 million spent on campaigning.

Israel’s war on Gaza dominated the candidates’ debate, which became a tug-of-war between the progressive, pro-Palestinian faction of the Democratic Party and the centrist, pro-Israeli front.

Senator Bernie Sanders told a rally in support of Bowman that “never before in history [has] powerful special interest spent so much money trying to defeat a candidate”.

“This election is not about Jamal versus Mr Latimer. This election is about whether or not the billionaire class and the oligarchy will control the United States government,” Sanders said at a rally in the Bronx on Saturday.

More than $23 million was spent on the election as of last week, according to AidImpact, a political advertising tracking group cited by local media.

Of that, $16 million was poured into campaigns against Bowman, mostly funded by affiliates of the AIPAC Jewish lobby group.

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