Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Goes After Biden For Saying Israel ‘Has A Right To Defend Itself’

L: REUTERS/Jeenah Moon R: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized President Joe Biden Wednesday for saying that Israel “has a right to defend itself” amid a wave of violence between Israel and Gaza.

The congresswoman claimed that Israel started the violence, and seemed to refer to the apartment dispute in Sheikh Jarrah and Israeli actions to disperse a violent riot on the Al-Aqsa Mosque as some of the main causes.

“Blanket statements like these w/ little context or acknowledgement of what precipitated this cycle of violence – namely the expulsions of Palestinians and attacks on Al Aqsa – dehumanize Palestinians & imply the US will look the other way at human rights violations. It’s wrong,” the congresswoman claimed.

Ocasio-Cortez then said Biden “only” decided to weigh in on Hamas’ actions, which she said are “condemnable.”

“By only stepping in to name Hamas’ actions – which are condemnable – & refusing to acknowledge the rights of Palestinians, Biden reinforces the false idea that Palestinians instigated this cycle of violence.”

“This is not neutral language,” she continued. “It takes a side – the side of occupation,” AOC claimed. (RELATED: Hamas Official Reportedly Tells People To Buy Knives And Cut Jews’ Heads Off)

Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday to discuss the rocket attacks between Israel and Hamas. Biden emphasized his support for Israel and said the nation has a “right to defend itself,” according to a White House statement on the call.

“[Biden] condemned the rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv,” the statement read. “He conveyed unwavering support for Israel’s security and for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians.”

“He also conveyed the United States’ encouragement of a pathway toward restoring a sustainable calm. He shared his conviction that Jerusalem, a city of such important to people of faith from around the world, must be a place of peace,” the statement continued.

The recent string of attacks toward Israel by Hamas began after tensions rose ahead of an Israeli Supreme Court decision on whether the decision to evict some Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah apartments, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The impending decision followed clashes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood Sunday.

The Al-Asqa Mosque, also known as the Temple Mount, is located in Jerusalem and is sacred to both Muslims and Jews, respectively.

Hamas began indiscriminately firing rockets into Israel Monday night after the group gave Israeli officials an ultimatum to leave the Al-Asqa Mosque and other areas in the city or face attacks, the WSJ reported.

At least 83 Palestinians have been killed and seven Israelis in the exchange of rocket fire, NBC News reported. Hamas has fired more than 1,500 rockets, according to the Israeli Defense Forces, which vowed retaliation