Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated Crowley as part of a party primary for New York’s 14th congressional district, has accused Israel of a “massacre” in Gaza.
By: JNS and World Israel News Staff
A Democratic Socialist who upset Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) in a primary on Tuesday night previously said that Israel had committed a “massacre” in the Gaza Strip.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, who soundly defeated Crowley as part of a party primary for New York’s 14th congressional district, is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, which supports the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.
In a May 14 tweet, Ocasio-Cortez said Israel’s killing of Palestinians along the Gaza border was a “massacre” and that “no state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters.”
“There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else,” she said. “Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.”
She was relating to the most violent day of the Hamas-led March of Return, during which 62 Palestinians were killed in clashes with the IDF. Hamas leaders admitted that at least 50 of those killed were members of the terror group. Islamic Jihad claimed another three.
The primary victory of Ocasio-Cortez over Crowley—the No. 4 Democrat in the House of Representatives, who many viewed as vying for a top leadership position in the next year—may represent a broader shift in the Democratic Party towards the more progressive wing championed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is also a socialist and has strongly condemned Israel’s actions in recent months.
Sanders tweeted: “Congratulations to @Ocasio2018 on her extraordinary upset victory tonight! She took on the entire local Democratic establishment in her district and won a very strong victory. She demonstrated once again what progressive grassroots politics can do.”
In an interview with Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept, a left-wing news website that promoted her candidacy, Ocasio-Cortez compared Hamas-run Gaza to protest groups in America like Black Lives Matter.
“I think I was primarily compelled [to speak out] on moral grounds because I could only imagine if 60 people were shot and killed in Ferguson. Or if 60 people were shot and killed in the West Virginia teachers’ strikes,” she said. “The idea that we are not supposed to talk about people dying when they are engaging in political expression just really moved me.”
“Especially in New York people say this is political suicide,” Ocasio-Cortez also said. “But I had a lot of my constituents thanking me for taking that position. I had a lot of Jewish Americans who thanked me.”
In a statement, the Jewish Democratic Council of America, congratulating Ocasio-Cortez on her victory, said it disagreed with her stance on Israel.
“We disagree with her past statement regarding Israel, as well as her affiliation with the Democratic Socialists of America, which supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] movement targeting Israel. In the coming days and months, we hope to learn more about Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s views, but at the moment, her position on Israel is not in line with our values.”
Ocasio-Cortez will face Republican Anthony Pappas in November. She has never held elected office.