AOC’s rejection of Peace Now’s invitation should tell American liberal Jews that the Democratic progressive wing doesn’t want to work with them.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Liberal Jews in America who thought they had allies in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party received a rude reality call after Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pulled out of an Americans for Peace Now memorial service for Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin.
“That segment of the Jewish community was left hurting and humiliated,” writes Haaretz columnist Amir Tibon on Sunday, noting that despite years of being “courted publicly and privately by liberal Zionists,” Ocasio-Cortez has avoided any contacts with liberals in Israel.
After initially accepting the invitation to attend the online memorial service for Rabin, who was assassinated in 1994 by a right-wing Jewish extremist opposed to peace with the Palestinians, AOC was harshly criticized by her supporters on the radical left. She then backed out of the event, saying only that “this event and my involvement was presented to my team differently from how it’s now being promoted.”
“Americans for Peace Now once represented a growing demographic of Jews who sympathized with Israelis who backed the peace process with the Palestinians. In the last decade, it has been supplanted by J Street, as well as by groups like Jewish Voices for Peace and IfNotNow, which brazenly oppose Zionism,” writes columnist Jonathan Tobin on Tuesday.
Tobin says that AOC’s “overt snub of liberal Jews sends a loud message that there is no place for them in the party base if they are not willing to renounce support for Israel’s right to exist.”
Writing in Israel Hayom on Tuesday, columnist Ofir Dayan wonders why although AOC “kicks them,” liberal Jews “lie down at her feet.”
“The Israeli and American left are stunned” and feel “betrayed,” said Dayan. “Jewish supporters of Israel do not interest her, and certainly not Israelis.”
“If [AOC] is not willing to respect the memory of Rabin, you better already understand where she is,” Dayan said.
Tibon says that AOC’s turnabout is actually good news and a reminder that liberal Jews do not need Ocasio-Cortez.
“If she’s not interested, or not brave enough to stand up to the BDS crowd, there are many other emerging political leaders who’d be happy to take the slot she was offered,” Tibon said.
“Chasing AOC is a waste of time for liberal Jewish Zionists,” Tibon said. “It would be better to focus on political leaders who actually want to be friends with groups like Americans for Peace Now.”