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Left-wing AOC was with her fiancé at a Brooklyn cinema when pro-Palestine supporters accosted her, demanding she say the word 'genocide'

AOC
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough
  • Pro-Palestinian protesters accosted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez outside a cinema in Brooklyn.

  • They demanded that she call Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza a "genocide."

  • One of the most prominent leftists in the Capitol, AOC has been critical of Israel for many years.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had just left the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Brooklyn with her fiancé earlier this week when she was accosted by a group of Pro-Palestinian protesters.

Their accusation? She was not taking a hard enough line on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

"You refuse to call it a genocide. You're not actively against it. Say it's a genocide." the protesters shouted.

"Over 30,000 people have died. Just say the word. That's all we want you to say," they went on, referring to the latest figures from the Hamas-run Health Ministry that the death toll on the Gaza Strip had risen to 30,717.

Ocasio-Cortez shouted back: "You're lying! I need you to understand that this is not OK."

She responded that she had said that it was a genocide.

It's fucked up, man. And you're not helping these people. You're not helping them," she shouted.

Business Insider contacted Ocasio-Cortez's office for comment but received no response.

A surprise target for anti-Israel protesters

Ocasio-Cortez, who represents New York's 14th congressional district, is considered one of the most prominent leftists in the House of Representatives. She has been critical of Israeli government policies for many years.

For example, In July 2019, Ocasio-Cortez voted against a House resolution introduced by Rep. Brad Schneider condemning the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel.

In 2020, she withdrew from a memorial to a murdered Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, for which she was accused of "fundamental disrespect for Israel and for peacemakers."

In November last year, the congresswoman led a group of Democrats in calling for a cease-fire of the war that erupted following Hamas's October 7 invasion, in which 1,200 Israelis were left dead and more than 200 taken hostage.

In a virtual town hall around the same time, AOC responded to a constituent who said the US was "funding a genocide."

"What we are witnessing," she said, "is the gross violation of human rights in Gaza, and that is being done with US military assistance."

Ocasio-Cortez also sparked furore online, with some accusing her of antisemitism for a Christmas Instagram post in which she likened Jesus to the Palestinians.

The congresswoman shared a photo of a child lying on a pile of rubble surrounded by wooden Nativity scene icons.

In text over the photo, she wrote: 'In the story of Christmas, Christ was born in modern-day Palestine under the threat of a government engaged in a massacre of innocents."

She then compared Jesus being hunted by King Herod to the "right-wing forces" currently "violently occupying Bethlehem."

AOC Xmas
AOC's Christmas Instagram storyAOC Instagram

Following the International Court of Justice's order to Israel to work to prevent genocidal acts against Palestinians in Gaza, the congresswoman refused to accuse Israel of genocide but said Americans should not "toss someone out of our public discourse" if they do.

In an interview with NBC News, she said: "The fact that this word is even in play, the fact that this word is even in our discourse, I think demonstrates the mass inhumanity that Gazans are facing."

The progressive US Sen. Bernie Sanders, the longest serving independent in US congressional history, has also been challenged on his stance towards the war in Israel.

A Jew and a liberal Zionist, Sanders was asked by Novara Media in February if he would call what is happening in Gaza a genocide. He declined to answer, saying only that Israel's actions had been "disgraceful" and "horrible," and that he was leading the charge to cut military funding to Israel in the US Senate.

AOC and confrontational politics

Ocasio-Cortez has previously supported protesters who target political opponents, in a similar manner to which experienced in the Brooklyn theater on Tuesday.

Previously, when Barack Obama objected to the 'defund the police' movement, AOC wrote on Twitter: "To folks who complain protests demands make others uncomfortable, that's the point."

In July 2022, following the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision, in which the US Supreme Court held that the Constitution did not confer a right to abortion, a group of protesters gathered outside a restaurant in Washington DC, where Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was eating dinner.

The activists told the manager to kick Kavanaugh out of the steakhouse. The jurist was forced to leave early via a back door. AOC's mocking response on X, then Twitter, was:

"Poor guy. He left before his soufflé because he decided half the country should risk death if they have an ectopic pregnancy within the wrong state lines. It's all very unfair to him. The least they could do is let him eat cake."

Read the original article on Business Insider