Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had repeatedly refused requests to meet with New York’s prominent Jewish leaders.
Both heads of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the New York Board of Rabbis stated that they have sought talks with the first-term “Democratic Socialist” congresswoman from the Bronx. They were unsuccessful.
“I requested a meeting with her and it has not come to fruition,” JCRC executive director Michael Miller told The New York Post. “A meeting has been requested on more than one occasion. It hasn’t happened. I’m still interested in meeting with her.”
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive VP of the New York Board of Rabbis, also stated that the congresswoman has been a no show.
AOC is the only member of New York’s congressional delegation to have issues communicating with the city's Jewish leaders. Potasnik has approached AOC at events requesting meetings to which he said, “The first response was, ‘Yes, we will.’ We’re still waiting.”
Ocasio-Cortez has frequently been accused of antisemitism for her views on Israel, and has repeatedly supported the Palestinian “struggle” against the state of Israel.
“Should the Israeli government continue down this path, we will work to ensure non-recognition of annexed territories as well as pursue legislation that conditions the $3.8 billion in U.S. military funding to Israel to ensure that U.S. taxpayers are not supporting annexation in any way,” AOC wrote to AIPAC in June, Politico reported. “We will include human rights conditions and the withholding of funds for the offshore procurement of Israeli weapons equal to or exceeding the amount the Israeli government spends annually to fund settlements, as well as the policies and practices that sustain and enable them.”
“It’s easy to sit down with those you agree with. It’s also imperative to sit down with people with whom you disagree,” stated Potasnik. “My door is open.”
Potasnik also commented on the major developments with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalizing relations with Israel overseen by President Trump.
“That takes the ‘B’ out of the BDS movement. Arab countries are not advocating boycotting Israel,” he said.
The Times of Israel reported on September 27 that AOC refused to speak at the Yitzhak Rabin memorial in October following pressure from the BDS, or “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” movement, a collective of pro-Palestine organizations against Israel.
“We are sorry to hear that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez will no longer be speaking at our Oct. 20th Yitzhak Rabin memorial,” Hadar Susskind, Americans for Peace Now’s president said, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “Her participation would have added to the event.”