Although political novice Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored an impressive upset victory over congressional powerhouse Rep. Joe Crowley in last month’s Democratic primary election in the 14th Congressional District in Queens, controversy continues to roil the run-up to the November general election.
It seems that Mr. Crowley’s name will appear on the ballot since he secured the nomination of the Working Families Party and his name can only be removed if he were to be nominated for a different elected position, move out of the state, be convicted of a crime, or die.
At least this is what Crowley says; others disagree. At all events, for his part, Crowley insists he is not interested in running against Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. We hope he changes his mind.
To be sure, the 14th CD is overwhelmingly Democratic such that Ocasio-Cortez has to be considered the odds-on favorite. Yet Crowley’s 20 years in Congress and long-time singular prominence in Queens Democratic politics could well upset the traditional electoral calculus there.
For us, there is also a compelling geopolitical imperative. As we have noted in these pages, we were dismayed by Ocasio-Cortez’s victory. In her campaign against Crowley, she called for fundamental changes to U.S. immigration policy, strongly opposing the Trump program, and urged that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, known as “ICE,” which monitors our orders and enforces U.S. immigration laws, be abolished.
She also championed Medicare and federal jobs for all and touted her affiliation with the Democratic Socialists of America. Plainly, a vote for Ms. Ocasio-Cortes is a vote for open borders, break-the-bank spending, and massive growth of the federal government.
But the issue that particularly draws our attention is her position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hamas recently tried to infiltrate its terrorists into Israel under the cover of a self-described “peaceful” demonstration, but Ms. Ocasio-Corte ignored this fact and strongly condemned Israel’s counter measures which resulted in the deaths of 60 Palestinians.
She wrote: “This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.”
In an interview, she doubled down on her “massacre” comment, offering these dismaying comments: “The lens through which I saw this incident at the Israel-Gaza] border, as an activist, as an organizer – 60 people were killed in the South Bronx, unarmed, 60 people were killed in Puerto Rico – I just look at that incident…just as an incident, and to me it would just be completely unacceptable if that happened on our shores.”
She went on to describe the situation in the Middle East as an “increasing crisis of humanitarian condition.” She also referred to Israeli “occupation” which she said occurs when Palestinian housing settlements are infringed upon by increasing numbers of Israeli settlements. She admitted she is “not the expert on geopolitics on this issue” but said, “I just look at things through a human rights lens.”
What we did not hear from her was any appreciation of the mayhem Hamas was planning in Israel. This, even though Hamas leaders publicly acknowledged it.
Unfortunately, while she said she “absolutely” believes Israel has a right to exist – why, thank you – it seems that for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Palestinians targeting Israelis to make a political point is of no “humanitarian” moment. And the measures required for Israel’s protection of its citizens are not to be considered either.
So what we seem to be facing is the prospect of a new member of Congress with a visceral affinity for those who would willfully harm Jews. Someone who believes that the claims of the Palestinians are both the beginning and end of the inquiry. As we have said, we hope Joe Crowley decides to oppose Ms. Ocasio-Cortez in earnest.