Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) agreed with a radio host about the Israeli “occupation” being “very, very criminal.”
Ocasio-Cortez made the remarks in a July 30 appearance on the “Ebro in the Morning” show based in New York.
Host Ebro Darden said there are “multiple corrupt governments working together” worldwide, citing Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States. He then said that “there are a lot of young Jewish people I know that are against the occupation” and that “what’s going on with Israel and Palestine – while it’s very, very deep – it is very, very criminal and it is very, very unjust.”
Ocasio-Cortez replied, “Absolutely. I think to where we’re at as a country when it comes to Israel-Palestine is very much a generational issue.” She added that “young Jews in Israel” are tired of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said that the Netanyahu government is just like the Trump administration.
“The Right wants to advance this notion that if you engage and critique an Israeli policy you are anti-Semitic. But it’s the furthest thing from the truth,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding that “criticizing the occupation doesn’t make you anti-Israel… it means that you believe in human rights.”
She also said, “I don’t think that by marginalizing Palestinians, you create safety. “I believe that injustice is a threat to the safety of all people, because once you have a group that is marginalized and marginalized and marginalized — once someone doesn’t have access to clean water, they have no choice but to riot, right? And it doesn’t have to be that way.”
She went onto praise the liberal Jewish group IfNotNow, who were behind the boycotts of Birthright trips, and defended calling the migrant detention facilities concentration camps, saying that she wasn’t referring to the Holocaust and that her use of the term fueled the conversation about the facilities.
Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper criticized Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks in a phone interview with the Journal.
“The PA has good relations with Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba, China, but they’re not interested in connecting real dots, they’re just interested in linking up Israel to right-wingers and right-wing extremists and criminal in so far as their interaction with the Palestinians,” Cooper said. “She wasn’t just saying ‘Amen’ to the main charge of criminality, she went onto compare the Netanyahu and Trump administrations and that’s an automatic signal to her followers that you can discount any criticism launched by people seeking to defend Israel at a time when it’s led by Bibi Netanyahu.”
He called on Democratic activists and leadership to “be responsive to these kinds of unwarranted, over-the-top attacks that just legitimize defaming Israel and her supporters.”
The Progressive Zionists of California (PZC) said in a statement to the Journal, “A simplistic understanding of the conflict gets one easy district votes but managing the heart of the conflict requires commitment to a multitude of narratives and priorities. PZC is concerned about the spectrum of interests represented in the conflict. We encourage American diaspora policy makers to seek out Mizrahi and former Soviet Union Jews on narrative creation and policy making decisions concerning disputed territories and final status negotiations. These communities form most of the Israeli electorate, are increasingly important but often misunderstood constituencies of the American Jewish community, and no security agreement exists without them.”
Read the article here.