On Sunday, newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) exchanged compliments on Twitter with British Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who has been accused of being an anti-Semite.
Corbyn reached out to Ocasio-Cortez, referring to a phone conversation the two had.
Great to speak to @AOC on the phone this evening and hear first hand how she’s challenging the status quo.
Let’s build a movement across borders to take on the billionaires, polluters and migrant baiters, and support a happier, freer and cleaner planet.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) February 3, 2019
The young Congresswoman responded, indicating that she too enjoyed the connection, indicating a deep ideological bond with her British counterpart.
It was an honor to share such a lovely and wide-reaching conversation with you, @jeremycorbyn!
Also honored to share a great hope in the peace, prosperity, + justice that everyday people can create when we uplift one another across class, race, + identity both at home & abroad. https://t.co/7qnz42I8du
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 3, 2019
The implications of this exchange were quickly pointed out on the twitter thread. Yair Rosenberg, a senior writer for Tablet Magazine who frequently lectures on anti-Semitism, tweeted a response.
85% of British Jews think Jeremy Corbyn is anti-Semitic (https://t.co/EMiRdx1rcS).
87% of Jews refused to vote for his Labour party in the last election, and for good reason: https://t.co/afePjeeowc@aoc might want to have her staff screen her calls more carefully. https://t.co/0x4luH1uL2
— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) February 3, 2019
Elad Nehorai, who writes the blog Pop Chassid, tweeted that anti-semitism was now a problem endemic to the left-wing.
I’m a huge huge fan of yours. I hope you’ll take a look at the amount of Jews trying to call attention to Corbyn’s long, documented history of anti-Semitism.
The left’s blind spot in this regard can still be fixed. But we need leaders like yourself to listen.
— Elad Nehorai (@PopChassid) February 4, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez has suffered from anti-Semitic entanglements in the past. She worked as an organizer for Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign. Sanders, although Jewish by birth, garnered a strong following among Muslim voters and the left-wing with his platform criticizing Israel’s military response to Hamas rocket barrages that led to the 2014 conflict.
In a 2018 interview with Al Jazeera, Ocasio-Cortez echoed Sanders’ criticism of Israel, calling the IDF reaction to the violent March of Return riots a “massacre.” She immediately backtracked, telling the interviewer that she was not an expert in foreign policy. Ocasio-Cortez also referred to the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria as an “occupation.” She made an enigmatic, seemingly self-contradictory defense of her statements in a PBS interview, saying, “I believe absolutely in Israel’s right to exist. I am a proponent of a two-state solution.”
Paradoxically, she also claimed that her Puerto Rican ancestry indicated that she had Jewish ancestry.
Last week, a video surfaced of her political party, the Democratic Socialists of America, voting in 2017 to adopt the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) anti-Israel movement. The vote was accompanied by the chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free” which effectively calls for the elimination of the state of Israel.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) political party, the Democratic Socialists of America, voted in 2017 to adopt the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign
They called for the elimination of Israel, chanting: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” pic.twitter.com/2krBoMgPBm
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 29, 2019
Flirting with anti-Semitism seems to be a recent trend among young Democrats in Congress. Last month, Representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota became the first two Muslim women to serve in the Congress.
They both support BDS, claiming it is their free-speech right to do so. Critics of BDS point to key leadership positions in the movement being held by convicted terrorists who maintain their connections with recognized terrorist organizations.
Based on a 2016 tweet, Omar, who sits on the Foreign Affairs oversight subcommittee, was accused of perpetuating an antisemitic trope depicting Jews as conspiring towards world domination.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 16, 2012
Tlaib, a Palestinian, became the focus of criticism on her inaugural day in office. After being sworn in on a Koran, she attended an event where she was recorded shouting out about President Trump, “We’re going to go in and impeach the motherf**ker.” Also, a friend of Tlaib’s, comedian Mohammed “Mo” Amer altered the world map hanging on her office wall, indicating that the area is currently the State of Israel should be labeled Palestine.
Someone has already made a slight alteration to the map that hangs in Rashida Tlaib’s new congressional office. pic.twitter.com/mwyshIog4r
— Hannah Allam (@HannahAllam) January 3, 2019