50th Ward alderman challenger addresses anti-Israel comments from years ago

Cate Cauguiran Image
Friday, February 3, 2023
50th Ward alderman challenger addresses anti-Israel comments
EMBED <>More Videos

Mueze Bawany, challenger for Alderman Debra Silverstein's 50th Ward city council seat, is on the defensive about several old social media posts.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mueze Bawany, who is challenging longtime Alderman Debra Silverstein for the 50th Ward city council seat, is on the defense after making anti-Israel comments on social media a few years ago.

Bawany wasted no time addressing the harm caused by the old posts, offering an apology right after he introduced himself at a Far North Side forum.

"I wanted to take some time and talk about some tweets that have resurfaced that you might have read bout," he said. "I want to apologize and I want to acknowledge the harm those words have caused."

Bawany admitted to making comments on social media years ago, which included words some have said are racist toward white people and statements seem as derogatory toward Israel, which he was asked to address again tonight.

Silverstein is Jewish. She wasn't at the Thursday night forum, but released a statement saying she was "shocked, saddened, and deeply disturbed" by the tweets, and that "obscenity and hate do not facilitate unity among diverse communities."

Bawany was previously endorsed by JCUA Votes, the electoral affiliate of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. A spokesperson said the "organization and Mueze are meeting later this week to process and discuss next steps."

The Midwest chapter of the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish United Fund also released a statement calling the comments "vile, antisemitic, and hurtful to the Jewish community."

Bawany said at the time the comments were made, he was a broken person.

"The person I am in front of you is not the person who wrote those tweets, the person I am today is the person people believe in," he said.

The Chicago Teachers Union, who also endorsed Bawany, have not responded to ABC7's request for comment.