Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), also known by her initials AOC, criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his decision to bar several socialist members of the House of Representatives from Israel in 2019. Ocasio-Cortez’s comments come as several members of the left-wing “Squad” in the House criticized Israel following Hamas’ attacks earlier this month.
In particular, Ocasio-Cortez criticized the decision of the prime minister to bar Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from visiting the country. Tlaib is of Palestinian descent.
MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan referenced race as a factor in the ongoing congressional reaction to the war in the Middle East. He said that nearly all of the “at least 18 House Democrats who called for a cease-fire in Gaza are people of color.”
AOC commenting on Israel/Palestine again is going as well as it did last time
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 23, 2023
“How much of the congressional indifference to Palestinian life in Gaza, the refusal in D.C. to acknowledge sometimes the humanity and innocence, not to mention the suffering of all ordinary Gazans, how much of that is driven by the fact that they’re Arabs? Or they’re mostly all Muslims? Or they don’t look like us, do you think?” he asked.
Ocasio-Cortez said that her allies in Congress had been “trying to raise the alarm bells around this for years. There has been virtually no acknowledgment in the United States House of Representatives about the extreme plight and continued human rights violations of the Palestinian people for years.”
“I find it alarming. I found it shocking,” she said.
In particular, AOC referenced Netanyahu’s ban on the members of Congress entering Israel. She said that Tlaib and Omar “did not seem to say or do much of anything. That should be an affront to our entire government and country.”
Tlaib received considerable criticism for blaming Israel for a blast at a Gaza hospital, which Hamas claimed killed 500 civilians. However, research done by the U.S. and other governments determined that the explosion was instead caused by a failed Hamas-linked rocket launch. Independent verification indicates that the true death toll was far lower.