Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blurted out yet another wild claim painting her political opposition as human rights abusers. This time, the Squad member claimed, without evidence, that there are children being caged in the West Bank.
During an appearance in the Lone Star State over the weekend, Ocasio-Cortez compared Palestinians to illegal immigrants detained at the US-Mexico border.
"I don't believe that a child should be in a cage on our border and I don't believe a child should be in a cage in the West Bank," Ocasio-Cortez said.
However, the congresswoman's office did not respond to a request for comment when questioned by the Jewish Insider on Monday to provide examples of children being imprisoned inside so-called cages in the West Bank.
"What," tweeted pop culture Jewcy magazine editor Isaac de Castro.
"Not sure there's a politician alive today pushing a wider range of blood libels," Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel commented.
"Believing in the basic human dignity and the ability for a person to not be jailed or beaten for who they are, it does not mean that you are bigoted against any other community," Ocasio-Cortez said. "And we gotta call that for what it is."
The young Democrat representative urged followers at the DSA event: "We need to remember that the people who are taking those tough votes are disproportionately Black, brown and women members of Congress carrying the fire."
She argued that pro-Palestinian advocacy must "reflect the community's understanding and building of the issue." In order to make the "reality happen," it's "not going to happen on the internet, y'all," Ocasio-Cortez stated.
"We need to educate people on what’s going on because a lot of us didn’t grow up in households where the issue is discussed…Let's knock [on] the doors and make it work and raise the consciousness so that we can take those votes not against the will of our community but with the will of our community," Ocasio-Cortez said.
Ocasio-Cortez denounced political actors underscoring progressive infighting.
"We can't get distracted with this internal fighting against one another…It has always been one of the leading threats to us being able to accomplish those goals,” Ocasio-Cortez said. She said that party dissonance "has been intentionally sowed throughout U.S. history…to make sure we slow down in the fight. So I will not run away from accountability, but I will not allow us to get distracted either."
The quotes come from an article by the Jewish Insider reporting on when Ocasio-Cortez was heckled by pro-Palestinian protesters at two events in Austin, Texas.
Sunday's repeat heckling at the separate venues happened while she was there to support progressive congressional candidates Greg Casar and Jessica Cisneros.
Ocasio-Cortez was confronted by pro-Palestinian protesters at a campaign rally for Cesar, who is the frontrunner in the state's 35th Congressional District race and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Ocasio-Cortez, a firebrand socialist, is the front face of the left-wing political organization.
However, breaking ranks with progressive efforts, Cesar wrote in a January letter to a prominent local rabbi that he supports "continued federal aid for the self-defense of Israel" and opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Following the Jewish Insider's publication of the letter, the Democratic Socialists of America's chapter in Austin announced that it would "no longer be working on" Casar's campaign and that he withdrew an endorsement request from the group.
Over the weekend, a heckler interrupted Ocasio-Cortez's speech in support of Casar. The controversial New York lawmaker answered back: "I want to be unequivocal, we are here to stand up for the rights of Palestinians and Palestinian children. 100 percent. Don't get it twisted. Because disinformation is not the vibe."
The demonstrator was then escorted out of the event, according to Austonia.
Several activists picketed the Casar event with signs that read "AOC and Greg Casar support the genocide of Palestinians" and "from Texas to Palestine fight US imperialism," according to photos posted by local reporters at the scene.
Ocasio-Cortez was also interrupted by a pro-Palestinian protester at an Austin Democratic Socialists of America event promoting the Green New Deal where she alleged that supporters of Palestinians are silenced and ignored by the media.
"With media, with all this stuff, Palestine is basically a banned word. It's censored. We don't talk about it. No one knows about it," Ocasio-Cortez was quoted by the Jewish Insider stating at the packed rally. "Thank you for bringing it up, honestly, because we shouldn't have to tiptoe around these things. We should be able to talk about it. And we shouldn't allow people's humanity to be censored," she said.
The heckler had shouted, "You refuse to fight tooth and nail against the Iron Dome funding!" The crowd erupted into an uproar as Ocasio-Cortez scrambled to respond. "You're a traitor to the people of America and the people of the world!" he yelled. To which, Ocasio-Cortez replied multiple times: "Let's talk about it."
Ocasio-Cortez further said: "I don't believe in elephants in the room. Let's speak on it, because we all are here in solidarity to fight for human rights for Palestinians and Palestian kids. So if we care about this, my brother, we gotta be about it."
The heckler, who was booed by the audience, went on with the rant: "You refused to vote 'no'! $1 billion to the Iron Dome. $1 billion to kill Palestinians!" Last year, Ocasio-Cortez drew criticism when her vote changed from "no" to "present" on a bill to provide supplemental funding for the Iron Dome missile-defense system.
Later, a Twitter user who identified himself as the heckler uploaded a clip of the encounter to social media. According to Jewish Insider, the anti-Israel critic is a Press TV contributor for the Iranian state-owned television news network, but Jewish Insider could not independently confirm the man's indentity.
The journalist, Twitter user Keaten Mansfield whose footage amassed over 4,000 likes, was proud that he was referenced, but not mentioned, in the report.
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