Ocasio-Cortez dodged a constitutional lawsuit she faced in federal court by apologizing to Dov Hikind for blocking him on Twitter.
By World Israel News and AP
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez apologized on Monday for blocking from her Twitter account a Jewish community leader named Dov Hikind, who served for years as a Brooklyn elected official.
In a statement, the Democrat said she had reconsidered her decision, as part of the settlement of a federal lawsuit that Hikind brought against her this year.
“Mr. Hikind has a First Amendment right to express his views and should not be blocked for them,” she said. “In retrospect, it was wrong and improper and does not reflect the values I cherish. I sincerely apologize for blocking Mr. Hikind.”
Hikind, a former New York state Assemblyman who founded an organization called Americans Against Antisemitism, said he was blocked from Ocasio-Cortez’s @AOC campaign account, which has 5.7 million followers, after he took issue with her comments comparing border detention camps to concentration camps.
Hikind was pleased with the representative’s comments. “I couldn’t ask for much more at this point,” he said.
“She never apologizes,” Hikind said at a press conference, reported the New York Post. “So this is rather remarkable that she sincerely apologizes for blocking me. This is a great moment. I hope that more good can come out of this.”
“I knew that I never harassed her, because that’s not what I do, I have a different point of view,” Hikind added.
According to the Post, Hikind extended an invitation to Ocasio-Cortez to meet survivors of actual concentration camps whose family members were murdered in the Holocaust.
“Let the survivors share with her what a concentration camp means to a survivor of the Holocaust,” Hikind said.
He added that he hoped it would be the beginning of a dialogue between himself and Ocasio-Cortez.
Hikind had filed his lawsuit on First Amendment grounds this year. It came after a federal appeals panel had said President Donald Trump couldn’t block people who criticized him from his Twitter account.
That panel said the majority of Trump’s comments on his account were official and by blocking someone critical of him, he was silencing them and violating the First Amendment.
Ocasio-Cortez said she reserves the right to block people from her account who engage in harassment.