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    Congressmen Jamaal Bowman, Mike Lawler debate Israel-Hamas war on TV, hours after censure vote


    NEW YORK (WABC) — The Israel-Hamas war was at the center of a heated exchange between New York Congressmen Jamaal Bowman and Mike Lawler during a joint TV appearance.

    It came hours after the House voted to censure Bowman for pulling a fire alarm inside a House office building in September.

    A censure doesn’t carry a specific penalty, but it’s seen as a formal reprimand.

    Democrats say this is just a political tactic by the Republicans.

    Congressman Bowman was caught on video pulling the fire alarm on September 30.

    This was inside the Cannon House Office Building the day the House voted on government funding,

    Fellow democrats have supported Bowman, though three Democrats did vote with Republicans in favor of the censure.

    Bowman says this is merely a distraction and the Republicans should focus on other things.

    “It’s another example of how the Republican party is not serious about governing. They have no ideas, they have no policies, they can’t inspire the American people, so they focus on censuring me,” Bowman said.

    “He’s a middle school principal. He certainly understands the difference between a locked door and a fire alarm. He ran by seven Capitol police officers after his alleged mistake and didn’t say,” Rep. Mike Lawler said.

    On Wednesday, Westchester County Executive George Lattimer announced he’ll be challenging Bowman during next year’s primary.

    Bowman is one of the house’s most vocal critics of Israel, and Jewish community leaders have encouraged Latimer to run.

    “Have you ever been to the West Bank?” Bowman asked during a TV appearance.

    “Israel has a right to exist,” Lawler said.

    “Have you ever been to the West Bank?” Bowman said.

    “That Israel has a right to exist. I’ve been to Jerusalem,” Lawler said.

    “Have you been to the West Bank? See this is what happens,” Bowman said.

    “With all due respect, what happens, what?” Lawler asked.

    “What do you mean by ‘with all due respect?’ You are speaking with a sense of authority as if you’ve been there. You have never been to the West Bank,” Bowman said.

    Bowman claimed pulling the fire alarm was an accident. He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge.

    ALSO READ | Westchester County Executive George Latimer to challenge US Rep. Jamaal Bowman in primary next year

    Marcus Solis talks to the Westchester County Executive about his announcement.

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