Tuesday, September 29, 2020

US congressional nominee Ocasio-Cortez disappoints American leftists with stance on Israel

By Naomi Kundera - July 23, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [US foreign policy]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the new poster child for the progressive left in the United States (US), hesitated on her stance against human rights abuses in Israel and propagated the “two-state solution” in an interview last Friday night. 

On Public Broadcasting Network (PBS) show Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, 28-year-old Ocasio-Cortez was asked what her stance on Israel was.
Well, I believe absolutely in Israel’s right to exist. I am a proponent of a two-state solution.”
Ocasio-Cortez has been a beacon of hope for leftists in the US since she beat 10-term incumbent Joseph Crowley for the Democratic seat in the Queens and Bronx congressional district of New York.  
Previous campaigner for Joe Kennedy and Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez identifies herself as a Democratic-Socialist. Her platform advocates for socialist ideals like medicare for all, higher education and trade school for all, an end to private prisons and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and clean campaign finance, among others.
Moreover, Ocasio-Cortez has not been afraid to speak out in support of Palestinians.
After May 14, when more than 50 Palestinians were killed in Gaza by Israeli forces - the day the US embassy moved to Jerusalem - Ocasio-Cortez tweeted;
“This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.”
Meanwhile, Congressman Crowley - along with most of the Democratic party establishment - is a known supporter of Israel and caterer to the infamous pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC.
Unfortunately, the interview of Ocasio-Cortez stumbling over her words while talking about her views of Israel went viral - and her supporters are not happy about it.
When pressed about her use of the word “massacre” in her tweet about Gaza, Ocasio-Cortez said that she looked at the incident as “an activist, as an organizer” and through a “human rights lens.”
In the middle of the interview she mentioned “the occupation of Palestine.” CBS’ Hoover asked her what she meant by this terminology and Ocasio-Cortez replied, “I may not use the right words.”
In the end, Ocasio-Cortez admitted that she is “not the expert on geopolitics on this issue” and that “Middle Eastern politics was not exactly at [her] kitchen table every night” growing up in a Puerto Rican household in the South Bronx.
Public support for the Democratic party in the US continues to wane since the failure of the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Crowley was a major upset for the party establishment and deemed a positive starting point for the party to reform.
The Democratic party’s view on Israel contributes to American leftists’ support, or lack thereof.

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