In a recent tele-town hall meeting, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) accused the Biden administration of supporting “gross human rights violations” in Gaza through military aid to Israel amid its war with Hamas.
AOC lauds pro-Palestinian 'activism,' accuses US of aiding 'gross' human rights abuses in Gaza https://t.co/wCse6xOGrD
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Ocasio-Cortez pointed to a set of statutes known as the Leahy law, which prohibits the U.S. government from assisting foreign security forces involved in gross human rights violations.
She stated, “Forces that are recipients of U.S. military aid cannot be engaging in gross human rights violations. And if they are engaged in gross human rights violations, then that aid must be either pulled, reconsidered, conditioned, etc.”
“What we are witnessing is the gross violation of human rights in Gaza, and that is being done with U.S. military assistance. “I don’t think that the American people want to see our public resources going to finance gross human rights violations,” she added.
She further urged pro-Palestinian activists to continue exerting pressure on Democratic lawmakers to endorse a cease-fire even as this pressure has led to incidents of vandalism and threats, such as the recent demonstration outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters and the vandalization of Rep. Daniel Goldman’s (D-NY) office.
During the discussion, a caller asked how Americans supporting a cease-fire can influence lawmakers, and Ocasio-Cortez responded by highlighting the significance of constituent engagement. She noted that the flood of calls and messages from pro-Palestinian activists to pro-Israel Democrats has been instrumental in garnering support for a cease-fire.
“These are not just progressives. We have seen representatives from swing seats, that just barely won their seats, are now starting to come out in favor of a cease-fire,” she stated, adding, “So all of this activism is making this a politically tenable and a politically normalized position. So I want to encourage individuals who are, you know, making that call or perhaps if you haven’t made that call yet, to please do so.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks come as debate among Democrats continues on whether aid to Israel should be conditioned based on its efforts to minimize civilian casualties. Currently, at least 48 Democratic members of Congress have called for a cease-fire, and Israel and Gaza have agreed to a humanitarian pause, provided that Hamas continues to release Israeli hostages.