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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC)

According to Israel Hayom, Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has recently begun to meet with “Jewish leaders in her election district.”

OK, so Ariel Kahanah, who reported the story, doesn’t know that AOC represents NY 14, which includes the eastern part of The Bronx and part of north-central Queens. The Queens portion includes Astoria, College Point, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Woodside. The Bronx portion of the district includes City Island, Country Club, Van Nest, Morris Park, Parkchester, Pelham Bay, Schuylerville, and Throggs Neck.


I checked the UJA databank on the Jewish community of NY 14. It has 26,300 individuals who define themselves as Jews, out of roughly 700,000 residents, who are 50% Hispanic, 17% Asian, and 9% Black.

Out of the Jewish population, 8,400 are 65 and older––1,500 of whom live alone, and 12,400 are ages 40 to 64. 7,600 are poor or near-poor. 3,000 are of Russian origin. 5,600 are biracial. Fewer than 7,000 attend any synagogue, be it Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform.

In other words, AOC very likely did not meet with Jewish leaders in her election district. According to Israel Hayom, she held several closed meetings with a group of rabbis and Jewish leaders, men and women, who belong to the progressive wing of the Jewish community and some of whom are close to J Street.

And this is the bag where the AOC cat has been hiding all along. AOC met with progressive Jews from J Street and similar anti-Zionist, anti-Israel circles. And the reason she had to keep those meetings secret is that even those lefty Jews are kind of pariahs to the squad caucus.

Let’s unpack AOC’s record, not with Israel and normative American Jews, but with the dedicated Jewish left.

On September 24, 2022, Americans for Peace Now announced that AOC was going to speak at an APN event on the occasion of the 25th yahrzeit of Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by an enemy of peace. They put it so poetically, suggesting the congresswoman would “reflect on fulfilling the courageous Israeli leader’s mission for peace and justice today in the US and Israel.”

Do you feel the tears forming in the corners of your eyes? Heck if I don’t.

But then the plans were crashed by nasty people like Jewish Currents reporter Alex Kane, who tweeted on September 25: “So, AOC is doing a memorial event for Yitzhak Rabin. In the US, Rabin is viewed as a liberal peacemaker, but Palestinians remember him for his brutal rule suppressing protest during the First Intifada, as someone who reportedly ordered the breaking of Palestinian bones.”

On September 26, AOC canceled her appearance.

Exactly one year earlier, on September 24, 2021, AOC was involved in another push-pull incident with US Jews, when she voted “present” on $1 billion in new funding for Iron Dome, and then apologized, explaining that she only did it to avoid the “hateful targeting” against her. The vote passed by 420 to 9 with two abstentions (hers included), and AOC wept on the House floor switching her vote from “no” to “present.”

It’s very emotional for her, the defense of Israel from terrorist rockets thing, apparently.

So, why is AOC daring to meet with what to her are the enemies of progressivism and to us the enemies of Israel? I don’t wish to sound crude, but I’m reminded of one member of the squad who put it ever so bluntly: It’s “all about the Benjamins.”

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