Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) is continuing to take heat from Democratic mayors in her own district after voting against a House resolution opposing the drive to boycott Israel.
East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen said the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement that the resolution opposed unfairly targets Israel and “is nothing less than institutional Anti-Semitism.”
“I am not suggesting that I have the solution to the dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. However, peace can only be achieved when each party recognizes each other’s right to live together in the region and are willing to commence direct negotiations to end the conflict,” said Cohen. “This is the only way to secure the safety and security of ALL people living in the region. Voting against H.Res. 246 only hampers any effort toward peace.
Watson Coleman was one of 17 Members of Congress who voted against the bi-partisan resolution, which got 398 votes in the House. East Brunswick (pop. 47,512) is the second largest municipality in New Jersey’s 12th district, which Watson has represented since 2015.
“This is not only my opinion; it is the opinion of most constituents living in my township and the Congresswoman’s district,” Cohen said. “It is disheartening to find my Congresswoman in the group of legislators that voted negative since they, as a group, do not represent the vast majority of members in the Democratic Party. While I defend their right to express their views, they do not represent me, Democrats in our district, or Democrats as a whole.”
There is no indication that Watson Coleman’s vote will give rise to a challenge in Democratic primary next year, although there is considerable chatter among political insiders that the possibility is under consideration.
Watson Coleman’s only risk comes in a primary. Her district has 136,44 more Democrats than Republicans and Hillary Clinton carried the 12th by a 65%-32% margin in 2016.
Monroe Mayor Gerald Tamburro last week scolded Watson Coleman for her vote.
“I urge Congresswoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman to reconnect with the community she represents, as it is her responsibility to represent the interests of the people who sent her to Washington,” Cohen said.