Jewish activists and rabbis blame Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., for intimidating New York’s prominent pro-Israel Democrats into silence regarding the state’s recent conflict with Hamas terrorists in Gaza, the New York Post reported.
Michael Nussbaum, president of the Queens Council of Jewish Organizations, expressed dismay about Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who supported Israel before progressives hijacked the Democratic Party’s foreign policy program.
“Chuck Schumer? Who?,” Nussbaum asked.
“I’m surprised and disappointed,” he said. “Members of the New York congressional delegation who have a lot of sway have not spoken out forcefully to defend Israel, and they have not denounced AOC or corrected her.”
Ocasio-Cortez, with support from Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mi., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., has aggressively pushed the Democratic Party away from its traditional support for Israel.
Joined by a handful of other progressives, Ocasio-Cortez introduced a resolution to halt the Biden administration’s planned sale of $735 million in weapons to Israel, according to The New York Post.
“At a time when so many, including President Biden, support a ceasefire, we should not be sending ‘direct attack’ weaponry to Prime Minister Netanyahu to prolong this violence,” Ocasio-Cortez said about the resolution.
Schumer, who is Jewish, and other self-proclaimed pro-Israel Democrats have not mounted a response to the resolution.
He did, however, support a resolution calling for a cease-fire in which he affirmed Israel’s “right to defend itself.”
“A lot of Democrats are afraid of the AOC contingent,” he said. “They’re sacrificing their principles to avoid primaries.”
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, said the Democratic Party has a communication problem regarding Israel because the pro-Palestine crowd voices its opinions openly while the pro-Israel crowd hides.
“I want to see them and hear them. I don’t see them” Potasnik said. “The other side has no problem in voicing their opinion.”
New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Jewish Republican, said Democrats have not condemned the violent antisemitism in their own community, let alone in Israel and Gaza.
“As the Jewish state faced thousands of rocket attacks from the terrorist organization and Iranian proxy Hamas over the past 11 days, Jewish people throughout the US have been subject to violent attacks and blatant antisemitism,” he said in a press release.
He is referencing ongoing events in New York City. In the past week, radicals have used violence, burned Israel’s flag, and displayed signs with phrases like, “Zionism is Terrorism.”
“Sadly, we have also seen Democratic leadership in Congress look the other way at this behavior as members of their party stoke these flames,” Zeldin said.