Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has leveled serious allegations against the Biden administration, charging it with contributing to human rights violations in Gaza. During a recent tele-town hall, Ocasio-Cortez engaged with various constituents on the complex issues surrounding the Middle East conflict. She highlighted the U.S. military aid to Israel, suggesting it played a role in human rights breaches in Gaza amidst efforts to counter Hamas.
Ocasio-Cortez invoked the Leahy Law, a U.S. legal provision that prohibits American military assistance to foreign security units implicated in severe human rights abuses. She argued that the current situation in Gaza, allegedly exacerbated by U.S. military support to Israel, contravenes this law. The Congresswoman stressed that the American public likely does not endorse their resources being used to facilitate such violations.
Furthermore, Ocasio-Cortez emphasized the impact of grassroots activism, particularly from pro-Palestinian groups, in influencing political stances on the conflict. She noted a growing shift among lawmakers, including those in politically precarious positions, towards supporting a cease-fire. This shift, she argued, is a direct result of persistent public engagement and activism.
However, Ocasio-Cortez also acknowledged the darker side of this activism. Instances of vandalism and threatening behavior, such as the defacement of Representative Daniel Goldman’s office in Brooklyn with pro-Palestinian messages, have raised security concerns. She likened the intensity of a recent demonstration outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters to the violent incident at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, underlining the increasingly charged atmosphere surrounding the debate.