This morning, rookie Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) “sincerely apologized” to high-profile Jewish activist, Dov Hikind for blocking him on Twitter.
Hikind, a 35-year former New York State Assemblyman and the founder of Americans Against Antisemitism, filed the lawsuit against AOC after he tried to respond to tweets she had posted comparing immigrant detention centres to concentration camps, and her call to revive the term “Never Again.”
According to the New York Post, AOC said: “I have reconsidered my decision to block Dov Hikind from my Twitter account, Mr. Hikind has a First Amendment right to express his views and should not be blocked for them.”
She also said in the same statement to the Post that “in retrospect, it was wrong and improper and does not reflect the values I cherish. I sincerely apologize for blocking Mr. Hikind. Now and in the future, however, I reserve the right to block users who engage in actual harassment or exploit my personal/campaign account, @AOC, for commercial or other improper purposes.”
Mr. Hikind told The Post Millennial that he is “glad she (AOC) did the right thing, not only by unblocking me, but by recognizing that my First Amendment rights were violated, and apologizing for her wrongdoing in blocking me, to begin with, which in fact was totally unwarranted.”
This apology by AOC comes just a day before she was to testify in federal court regarding why she blocked Mr. Hikind on Twitter.
Comparing immigrant detention centres to concentration camps meets the threshold of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of Holocaust distortion, through the claim of “intentional efforts to excuse or minimize the impact of the Holocaust or its principal elements, including collaborators and allies of Nazi Germany.”
Hikind told The Post Millennial the significance of the settlement to the Jewish community: “It shows that we cannot be silenced when we’re critical of people in power and fighting for our rights, and of course for every citizen whose free speech is proven protected.”
AOC has previously said that she has “blocked less than 20 (accounts) and it’s for harassment, not for political views. While people have a right to say whatever they want, they do not have a right to force me to hear it.”
While less than 20 accounts may not seem like an issue to AOC, the impact it has on the First Amendment is detrimental.
Other accounts that AOC has blocked include Ryan Saavedra, Liz Wheeler, Harry Cherry, all of whom are journalists. Hikind commented on this by saying “she’d be better off doing the right thing in advance (unblocking) without the threat of legal action.”
The First Amendment safeguards both in-person and online (social media) compromises to free speech, which may include being blocked on Twitter by a politician.
Hikind won’t say that the block by AOC was due to his Jewish heritage or pro-Israel views entirely, but he said that “She saw that my posts were getting high engagement and it bothered her, so she blocked me. Clearly, she didn’t like a sharp critic getting views on her page, but that’s part of the free speech protected by the legal precedent used in this case.”
It should be known that both Hikind’s and AOC’s Twitter accounts are verified by Twitter. Both accounts have a large following in their perspective audiences, such as Hikind with the Jewish community and the pro-Israel community, as does AOC with many Democrats and the progressive community at large.
Hikind served as a New York State Assemblyman under the Democratic banner, however, he has been known for his conservative views. AOC, on the other hand, is also a Democrat serving in the House of Representatives, with well-known and documented democratic socialist views.
Both parties’ lawyers will still be going to court to close the case.
AOC’s representatives did not respond to The Post Millennial in time of publication.