Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., condemned the “bigotry and insensitivity” displayed at a pro-Palestinian rally held this weekend and promoted by some of her allies.
Despite a heavy police presence at the rally, there were some clashes between pro-Palestinian activists, whose signs presented the attack as a legitimate form of political resistance, and pro-Israeli demonstrators, who called the demonstrators anti-Semitic and terrorist sympathizers.
The rally was promoted by the Democratic Socialists of America, a left-wing group that helped elect Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives, but it was criticized by some of its own elected officials for supporting the he event, which took place before Israel was even able to count the dead.
“It shouldn’t be difficult to end hatred and anti-Semitism where we see it. This is a fundamental principle of solidarity,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. statement first shared with Politico’s New York affiliate Monday evening.
“The intolerance and insensitivity expressed in Times Square on Sunday was unacceptable and harmful at this devastating time,” the congresswoman continued. “It also did not speak for the thousands of New Yorkers who are able to reject Hamas’ horrific attacks on innocent civilians as well as the grave injustices and violence Palestinians face under occupation.
While the mainstream Democratic Party remains overwhelmingly supportive of Israel, the left wing of the party has become increasingly sympathetic to the Palestinian cause in recent years, with some comparing Israeli treatment of Palestinians to apartheid in South Africa and promoting anti-Israeli actions like the boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS).
Jewish leaders, including some on the left otherwise sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians, have long expressed concern that this type of rhetoric and targeted action helps normalize anti-Semitism, creating an ugly point of friction within of the progressive movement and between the movement and the Democratic Party. , which erupted several times.
Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives have attempted to bridge the divide by expressing support for the Palestinians while reaffirming their support for Israel’s right to exist, but they have often been criticized, mainly accused of being too soft on activists Palestinians.
Earlier, she called the weekend’s events “devastating for all those seeking lasting peace and respect for human rights in Israel and Palestine” and said: “I condemn the Hamas attack in the strongest possible terms.
But she also called for an “immediate ceasefire and de-escalation,” which is not acceptable to Israel and its allies, including the United States, as Israel now moves to destroy Hamas.