Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed for call with Corbyn

Corbyn tweeted on Sunday that it was "great" to speak with AOC "on the phone this evening and hear first-hand how she’s challenging the status quo.

February 4, 2019 08:58
US Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) walks up to participate in drawing a lottery

US Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) walks up to participate in drawing a lottery number for her new office on Capitol Hill November 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. (photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP)


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Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) came under fire on social media on Sunday night after it was revealed that she spoke with UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, embroiled in a number of antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents and comments. 

Corbyn tweeted on Sunday that it was "great" to speak with AOC "on the phone this evening and hear first-hand how she’s challenging the status quo."

"Let’s build a movement across borders to take on the billionaires, polluters and migrant baiters, and support a happier, freer and cleaner planet," he said.

Responding soon after, AOC said it was "an honor" to have shared "such a lovely and wide-reaching conversation with you, @jeremycorbyn!"

She added that she was also "honored to share a great hope in the peace, prosperity, + justice that everyday people can create when we uplift one another across class, race, + identity both at home & abroad."

Following her tweet, several well-known figures called on her to look into Corbyn's reputation of antisemitism.

Corbyn has been embroiled in countless antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents. He has also been heavily criticized for being anti-immigrant and pro-Brexit.

American Enterprise Institute scholar and philosopher Christina Sommers chastised AOC saying, "Dear Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Mr. Corbyn is antisemitic. You do not want to do to the Democratic Party what @lsarsour & @TamikaDMallory did to the #WomensMarch."

Well-known journalist Yair Rosenberg responded by tweeting statics in which he quoted a poll by The Jewish Chronicle, which stated that 85% of UK Jews think Corbyn is antisemitic. 

"Put this another way: Imagine that 85% of Muslims polled said they thought a particular European leader was Islamophobic. Would you take that leader's phone call and laud it as a step toward greater justice and equality? If not, please grant Jews the same consideration," he said.

Elad Nehorai, the writer behind the famous Pop Chassid blog, tweeted AOC telling her that he's "a huge huge fan" but "I hope you’ll take a look at the amount of Jews trying to call attention to Corbyn’s long, documented history of antisemitism," he said.
"The left’s blind spot in this regard can still be fixed. But we need leaders like yourself to listen," Nehorai added.

AOC responded, thanking him for bringing this to her attention.

"We cannot + will not move forward without deep fellowship and leadership with the Jewish community. I’ll have my team reach out," she said.

Writer Peter Fox warned AOC to "be careful with Corbyn. He’s treated UK’s Jewish community with utter contempt and sides with the most abysmal people.

"I still believe AOC can hold dialogue with Jewish leaders," he later wrote. "If she hears our concerns and really listens she’ll know that Jeremy Corbyn is not to be trusted."

Others said she had also lost credibility for the interaction, while some said they were speechless and "very disappointed."

Author Idrees Ahmad tweeted that "as a British citizen and a progressive, it saddens me that you'd consider it a mark of honour to associate with a pro-Brexit politician who has used xenophobic language to exploit England's anti-immigrant sentiment and who supported Russia's murderous intervention in Syria."

Jason Hirschhorn, REDEF CEO and former MySpace co-president, also said he is "a fan of yours but do you know about his (Corbyn's) antisemitic stances?"

AOC has also had her fair share of controversy. Last week, a video released on Twitter showed her activist group, the Democratic Socialists of America, voting to adopt the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The 2017 video was found and shared by Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra and depicts an audience raising their hands following the carrying of a pro-BDS motion and chanting, "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free."

She has spoken out against antisemitism on several occasion including during an interview with CNN during the National Women's March, saying that "concerns of antisemitism with the current administration in the White House are absolutely valid and we need to make sure that we are protecting the Jewish community and all those that feel vulnerable in this moment."

Despite her repeated talks on her Jewish identity and the defense of the Jewish people, AOC has repeatedly praised BDS. In a July 2018 interview, AOC spoke about Israel as "the occupation of Palestine." She further announced that she is definitely in favor of a two-state solution.

While, Corbyn's antisemitic sentiments have varied from calling Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends" to laying a wreath for the Munich terrorists in Tunisia, comparing Israel’s control of the West Bank to the Nazi occupation of Europe during World War II and  allegedly hosting a Holocaust Memorial Day meeting at which a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz, Hajo Meyer repeatedly made comparisons between Israeli policy and Nazism.

Last year, UK Labour was hit with a major storm over its reluctance adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism fully. Corbyn fought to add a clause that stated it would not be deemed antisemitic to describe Israel and/or the circumstances of Israel’s establishment as racist.

Tamar Beeri contributed to this report.

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