January 19, 2020

Jewish Groups Criticize Ocasio-Cortez for Suggesting That U.S. Aid to Israel Could Be Cut

Screenshot from Twitter.

The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) and the American Jewish Congress are among those criticizing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) for suggesting that United States aid to Israel could be cut.

Ocasio-Cortez criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “Trump-like figure” and an example of the rise of “authoritarianism across the world” on “Yahoo! News’ “Skullduggery” podcast on April 15. When Ocasio-Cortez was asked if the United States should cut aid to Israel, she replied, “I think it’s on the table. I think it is certainly on the table. And I think it’s something that can be discussed.”

The freshman congresswoman added that she hopes “to play a facilitating role in this conversation and a supportive role in this conversation.”

JDCA said in a statement, “We are pleased Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recognizes she is NOT a leader on Israel in Congress. We recommend she engage with Dem leaders Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, & Congressman Ted Deutch before contemplating the future of US military aid to Israel. US-Israel ties must supersede politics.”

Similarly, Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Congress, said in a statement, “The American Jewish Congress strongly opposes any cut to the U.S. security or financial assistance to Israel, as implied by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in an interview with Yahoo News “Skullduggery” podcast today.”

“American financial and security assistance to Israel is first and foremost a way to protect U.S. lives and interests in the Middle East,” Rosen later added. “Israel serves as a stabilizer in a turbulent region and is on the front-lines of countering some of the U.S.’s most dangerous enemies such as Iran and its malign proxies Hezbollah and Hamas.”

Ocasio-Cortez has previously accused Israel of conducting a “massacre” on the border of the Gaza Strip and has lamented the “occupation of Palestine.”