Ocasio-Cortez keeping New York Jewish leaders at arm’s length

Ocasio-Cortez has ignored requests to meet leaders of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the New York Board of Rabbis.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has refused to meet with New York Jewish leaders.

Ocasio-Cortez has ignored requests to meet from leaders of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the New York Board of Rabbis, according to a story first reported by The Jewish Insider.

JCRC executive director Michael Miller, whose organization represents over 50 local Jewish groups, told The New York Post: “I requested a meeting with her and it has not come to fruition.” The Jewish Insider says Miller had reached out to Ocasio-Cortez’s chief-of-staff shortly after she was elected for a meeting and was answered in the affirmative. Two years later, after after following up numerous times, he’s still waiting.

“That was October of 2018,” Miller told Jewish Insider. “We’re now on the verge of October 2020, and I have yet to meet with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”

“I think she has to explain why, as a member of Congress who meets with all different kinds of groups, she’s not willing to meet with us,” Miller said.

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive VP of the New York Board of Rabbis, told the Post, “The first response was, ‘Yes, we will.’ We’re still waiting.”

Both organizations are pro-Israel. It raises questions whether Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC, as she’s known for short, is dodging the groups out of fear of antagonizing the progressive wing of the Democratic party that she purports to lead.

Progressive Democrats have embraced the Palestinian narrative and have increasingly influenced the party. A new book, Broken Values: How the Democratic Party Betrays its Followers and America, shows how the party has gradually moved away from its Israel support.

The progressives’ most recent anti-Israel push, which is being spearheaded by Ocasio-Cortez, is to tie strings to U.S. aid to Israel. In June, she wrote a letter signed by a dozen lawmakers. The letter, addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, called for punishing Israel if it went ahead with extending sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.

“Should the Israeli government continue down this path, we will work to ensure non-recognition of annexed territories as well as pursue legislation that conditions the $3.8 billion in U.S. military funding to Israel to ensure that U.S. taxpayers are not supporting annexation in any way,” the letter read.

Last week, Ocasio-Cortez withdrew from an event marking the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin after receiving pushback from her supporters.

Ocasio-Cortez is part of a group of four freshman Democratic congresswoman called The Squad. Two others in the group, Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), have made a number of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli statements since taking office.

After Omar made comments widely viewed as anti-Semitic in March 2019, Ocasio-Cortez defended her.