Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said over the weekend that Israelis are putting children in cages in the West Bank because, she said, the media is “censoring” Palestinian fears.
In Austin, Texas, to garner support from progressive House candidates Greg Casar and Jessica Cisneros, the New York Democrat came under fire from a pro-Palestinian protester as she promoted the Green New Deal.
“From the point of view of the media, with all this stuff, the word ‘Palestine’ is practically forbidden. It’s censored. We don’t talk about it. Nobody knows about it,” she said. “Thank you for bringing this up, to be honest, because we don’t have to tiptoe around things like this. We should be able to talk about it. And we must not allow people’s humanity to be censored.”
She dismissed accusations of anti-Semitism leveled against some of Israel’s biggest critics in the House of Representatives, such as Congressmen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
“Believing in basic human dignity and a person’s ability to not be jailed or beaten for who they are doesn’t mean you’re fanatical about any other community,” she said, according to Jewish Insider. “And we should call it what it is.”
She compared the treatment of Israelis to Palestinians in the West Bank to the treatment of migrants on the US-Mexico border.
Under caregiver supervision, young unaccompanied migrants aged 3 to 9 watch TV in a playpen at the Donna Department of Homeland Security Detention Center, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley in Donna, Texas, USA, March 30, 2021 . .
Young migrants lie in a capsule at the Donna Department of Homeland Security Detention Center, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley operated by US Customs and Border Protection, on March 30.
More than 4,000 migrants squeezed into pods in a tent in Donna, Texas, which was reportedly 1,700 percent full as of March 30.
A Palestinian woman reacts as Israeli vehicles demolish her home in the West Bank city of Hebron February 15.
Israeli forces attempt to disperse Palestinian residents as a Palestinian building located in the village of Zif is demolished by Israel for allegedly “unlicensing” in Hebron, West Bank February 15.
Palestinians inspect rubble after the Israeli army demolishes a house owned by a Palestinian named Mahmoud Jaradat in the West Bank village of Silat al-Haritiya near Janin February 14.
“I don’t believe a child should be caged on our border, and I don’t believe a child should be caged in the West Bank.”
Ocasio-Cortez gave no examples of children being locked up in cages in the West Bank.
However, Israel built a controversial wall in the West Bank that cut into Palestinian territory and pushed the Palestinians out of the fertile land they grew crops on. Israel has stated that the wall is necessary for security, although it encourages Israelis to settle on both sides of the wall.
In May, a congresswoman made a similar comparison. Ocasio-Cortez said Americans are “afraid to oppose the imprisonment of children in Palestine because perhaps it will force us to oppose the imprisonment of children here on our border,” she said on the floor of the House of Representatives on May 14.
At the time, the area was seeing its worst violence since 2014, with Joe Biden championing Israel’s right to self-defense.
“The President said that Israel has the right to self-defense. Do Palestinians have a right to survive?” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Last fall, the Biden administration issued its strongest public condemnation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank on Tuesday, when State Department spokesman Ned Price compared them to “illegal outposts” in a speech to reporters.
Price said the US government would be “strongly opposed” to such an expansion into occupied Palestinian land.
The Biden spokesman’s criticism was one of the strongest in recent years against Israel after the previous leader, Donald Trump, blessed the settlements and annexations.
“We are deeply concerned about the Israeli government’s plan to advance thousands of settlement units,” Price said at a State Department briefing.
“We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which is completely incompatible with efforts to reduce tensions and bring calm and damage the prospects for a two-state solution,” he said.
“We also find unacceptable plans to retroactively legalize illegal outposts.
The Ministry of Housing and Construction, under Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a right-winger close to the settlement movement who leads a coalition with the Centrists, has issued tenders for 1,355 houses in the West Bank, which was occupied by Israel after the 1967 Six-Day Program. War.
Authorities are also expected to discuss proposals to build an additional 3,000 homes on land the Palestinians claim to be their future state, Reuters reported.
US-assisted talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority collapsed in 2014.
In December, Ocasio-Cortez staffer Legislative Assistant Hussein Altamimi was criticized for calling Israel “a racist European ethno-state built on stolen land” in an Instagram story.
In September, the congresswoman burst into tears when she changed her vote from “no” to “present” to provide $1 billion in funding to replenish the Iron Dome.
She clarified that her vote does not mean that she does not approve of funding the Dome, but that “opposing it in no way, shape or form will stop funding the US system.”
“I strongly believe that Congress should take a closer look at all military funding around the world. I also believe that for too long the US has provided unconditional assistance to the Israeli government, doing nothing to address or raise the persistent human rights violations against the Palestinian people, and that this imbalance of power should be centered in any honest conversation. about Israel and Palestine – in addition to the many other governments that we fund militarily, systematically violating human rights … ”, she wrote.
She later apologized to her constituents for changing her vote.
“To those whom I have disappointed, I am very sorry,” she wrote to residents of New York’s 14th congressional district, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens. “To those who consider this reasoning insufficient or cowardly, I understand.”