Yuh-Line Niou, a New York state assemblymember of the 10th District who has been outspoken about her support for the The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), was defeated in Tuesday’s Democratic primary by attorney Dan Goldman.
Jewish groups took to Twitter to congratulate Goldman, a former federal prosecutor who is new to politics, on his victory in defeating Niou in the heated battle for the newly redrawn 10th district.
“We’re proud to have played a role in defeating Yuh-Line Niou—an anti-Israel candidate who endorses the BDS campaign against Israel—through our significant support of a local New York SuperPac,” the United Democracy Project—AIPAC’s new super PAC wrote.
The 38-year-old Assemblywoman, who was elected in 2016 to represent the 10th district of NYC (lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn), has previously been vocal about her stance on the BDS movement. However, last month was the first time she was candid about her position since she came into office.
“I believe in the right to protest as a fundamental tenet of Western democracy, so I do support BDS,” said Niou in an interview with Jewish Insider.
Niou is part of a small faction of House Democrats that support BDS — including “The Squad” composed of Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
Days after her BDS comment, Niou sparked outrage when she posted a photo posing with a Challah, a bottle of Hebrew Coke and Israeli soda stream. The nonprofit watchdog StopAntisemitism claimed she was pushed by Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, known for spreading anti-Israel conspiracy theories.
Goldman, who is Jewish himself, was heavily favored among Orthodox voters, who made up a significant part of the electorate in this race. “Dan is someone who appreciates the diversity of the city, and that includes the Orthodox Jewish community,” Simcha Eichenstein, a Democratic assemblymember in Borough Park who supported Goldman’s campaign told Jewish Insider. “I look forward to working with him on the issues where we find common ground.”
Given the district’s immense Democratic tilt, Goldman is all but certain to join Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) as the only two Jewish members of Congress from New York City, assuming both win the November general election and remain in Congress come January. Congressional stalwart Nadler is currently the only Jewish representation from NYC in the House, after he won the hostile incumbent vs. incumbent battle for NY-12 on Tuesday, defeating longtime colleague Carolyn Maloney, an election also chalked up to newly drawn maps.
“My Jewish faith and values have inspired me to dedicate my career to public service,” Goldman told Jewish Insider on Wednesday. “I look forward to joining Congressman Nadler in Congress to represent the Jewish community in the city and country.”