In a surprising move, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, spoke out against the “hatred and antisemitism” displayed at a recent rally in New York City that celebrated the terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas. Ocasio-Cortez emphasized the importance of shutting down such hateful rhetoric wherever it is found, calling it a fundamental aspect of solidarity. This statement sets her apart from her fellow progressive House representatives and members of the so-called “Squad.”
Over the weekend, Hamas, an Iranian-backed terrorist organization operating from the Gaza Strip, launched a series of attacks on Israel, resulting in the deaths of numerous Israeli civilians, including women, children, and the elderly. Hamas also took hostages, prompting Israel to declare war on the group. In response to these attacks, supporters of Hamas congregated in Times Square on Sunday, openly celebrating the violence. Ocasio-Cortez condemned the bigotry and callousness observed at the rally, stressing that it did not represent the thousands of New Yorkers who reject both terrorist attacks against innocent civilians as well as the injustices faced by Palestinians.
While Ocasio-Cortez took a firm stance against hatred and antisemitism, some of her colleagues within the progressive wing of the Democratic Party have been criticized for their responses to the Hamas attacks. Representative Ilhan Omar, for example, called for the United States to stop providing weapons sales and military aid to Israel, instead urging the promotion of peace. This stark contrast in approaches highlights the ideological divisions within the party.
During the rally, one individual even threatened Israeli counter-protesters, proclaiming their intent to “liberate Palestine” and warning them to prepare for retaliation. The event was promoted by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) chapter in New York, although they deny organizing it. It is worth noting that Ocasio-Cortez, who condemned the hatred on display, is a member of the DSA party, which also counts Omar and several other progressive representatives among its ranks.