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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

On May 14, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the newest star of the leftwing of the Democratic party, tweeted, in reaction to an Al Jazeera story on the growing Arab casualties at the Gaza border fence: “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.”

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If you’re a registered Democrat who is also a religious Jew and a fervent Zionist like yours truly, such a statement from a young woman who otherwise appears to have the pulse of the working class and poor Puerto Rican voters in her Bronx and Queens district, is understandably disheartening.

The shameful tweet was immediately the subject of irate responses from fellow Democrats—mostly Jews, going by the names—who uploaded countless links to articles showing how Hamas is regularly using its captive civilian population as gun fodder to promote its political goals, including exposing them to live fire which Hamas agents provoke. The Internet is rife with these articles, the bulk of which come from mainstream media, and one has to wonder why the Congressional candidate didn’t bother to compare the Al Jazeera biased story against reports and op-eds in the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

It’s obvious that the DNC, and possibly members of the NY Congressional delegation, were among those who rushed to educate the 28-year-old Ocasio-Cortez on Hamas and the rest of the nasty stuff she won’t find on Al Jazeera. So that when she was interviewed last Friday night on PBS Firing Line, she was a lot less militant about the Middle East conflict, and ready to admit she was way out of her league when it came to countries outside the Bronx and Queens.

Go to Minute 18:26 in the video above. The host, Margaret Hoover, asks: What is your position on Israel?

Ocasio-Cortez: Well, I believe absolutely in Israel’s right to exist. I am a proponent of the two state solution. And for me this is not a referendum I think on the state of Israel. For me, the lens through which I saw this incident, as an activist, as an organizer: If 60 people were killed in Ferguson, Missouri, if 60 people were killed in the South Bronx– unarmed– 60 people were killed in Puerto Rico, I just look at that incident more through– through just, as an incident and to me it would just be completely unacceptable if that happened on our shores. But–

Hoover: Of course the dynamic there in terms of geo politics and the Middle East is very different from people expressing their First Amendment right to protest.

Ocasio-Cortez: Well, yes, but I also think that what people are starting to see in the occupation of Palestine is just an increasing crisis of humanitarian conditions and that to me is just where I tend to come from on this issue.

Hoover: You use the term the occupation of Palestine, what did you mean by that?

Ocasio-Cortez: Oh– I think, what I meant is that the settlements that are increasing in some of these areas and places where Palestinians are experiencing difficulty in access to housing and homes.

Hoover: Do you think you can expand on that?

Ocasio-Cortez: Yeah I think — I am not the expert on geo-politics on this issue. You know, for me, I’m a firm believer in finding a two-state solution in this issue. And I’m happy to sit down with leaders on both of these… for me, I just look at things through a human rights lens, and I may not use the right words– I know this is a very intense issue.

Hoover: That’s very honest and you’re gong to — and when you get to Washington and you’re an elected member of Congress you’ll have an opportunity to talk to people on all sides and visit Israel and visit the West Bank.

Ocasio-Cortez: Absolutely. And especially with the district that I represent, I come from the South Bronx, I come from a Puerto Rican background. And Middle Eastern politics is not exactly at my kitchen table every night. But I also recognize that this is an intensely-important issue for people in my district, for Americans across the country. And I think at least what is important to communicate is that I am willing to listen. And that I’m willing to learn and evolve on this issue as I think many Americans are.

Israel needs future Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in its corner, and so we highly recommend someone in the consulate meet with her – and how wonderful that our consul general there, Dani Dayan, a native of Buenos Aires, is fluent in Spanish.

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