Criticism quickly reached a fever pitch, with BDS activists and pro-Palestinian groups bombarding Ocasio Cortez with negative tweets.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
After a spokesperson for Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) announced that she will no longer speak at a memorial event for late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, some Zionist groups expressed their disappointment.
The Zioness Movement, a Zionist coalition of progressive Jewish activists, wrote in an open letter, “We are deeply troubled that you have decided to pull out of an event honoring the life and legacy of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who paid the ultimate price for his commitment to peace and justice, assassinated by a right-wing extremist for trying to advance the cause of Palestinian statehood.”
Our open letter to @AOC @RepAOC share w #ZionessSpeaksForMe
“We are deeply troubled that you have decided to pull out of event honoring the life & legacy of former Israeli PM Rabin, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who paid the ultimate price for his commitment to peace & justice” pic.twitter.com/fYqqTDGLvF
— Zioness (@ZionessMovement) September 26, 2020
The American Jewish Congress also expressed disappointment in Ocasio Cortez’s choice to pull out of the event.
“Yitzhak Rabin gave his life to the struggle for peace. He was assassinated because he was a peacemaker and we should never forget it,” the group said in a statement on their site.
“By withdrawing from this event, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has distanced herself from the principle of supporting those who seek engagement to foster peace.”
Rabin, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, signed several agreements with the Palestinians as part of the Oslo Accords. Ocasio Cortez was slated to speak at an online memorial event commemorating the 25 year anniversary of his 1994 assassination.
The event’s organizer, Americans for Peace Now, promotes a two-state solution approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Peace Now is a left-wing organization that has spoken out against Israeli policy in Judea and Samaria.
However, Ocasio Cortez appears to have collapsed in the face of a “woke” Twitter mob.
Jewish Currents journalist Alex Kane tweeted at Ocasio Cortez, “In the US, Rabin is viewed as a liberal peacemaker, but Palestinians remember him for his brutal rule suppressing Palestinian protest during the First Intifada, as someone who reportedly ordered the breaking of Palestinian bones.”
“Hey there – this event and my involvement was presented to my team differently from how it’s now being promoted,” Ocasio Cortez responded. “Thanks for pointing it out. Taking a look into this now.”
Ocasio Cortez’s claim that she was misinformed was met with derision by Twitter users opposed to her participation in the event. Criticism quickly reached a fever pitch, with BDS activists and pro-Palestinian groups bombarding her with negative tweets.
“This is her default response whenever she’s called out by the Left. Forever ‘looking into’ things, eh?” tweeted Sameera Khan, a former Russia Today correspondent.
“@AOC should never have accepted to honor unrepentant war criminal, bone breaker, child killer and settlement builder Yitzhak Rabin,” tweeted Ali Abunimah, a BDS activist and one of the founders of the pro-Palestinian blog Electronic Intifada.
“It’s not about how the event was presented to you. It’s about the event being a memorial for Yitzhak Rabin, a genocidal war criminal. It’s also alarming that you’re so open to a ‘pro-Israel, pro peace’ perspective. Liberal Zionism is racism,” tweeted another user.
While Ocasio Cortez did not publicly state on her Twitter account that she was withdrawing from the event, her spokesperson informed the memorial’s organizers that she would not be participating.
Americans for Peace Now tweeted, “We are sorry to hear that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez will no longer be speaking at our Oct. 20th Yitzhak Rabin memorial. Her participation would have added to the event.”
The withdrawal was celebrated as a victory by many on the far left.
“Ocasio-Cortez’s withdrawal from the event showcases the growing influence the Palestinian rights movement has on both the American progressive left and Congress,” Kane wrote.
“Five years ago, it would have been inconceivable for a US politician to bow to pressure from the left, let alone Palestinian activists, to pull out of an event celebrating an Israeli leader.”
Former Jewish Voice for Peace executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson tweeted, “She paused, listened to Palestinians and their allies… and withdrew from an event honoring Rabin… This is true leadership and consistent principles. Thank you!”