Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Cutting aid to Israel should be ‘on the table’

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking in New York City, Sept. 19, 2018. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Gabe Friedman

(JTA) — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that cutting military and economic aid to Israel as a way to signal opposition to Israeli policies should be “on the table.”

“I think it is certainly on the table. I think it’s something that can be discussed,” the prominent freshman Democratic lawmaker said on Yahoo’s Skullduggery podcast on Sunday.

Ocasio-Cortez said that newly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to annex West Bank territory should affect U.S. policy towards Israel. She also called Netanyahu a “Trump-like figure.”

“I think these are part of conversations we are having in our caucus, but I think what we are really seeing is an ascent of authoritarianism across the world,” she said.

Ocasio-Cortez pointed to a bill proposed by Democratic Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum that would prohibit aid to Israel from being used to detain Palestinian children in the West Bank as a way “to approach this issue.”

The Jewish Democratic Council of America sharply criticized Ocasio-Cortez for her comments.

“We recommend she engage with Dem leaders Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, & Ted Deutch before contemplating the future of US military aid to Israel. US-Israel ties must supersede politics,” the group said in a statement.