Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is facing a primary challenge from New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, a centrist who was a registered Republican up until 2008.
In an interview with Jewish Insider (JI), Cabrera says he was inspired to run in response to Ocasio-Cortez’s “embrace of socialism” and her views towards Israel. “I am very concerned with the tone that she brings,” Cabrera told JI, “Her agenda has been very anti-Israel and she’s not a friend of the Jewish community. I could say that with total conviction. I want to bring communities together. If one community hurts, everybody pays for that. She doesn’t get that.”
Ocasio-Cortez was one of just 17 Representatives to vote against H.Res.246, an anti-BDS resolution that was overwhelmingly passed by the House in July. She’s also a cosponsor of H.Res.496, a resolution introduced by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) that affirms the right to boycott foreign countries over human rights issues. “Even more than specific issues, like BDS, it’s the culture that she’s trying to shape that I think would be detrimental to the Jewish community,” said Cabrera.
In addition to having a consistent pro-Israel voting record, Cabrera is also the former volunteer director for Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the evangelical Zionist organization founded by infamous Pastor John Hagee. Cabrera told JI he has visited Israel seven times.
“Israel is the perfect example of how people can live together,” Cabrera told The Jewish Link earlier this month, “There is no safer place for Christians to live in the Middle East. Muslims live in Israel and serve in the Knesset.”
He continued, “When I get to Congress, I will join my colleagues to protect the right of Israel to determine their future and not have any other country try to shove it down their throat.”