Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised money after The New York Times ran a story that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was seeking to unseat her.
“They are three people who, in my opinion, will not be around in several years,” Stephen Fiske told TheNYT, referring to Ocasio-Cortez and her progressive colleagues, Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Fiske, who TheNYT called “a longtime activist” with AIPAC was the keystone of the article, however, he confirmed to The Times of Israel on Friday that he has not been associated with the organization for several years. Rather, he’s the chairman of a pro-Israel PAC that has no affiliation with AIPAC.
Ocasio-Cortez sent out fundraising emails days after TheNYT’s March 4 article was published, claiming “It’s official — AIPAC is coming after Alexandria, Ilhan, and Rashida.”
And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now raising money by saying AIPAC is coming for her and comparing the bipartisan consensus on the US-Israel relationship to the Iraq War pic.twitter.com/4gvXuiHIhX
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) March 7, 2019
AIPAC, which is not a political action committee and therefore doesn’t directly fund campaigns, deters donors from taking aim at incumbents in safe districts, such as those of Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib, according to The Times of Israel.
The battle against AIPAC was seemingly kicked off in February after Omar quote-tweeted a Haaretz article where House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened punishment against Omar and Tlaib for their anti-Semitic rhetoric. Omar replied that Republicans’ support for Israel is bought by AIPAC, perpetuating an ages-old anti-Semitic trope.
The comments received swift condemnation from Congressional members on both sides of the aisle, including from the Democratic leadership. However, Ocasio-Cortez praised Omar for what she said “raised the issue of lobbyist [money] in politics.”
The freshman congressional trio has been embroiled in allegations of anti-Semitism. Omar and Tlaib have come out in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to punish the nation-state of Israel by economically depriving the country for its alleged mistreatment of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
Ocasio-Cortez has been notably silent on the issue, however, she is part of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which supports the movement. A 2017 video surfaced of DSA voting in favor of BDS while chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a famous Hamas rallying cry.
While Ocasio-Cortez claimed to have Sephardic Jewish ancestry, she has made some eyebrow-raising statements about Jews. The self-proclaimed radical compared a migrant caravan trying to enter the United States illegally to Jews fleeing the Holocaust.
She later compared the effects of Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal to the Holocaust, urging the United States to follow Germany’s example by paying reparations and acknowledge the suffering that occurred during Nazi occupation.
Ocasio-Cortez also received backlash after she expressed gratitude for her correspondence with Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of U.K.’s Labour Party. Corbyn has been plagued with accusations of anti-Semitism and has a long history of condemning Israel while applauding anti-Jewish terrorist organizations.
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