NY’s New Congressional Hopeful Is an Israel Critic

June 29, 2018

3 min read

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won an upset victory in New York’s 14th Congressional District primary race on Tuesday in what has been described as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm election season. Ocasio-Cortez, who has never held public office, defeated Joseph Crowley, a ten-term incumbent who outspent her 18-1 in his campaign. At 28 years old, Ocasio-Cortez is one of the youngest nominees for Congress. If elected, she would be the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives.

Ocasio-Cortez established herself as a critic of Israel when, in May, she tweeted criticism of Israel.

The “mass shootings of protesters” came as a result of tens of thousands of Gazans violently challenging the security fence separating Israel from Gaza. Hamas, recognized by the US State Department as a terror organization, proudly announced that 50 of the 62 killed were members of their military wing. Gazan protesters have sent thousands of incendiary kites and balloons over the borders into Israel, burning thousands of acres of farmland and nature reserves.

In an interview with Glenn Greenwald of Intercept, conducted earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez explained her position in greater detail, comparing the Gazans to Puerto Rican protesters.

I think I was primarily compelled on moral grounds, because I can only imagine if 60 people were shot and killed in Ferguson, or if 60 people were shot in killed in the West Virginia teacher strikes,” Ocasio-Cortez said, referring to civil rights and labor rights protests held in the US in recent years. “The idea that we are not supposed to talk about people dying when they are engaging in political expression just really moved me. And running for office, seeing, like, the silence around this issue, has been a little interesting to me.”

“If 60 people were shot in protest of the United States’ negligence in FEMA and kind of keeping us on that island, I couldn’t even imagine if there was silence on that,” she added.

In the interview, she noted that previous Democratic candidates had supported Israel in order to attract Jewish voters, but her choice to criticize Israel did not seem to alienate the significant Jewish population in her district.

“Especially in New York people say this is political suicide,” she said in the interview. “But I had a lot of my constituents thanking me for taking that position. I had a lot of Jewish Americans who thanked me.”

She is also a member of Democratic Socialists of America, which, in addition to promoting its socialist agenda, is a strong supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)  movement.

Ocasio-Cortez’s was a campaign organizer for Bernie Sanders in the last Democratic presidential primaries, who, despite being Jewish and having spent time on a kibbutz as a young man, is sharply critical of Israel. Sanders had a strong following in the Muslim community. On the Democracy Now website on Wednesday, Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American former-Sanders organizer who is a feminist and Sharia law advocate, lauded Ocasio-Cortez as  “the hope we’ve been waiting for”.

and, espouses many of his social policies. Ocasio-Cortez supports Medicare for All, a Jobs Guarantee, tuition-free public college; ending the privatization of prisons, and enacting gun-control policies. She supports abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

On June 28, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez told CNN she would support the impeachment of President Trump, saying, “I think that, you know, we have the grounds to do it.”


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