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Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing)

East Brunswick mayor calls out Watson Coleman on Israel vote

Cohen is 2nd Democratic official to criticize congresswoman’s vote

By David Wildstein, July 30 2019 12:10 pm

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.

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5 thoughts on “East Brunswick mayor calls out Watson Coleman on Israel vote

  1. As Brad Cohen admits he has no solution but is happy to attack somebody who does . A boycott is a peaceful protest in line with UN condemnation of tracing with annexed land settlements that are illegal under international law. It was considered a noble action against apartheid South Africa . Israel has adopted apartheid into its constitution through the nation state bill and America is surely against apartheid ? Or not?

  2. This is when we know what foreign country people support against our own country the US of A
    One must be loyal to the country you live in or move to the one you are loyal to

    1. I comment the congresswoman for doing the right and honorable thing. Her criticism is standard operating procedures from politicians who are bought off and have no concern for human rights and equality, and the killing of journalists, medics and children. Keep up the good fight and I urge other politicians to also stand up for justice and fairness. If this was an Anti-semitic matter, there would not be many honorable jewish organizations and individuals that are also in agreement with the congresswoman.

  3. I applaud Mayor Cohen’s condemnation of Rep. Watson Coleman. Those others who have commented here rightly seek equality for peoples who are oppressed, but I believe they are misguided and misinformed when they apply those principles to the BDS movement. First , in other historical situations often equated to the Israeli treatment of Palestinians, South African apartheid and (ironically) Nazi Germany, the oppressed peoples did not support a leadership that in no uncertain terms called for the destruction and expulsion of all the peoples represented by the ruling government. Not that this should be an excuse to not search for a more fair solution, but it is important to remember the context, which is that virtually all of Israeli restrictions on Palestinians have come about as a result of hostilities against Israel by her neighbors, going back to the initial inception of the country, and the repeated rejection of peace plans that have been offered by Israeli governments. More importantly here, the BDS movement IS experienced as a form of anti-semitism by the vast majority of Jews, because Israel is being held to a different standard than virtually every other country on earth. Why are there no BDS movements against Syria, or Saudi Arabia, or North Korea for that matter, or many other countries whose unequal treatments of its citizens makes Israeli policies pale by comparison? Israel is a democracy, has Arabs in its Knesset, and has equality for gays and women. Singling out Israel amongst all other countries, many of whom aretyrannical, oppressive regimes, is therefore seen as a veiled expression of anti-semetism.

  4. Commenters who support Bonnie Watson-Coleman’s votes are un-American.

    American values support Israel. BDS seeks to destroy Israel. If a person comes to this country, or their parents came to the U.S., and they haven’t yet adopted American values, they should seriously consider moving back to their ancestral land. They will find themselves unhappy here. Apparently Bonnie Watson-Coleman is one of those who should consider moving to another country like Somalia or Iran where her views on Israel are widely accepted.

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