Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez this week criticized a fellow Democrat for his support for Israel in the ongoing crisis with the Palestinians and then re-tweeted a Tweet calling Israel “the occupier.”
Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) blasted Democrat Andrew Yang, who is running for New York City mayor and who posted a statement of support for Israel on Monday.
“I’m standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorists,” Yang tweeted. “The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere.”
I'm standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorists. The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere.— Andrew Yang🧢🗽🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) May 10, 2021
The next day, Yang was uninvited by Muslim organizers from an event that would have commemorated the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr. Yang was set to hand out groceries in the neighborhood of Astoria.
“Utterly shameful for Yang to try to show up to an Eid event after sending out a chest-thumping statement of support for a strike killing 9 children, especially after his silence as Al-Aqsa was attacked,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “But then to try that in Astoria? During Ramadan?! They will let you know.”
Utterly shameful for Yang to try to show up to an Eid event after sending out a chest-thumping statement of support for a strike killing 9 children, especially after his silence as Al-Aqsa was attacked.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 11, 2021
But then to try that in Astoria? During Ramadan?! They will let you know. https://t.co/r721mHyfri
Ocasio-Cortez was referencing an Israelite airstrike targeting Hamas terrorists. Twenty people, including three Hamas militants, were killed, according to reports. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) said it conducts “roof knockings” – the dropping of non-explosive devices on buildings – and contacts civilians ahead of bombings to warn them to evacuate.
Later, Ocasio-Cortez re-tweeted a Tweet that included comments from journalist Mehdi Hasan, who said, “One side is the occupier. The other side is occupied.” The occupier, he said, is Israel, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
"The fundamental unavoidable reality at the heart of the [Israel-Palestine] conflict is that there is an asymmetry of power here. One side is the occupier. The other side is occupied."— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) May 10, 2021
Me, tonight, on why we shouldn't just talk of 'clashes' in Jerusalem:pic.twitter.com/rgXvoY35jW
Yang released a follow-up statement saying he still supports Israel but added, “Support of a people does not make one blind to the pain and suffering of others.”
More than 1,000 rockets have been fired at Israel by Hamas since Monday, according to the Times of Israel. The so-called Iron Dome air-defense system – partially funded by the United States – intercepted between 85 and 90 percent of rockets that were heading toward populated areas, the Times of Israel reports.
Ben Shapiro, an American conservative commentator, said there is a moral difference between what Israel does and what Hamas does.
“One side fires over a thousand rockets into civilian areas hoping to kill anyone, including Israeli Arabs,” Shapiro wrote. “The other side delivers phone calls and ‘knock bombs’ to evacuate civilians before destroying Hamas-occupied buildings. And most of the West pretends moral equivalence.”
One side fires over a thousand rockets into civilian areas hoping to kill anyone, including Israeli Arabs.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) May 12, 2021
The other side delivers phone calls and "knock bombs" to evacuate civilians before destroying Hamas-occupied buildings.
And most of the West pretends moral equivalence.
Despite comments from Ocasio-Cortez, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement backing Israel.
“Israel has the right to defend herself against this assault, which is designed to sow terror and undermine prospects for peace,” the statement read.
In 2019, Ocasio-Cortez was one of 17 House members to oppose a resolution that called Israel a “key ally” and criticized a prominent movement to boycott the Jewish state.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wroblewski/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.