We were intrigued by the news that Queens Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is touting a telephone conversation she initiated with UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn this past Sunday. According to the UK’s Daily Mail, Ocasio-Cortez told her 2.8 million Twitter followers that she had had a “wide-reaching conversation” with Corbyn and discussed working together for “peace, prosperity and justice that everyday people can create when we uplift one another across class, race and identity both at home and abroad.”
For his part, Corbyn tweeted “great to speak to AOC on the phone and hear first-hand how she’s challenging the status quo. Let’s build a movement across borders to take on the billionaires, polluters and migrant baiters, and support a happier, freer and cleaner planet.”
However, as The Jewish Press and others have reported, Corbyn has made some virulently anti-Semitic statements these past few years and Ocasio-Cortez supporters were warning her of a looming backlash from the Jewish community. In response to one follower who alerted her to Corbyn’s past, she tweeted: “…thank you for bringing this to me. We cannot + will not move forward without deep fellowship and leadership with the Jewish community. I’ll have my team reach out.”
Ocasio-Cortez, of course, created a stir soon after being elected, by tweeting that the deaths of Palestinians at mass border protests by Israeli security forces was a “massacre.” In her own defense, she later admitted that she was not yet fully familiar with Middle East issues, something she offered in response to some criticism of her anti-Israel comments in discussions about a two-state solution.
Hopefully she is just feeling her way and is a work in progress. Let’s see.