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NY insurgent who said ‘Dems can’t be silent anymore’ about Palestine clips AIPAC poodle in primary shocker

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There is only one political story today, the defeat of Democratic Party stalwart Joseph Crowley by insurgent socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, in a congressional district in the Bronx and Queens. The news has reverberations for our issue, U.S. policy in the Middle East. Ocasio-Cortez has called on the party to end its silence on Palestinian human rights.

Here is Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet from the May 14 massacre on the Gaza border, when Israel killed 62 Palestinian protesters even as the U.S. moved the embassy:

This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.

NY Rep. Joseph Crowley

Crowley had supported the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, which detonated the killings, and catered to the Israel lobby group AIPAC. He is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, a ten-term congressman, the personification of the old guard. The party establishment has been wed to support for Israel even as the forces that Ocasio-Cortez represents, younger and more diverse, have demanded greater backing for Palestinian human rights.

Haaretz has more of the story:

Asked later why she chose to post the tweet, Ocasio-Cortez compared the Gaza protesters to civil rights activists in the United States.

“I think I was primarily compelled on moral grounds because I could only imagine if 60 people were shot and killed in Ferguson. Or if 60 people were shot and killed in the West Virginia teachers’ strikes. The idea that we are not supposed to talk about people dying when they are engaging in political expression just really moved me,” she said.

She told interviewer Glenn Greenwald that the “silence” around the Palestinian cause “has been a little interesting to me,” adding that her Puerto Rican roots her to relate to the Palestinian protesters.

“Puerto Rico is a colony that is granted no rights, that has no civic representation,” she said. “If 60 of us were shot in protest of the U.S. negligence in FEMA I couldn’t imagine if there were silence on that.”

Increasingly, she said, “People are separating the actions and status of Palestinians from even the greater geopolitics of the area. People are looking at Palestinians through a humanitarian lens.”

Just last week Democratic megadonor Haim Saban accused 13 senators who called for an easing of the siege on Gaza of being childish and uninformed.

Democrat Alan Dershowitz is apparently worried about the same trend. From Bernard Marcus, one of Trump’s biggest pro-Israel donors:

“I was just speaking to Alan Dershowitz who agreed that the Democratic party is turning against itself. We are frightened by so much anti-Israel, anti-Semitic sentiment. Look what’s happening in Germany, England, France…Jews have nowhere to go but Israel. You think Russia and Iran want to sustain Israel? We have to fight the fight!”

We have always predicted this battle inside the Democratic Party. It really seems to be coming at last.


Mondoweiss Editors

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21 Responses

  1. Citizen on June 27, 2018, 10:05 am

    Yes, indeed, and she is very impressive, as impressive mentally and ethically as she is beautiful!
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Insurgent Who Toppled Joe Crowley, Is A Strong Advocate For Palestinian basic rights! via @jdforward

  2. Spring Renouncer on June 27, 2018, 10:26 am

    I was so impressed by her interview on The Intercept during her campaign. She addressed the massacre more directly than any American politician I can think of. I never imagined that she could win and am so excited that she did. I don’t live in her district, but told 3 or 4 of my friends who do about her and tried to convince them to vote for her.

    • MHughes976 on June 27, 2018, 12:55 pm

      Maybe you can vote for Cynthia Nixon for Governor of NY? She seems to be another pea from the same rather appealing (though it must have a liberal Z stripe somewhere) pod.
      Meanwhile in the UK Donald McIntyre has an article in today’s Independent about our ever growing closeness to Israel following the Brexit vote. Prince William is doing the rounds in Israel at the moment and visiting poor old Abbas. McI argues that we will withdraw from the anti-settlement terms of the EU-Israel trade deal. If you can strike a better note in NY, please do.

      • ckg on June 27, 2018, 2:18 pm

        Do you know if HRH Prince William commemorated or even mentioned the fallen British soldiers and citizens who died in the 1946 Irgun bombing of the King David Hotel where he was lodged?

      • John O on June 27, 2018, 4:10 pm


        Doesn’t look like it. I trawled through the Daily Mail’s online coverage, which goes into positively indecent detail about everything our royals do (it’s a tough job but someone has to do it). Laying a wreath outside the hotel would have been very powerful, but I guess his main aim has been to get the damn visit over with without offending too many people.

      • John O on June 28, 2018, 3:29 am

        Cartoon in today’s Guardian that will no doubt give our local Zionists conniptions:

  3. Jasonius Maximus on June 27, 2018, 1:48 pm

    This is a very promising change in such an important district. Even more promising when considering her vociferous opposition to PACs and special interest groups, which is a powerful shot across the bow of AIPAC and the ADL!

    She has the ability to be a beacon for change and humanity on the I/P issues and profound example of political resistance to these otherwise powerful groups.

    Let’s hope she doesn’t buckle like Cory Booker. Or even better, shows him what a difference a little backbone can make in D.C.

  4. Ossinev on June 27, 2018, 2:27 pm

    “Jews have nowhere to go but Israel”
    OMG ! Brooklyn and Florida have become so dangerous for them. The poor things. Hopefully sleazy “Democrat”LOL Dershowitz will arrange the necessary Exodus (for a price).

  5. ckg on June 27, 2018, 3:52 pm

    It sure didn’t take long for the right wing to smear her after her victory. The Daily Caller links her to Thomas Lopez-Pierre who “used slurs against Jewish and black New Yorkers in public forums and while running for office himself.”

    • Marnie on June 28, 2018, 12:13 am

      Some of the so-called liberal left democrats dropped a few bricks wrt her victory also. This has got to be a huge wakeup call to them. Maybe if they can stop demonizing Maxine Waters for a minute they’ll realize what happened to them!

      “This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.”

      You might be the only one with the moral courage among your ‘peers’. Seems like you stand alone, but continue to stand tall. Congratulations and best wishes Ms. Ocasio-Cortez!

  6. JWalters on June 27, 2018, 9:04 pm

    The PBS Newshour’s Lisa Desjardins reported on Alexandria’s victory tonight with NO MENTION of her calling out the Israeli “massacre” of Palestinian protesters. I expect Tel Aviv Rachel will also stick to her Zionist script. Raw Zionist power.

  7. chris_k on June 27, 2018, 11:49 pm

    The $80M Bloomberg congressional money appears to be earmarked for the pro-Israel candidates, and Bloomberg has said before he doesn’t care for Bernie Sanders. Bloomberg can run as a Dem in 2020 and then as an independent candidate if/ when he loses. If Bloomberg runs a sore loser third party candidacy, based on 2016 polls it would help Trump (but perhaps not enough) One can develop the hypothesis that Bloomberg is going to try to make it impossible for Sanders to win the whole thing in 2020.

  8. Ossinev on June 28, 2018, 8:18 am

    @John O
    Great cartoon plus you have introduced me to the word “conniptions” as a bonus. Sounds a lot more upbeat(sic) than “palpitations”.

  9. JLewisDickerson on June 28, 2018, 9:07 am

    RE: “NY insurgent who said ‘Dems can’t be silent anymore’ about Palestine clips AIPAC poodle in primary shocker”

    MY COMMENT: Crowley even looks like an AIPAC poodle. His fake smile says it all.

  10. EUHUGUENIN on June 28, 2018, 12:30 pm

    The people who are promoting this latest experiment in intimidation are pretty open about what they’re doing, and why. “We’re the pro-Israel wing of the pro-Israel community,” exults neo-con godfather William Kristol. So here’s the crazy part—we’re not supposed to acknowledge that there’s an Israel Lobby, even though its main players talk openly about their activities! No, as Abraham Foxman pointed out in his book “The Deadliest Lies,” the existence of an Israel Lobby is a scurrilous falsehood made up by anti-Semites.
    Got that? There’s no Lobby, but you’d better do what the Lobby says.
    To help readers with this Orwellian dilemma, I offer these “12 Commandments of the Israel Lobby,” to be memorized if possible in a venue featuring the theme song of “The Twilight Zone” in the background.
    1. The Israel Lobby does not exist. In those cases where it does exist, its conclusions cannot be questioned.
    2. All criticisms of Israel are false. They are invented by anti-Semites, self-hating Jews, and terrorists. Also by crypto-Nazis, apostates and liars.
    3. All critics of Israel must be punished by extracting a public apology. Some offenders may be required to apologize more than once, if they do not grovel sufficiently the first time around.
    4. Those who criticize Israel and do not publicly apologize must be endlessly harassed, and fired from their jobs if possible. In academia they must be denied tenure.
    5. Any Arab or Muslim that criticizes Israel is a terrorist, and deserves to die.
    6. To praise anybody who ever criticized Israel is the same thing as criticizing Israel. Just as all things Israeli are good, anybody that criticizes Israel is bad.
    7. In any conflict involving Israelis and Palestinians, the Israelis are always the victims. If an Israeli hurts a Palestinian, the Israeli is still the victim because the Palestinian is trying to make the Israeli feel bad.
    8. Israel/Palestine is never debated. That implies another side to the issue, and there is only one side. Therefore debate is suppressed or disrupted.
    9. The United Nations, the World Court, the various UN agencies, every human rights organization and non-governmental organization in the world that isn’t approved by the NGO Monitor [an Israeli screening operation] is anti-Semitic. That is because these organizations are likely to criticize Israel’s human rights record—and as any fool knows, that means they’re anti-Semitic.

    10. The interests of the US are exactly the same as the interests of Israel. If they aren’t, the interests of Israel take precedence.
    11. Any war that the US is likely to be involved in must be evaluated from the point of view of its helpfulness to the current government of Israel.
    12. Anybody who threatens to make sense while criticizing Israel must be immediately shouted down. If shouting doesn’t work, screaming and crying are recommended. As a last resort, one must declare that criticisms of Israel are making one feel “unsafe.”
    These rules, while not to be humorous, reflect a reality that is petty, tiresome and essentially undemocratic. Therefore let us answer them by answering the call from Palestinian civil society for international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israeli apartheid. The purpose is to end the longest and most brutal military occupation of our time, and in so doing resolve the one issue most likely to cause religious war. But there is another reason to support BDS. The Israel Lobby operates as a thought police, spending millions of dollars to stop anybody in public life who would have a candid discussion of American interests in the Middle East. For this reason, we must counter the intimidation of the Israel Lobby in order to restore free speech and freedom of association to American discourse.

  11. James Canning on July 1, 2018, 6:21 pm

    Someone should tell Bernard Marcus that Iran will accept Israel within its pre-1967 borders.

    • mondonut on July 1, 2018, 9:37 pm

      @James Canning …Iran will accept Israel within its pre-1967 borders.

      Why lie? Iran would never do what you claim.

  12. echinococcus on July 2, 2018, 11:50 am

    To complete the record, the Foreign Policy section was taken off Ocasio’s web site before the election. Called on that (by tweeterers and Antiwar), she promised to look into it. A “Peace Economy” section is now back on her web site.

  13. Tuyzentfloot on July 6, 2018, 8:52 am

    This matters for I/P because it shows that it is possible to get elected with this ‘pro-Palestinian’ position. I am relatively tolerant towards politicians who decide pragmatically they will focus on some issues they make their core issues while compromising on other issues because they consider it political suicide. The question to ask people who criticize Elisabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders for taking a cowardly position on Palestine is : do you think they should take the moral stand at the risk of committing political suicide , or do you think it is actually a viable position?
    For Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the moral position is a viable position. Maybe it is now and was not the case before, but it should make other politicians reevaluate their position.

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