Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, stepped up her criticism of the Biden administration’s handling of an escalating military conflict between Israel and Hamas militants Thursday, likening the conditions experienced by Palestinians in the region to conditions experienced by migrant children at the southern border.
In a speech on the House floor, the Democrat argued the country “must acknowledge its role in the injustice and human rights violations” and address an “imbalance of power” between Israel and Palestinians. Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the progressive “Squad” of Democratic lawmakers have accused Biden of ignoring human rights violations while supporting Israel.
“We have to have the courage to name our contributions and sometimes I can’t help but wonder if the reason we don’t do that, if we’re scared to stand up to the incarceration of children in Palestine is because maybe it’ll force us to confront the incarceration here at our border,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “If, by standing up to the injustices there, it will prompt us to stand up to the injustices here.”
The fighting began earlier this week Hamas militants launched rocket attacks toward Jerusalem, prompting retaliatory strikes by the Israeli military. The conflict has escalated in the days since despite calls in the international community for a de-escalation of the violence.
.@AOC in a speech on House floor: "This is not about both sides. This is about an imbalance of power." AOC adds: "The president stated that Israel has a right to self-defense… But do Palestinians have a right to survive?" pic.twitter.com/ybIwzINUvk
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) May 13, 2021
Biden re-affirmed America’s support for Israel in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week. In a subsequent press conference, Biden said Israel has “a right to defend itself against thousands of rockets flying into your territory.”
The president’s remarks drew sharp criticism from Ocasio-Cortez, who said Biden had taken “the side of occupation.”
Ocasio-Cortez again referred to Biden’s comments during her floor speech.
“The president and many other figures this week stated that Israel has a right to self-defense and this is a sentiment that is echoed across this body. But do Palestinians have a right to survive? Do we believe that and if so, we have a responsibility to that as well,” she said.
Author: Thomas Barrabi