By Lisa Keys
November 1, 2023
(New York Jewish Week) — New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the American Israel Public Affairs Committee “an extremist organization that destabilizes US democracy” in a social media post on Tuesday night.
“AIPAC endorsed scores of Jan 6th insurrectionists,” the progressive lawmaker, who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens, wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “They are no friend to American democracy. They are one of the more racist and bigoted PACs in Congress as well, who disproportionately target members of color.”
She concluded, “They are an extremist organization that destabilizes US democracy.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s statement was in response to a post the pro-Israel organization published Tuesday, calling her out along with other lawmakers who did not support a pro-Israel House resolution last week. Also named in the post were other members of the “Squad,” the group of progressive Democratic members of Congress, as well as Republican Rep. Thomas Massie.
The House passed the resolution on Oct. 25 with 412 votes, as 194 Democrats and 218 Republicans voted in favor. Six lawmakers voted “present” and 10 voted against the resolution, all Democrats save for Massie. The resolution “reaffirms Israel’s right to self-defense, and condemns Hamas’ brutal war against Israel.”
It also “reaffirms the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security, supports emergency resupply and certain other types of assistance to Israel, and urges full enforcement of sanctions against Iran to prevent Iran’s funding of terrorist groups.”
AIPAC, the country’s largest pro-Israel lobby and political action committee, began directly funding candidates in late 2021. It endorsed 365 candidates ahead of the 2022 election, including majorities of House Republicans and Democrats, but attracted criticism for endorsing 109 of the 147 of the Republicans who refused to affirm President Joe Biden’s election in a vote on Jan. 6, 2021. An AIPAC spokesperson said at the time that the group is a “single-issue organization” focused on support for Israel.
In response to Ocasio-Cortez, the organization posted, “AIPAC stands with pro-Israel Democrats and Republicans of all races, genders, and backgrounds who support the US-Israel alliance. And we oppose those who don’t, like you.”
Other lawmakers tagged in AIPAC’s post have also shared posts criticizing the group. Missouri Rep. Cori Bush wrote, “AIPAC’s dark money grift & anti-democracy propping up of insurrectionists are attempts to undermine the will of the people.”
In the weeks since Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of Israel, and Israel’s subsequent war against the terror group in Gaza, Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly expressed support for a ceasefire while also speaking out against antisemitism.
“Two million people. Half children. Starved. Bombed. Cut from communication,” she posted on X on Oct. 28, regarding Gaza. “Some may dismiss a ceasefire as naïve or worse. Yet who has a plan for what follows this destruction? What do we call that?”
On Monday, following reports of rising antisemitism in New York and across the country, she posted, “Antisemitism is disgusting and unacceptable. We have a responsibility to defend our Jewish brothers, sisters, and siblings from hatred. No movement of integrity should tolerate it. Ever.”
Ocasio-Cortez also condemned the pro-Palestinian rally held Oct. 8 in Times Square, calling it “unacceptable and harmful.”