U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks to reporters after finishing a televised town hall event on the “Green New Deal” in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 29, 2019.
(photo credit: JEENAH MOON/REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDC) slammed US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying in a statement that they are pleased that “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recognizes she is NOT a leader on Israel in Congress.” This was in response to Ocasio-Cortez’s comments Sunday on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him “a [US President Donald] Trump-like figure.”
In an interview with the Yahoo News Skullduggery podcast, she added that Netanyahu’s reelection is a part of “the ascent of authoritarianism across the world.” Asked if she believes that the prime minister’s talk about annexing parts of the West Bank should affect US policy toward Israel, the congresswoman responded, “I think so,” and said that “conversations are happening in our caucus.”
She also gave a surprising answer as to whether she would support a move to cut military or economic aid to Israel, saying that “I think it’s certainly on the table.”
“We recommend she engage with Dem leaders [Reps.] Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey and Ted Deutch before contemplating the future of US military aid to Israel,” JDC said in their statement.
“US-Israel ties must supersede politics,” they continued.
JDC was referring to statements made last week by four of the most active supporters of Israel among House Democrats, who together issued a rare public statement warning of a possible move by Israel to annex the West Bank.
Lowey, chairwoman of the House Committee on Appropriations; Engel, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Deutch, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism; and Rep. Brad Schneider, indicated that Democrats would oppose annexation, creating a potential future confrontation between the Israeli government and pro-Israel Democrats in Congress.
“As strong, life-long supporters of Israel, a US-Israel relationship rooted in our shared values and the two-state solution, we are greatly concerned by the possibility of Israel taking unilateral steps to annex the West Bank,” the four wrote. They reaffirmed their support for the two-state solution and called for direct negotiation.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview Friday night that Netanyahu’s talk about annexing parts of the West Bank won’t hurt President Trump’s upcoming peace plan.
“I don’t [think so]. I think that the vision that we’ll layout is going to represent a significant change from the model that’s been used,” Pompeo said on CNN.
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