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Criticising Israel is not anti-Semitic, says Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has recently defended BDS [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 August, 2019

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has asserted that criticising Israel is not anti-Semitic, rather it shows a commitment to human rights.

United States congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke out against smearing pro-Palestine voices into silence on Wednesday.

“Criticising the occupation doesn’t make you anti-Israel, frankly. It doesn’t mean that you are against the existence of a nation”, she said in a radio interview Ibrahim Darden on New York station Hot 97 FM.

“It means that you believe in human rights, and it’s about making sure that Palestinian human rights are equal to Israeli human rights, and there are a lot of troubling things happening there.”

She added that marginalisation of groups of people is a threat to the collective, and not just the oppressed.

“I believe that injustice is a threat to the safety of all people, because once you have a group that is marginalised and marginalised and marginalised — once someone doesn’t have access to clean water, they have no choice but to riot, right? And it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Last week, Ocasio-Cortez was one of 17 lawmakers to vote against a non-binding resolution to condemn the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, widely known as BDS.

The BDS movement is a non-violent movement which aims to pressure Israel to adhere to international law and human rights by lobbying various states, institutions and personas to understand its oppression of Palestinians and take action as a result.
 
Earlier this year, her colleague and first hijab-clad congresswoman Ilhan Omar came under fire for criticising the Israeli lobby.

She was smeared with harsh accusations of anti-Semitism and was pressured into making an apology.

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