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AOC Accuses Israel of Killing Al Jazeera Journalist: “Our Tax Dollars Are a Part of This”

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May 20, 2022
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol December 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) accused Israel of killing Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a May 19 Instagram Live video and said that there needed to be a “line” drawn over the United States’ funding of Israel.

Abu Akleh was shot in the head during an Israel Defense Force (IDF) raid in the West Bank village of Jenin in response to Palestinian terrorists entering Israel illegally from the village; it is currently unknown whether or not she was shot by Israeli or Palestinian gunfire.

“She was killed by Israeli forces,” Ocasio-Cortez said of the Al Jazeera journalist. “We can’t allow this stuff to be happening with our resources.” She rejected those who argue that she “is picking [Israel] out and treating them differently” because “our tax dollars are part of this. Our resources are a part of this. We can’t even get healthcare in the United States, and we’re funding this.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks drew fire from Jewish and pro-Israel groups.

“It’s dangerous to accuse Israel when even the Palestinian coroner has made no determination,” Israel Consul General of New York Asaf Zamir tweeted to Ocasio-Cortez. “This is exactly what leads to more violent antisemitism in NYC. As a new fellow New Yorker, I invite you to meet and discuss.”

The American Jewish Committee tweeted that the alliance between the U.S. and Israel “creates enormous benefits for both nations and it is vital we keep this relationship strong. @AOC’s claim that military aid to Israel undermines adequate healthcare in the U.S is, at best, a cheap publicity stunt and, at worst, something far more insidious.”

Tel Aviv Institute Fellow Hen Mazzig tweeted, “AOC went on Instagram and claimed that Americans ‘can’t get healthcare’ because of Israel. Scapegoating Jews for the struggles of the day is textbook antisemitism, even if you use Israel as the surrogate. She should apologize immediately — before her words cause hate crimes.”

Human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of the International Legal Forum, tweeted that “whenever @AOC starts lecturing on #Israel, this video invariably comes to mind” and shared the viral clip of Ocasio-Cortez acknowledging in a 2018 interview that she is “not the expert” on the “geopolitics” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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