Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has spoken out to condemn violent attacks on Jews in the streets of America, days after she was accused of anti-Semitism for branding Israel an ‘apartheid state’.
‘We will never, ever tolerate antisemitism here in NY or anywhere in the world. The recent surge in attacks is horrifying. We stand with our Jewish communities in condemning this violence,’ tweeted Ocasio-Cortez on Friday.
She spoke after a fragile cease-fire was declared between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza strip, following an 11-day conflict that left more than 250 dead, the vast majority of them Palestinians.
Last Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez drew criticism from some quarters after she and her ‘Squad’ of left-wing House Democrats tweeted in apparent reference to Israel: ‘Apartheid states are not democracies.’
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has spoken out to condemn violent attacks on Jews in the streets of America, days after drawing criticism of Israel
‘I have defended you often from Republican attacks. However, shame on you,’ tweeted Fred Guttenberg, the gun-control activist and father of a student killed in the Parkland school massacre.
‘You are wrong and either showing a lack of understanding or something more intentional veering on anti Semitism,’ he added in response to Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘apartheid’ tweet.’
The New York Congresswoman’s remarks condemning violence follow a disturbing increase in street violence targeting US-based Jews in recent days.
On Thursday, a Jewish man was beaten by a pro-Palestinian mob in Times Square as he tried to make his way to a pro-Israel rally.
Joseph Borgen, 29, an accountant who lives on the Upper East Side, was wearing a grey kippa and walking toward Times Square around 6:30pm Thursday when he was chased down, beaten and pepper sprayed.
‘I thought I was going to die. I thought I was really going to die,’ he told DailyMail.com on Friday.
On Thursday, a Jewish man was beaten by a pro-Palestinian mob in Times Square as he tried to make his way to a pro-Israel rally
Joseph Borgen, 29, spoke to DailyMail.com one day after he was left bruised and battered by a group of pro-Palestinian men in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday
Borgen said there were eight to 10 people taking part in the beatdown and they were shouting anti-Semitic slurs such as: ‘You filthy Jew. We’re going to f*****g kill you. Go back to Israel. Hamas is going to kill you.’
A suspect in the assault, 23-year-old Waseem Awawdeh, of Brooklyn, was arrested on Friday night, the NYPD said.
In Los Angeles, pro-Palestinian protesters were spotted brawling with LA restaurant diners after allegedly asking if any of them were Jewish.
Footage of the incident, recorded on Tuesday night, showed kicks and punches exchanged, as well as bottles being thrown and a velvet rope being swung outside Sushi Fumi in Beverly Grove.
Onlookers said the violence erupted after the Palestine supporters asked if any of the diners were Jews, with some responding that they were.
The Los Angeles Times reported that a witness, who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons, said some people from the convoy of cars threw bottles and chanted ‘death to Jews’ and ‘free Palestine.’
The Los Angeles Police Department said on Wednesday that the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
A car convoy flying Palestinian flags is pictured rolling through the Beverly Grove section of LA on Tuesday. Witnesses said members of the caravan yelled ‘death to Jews’ and ‘free Palestine’
As the conflict in Israel inspired ugly violence in the U.S., Ocasio-Cortez was outspoken in condemning the Biden administration’s support for Israel, co-sponsoring a resolution with Senator Bernie Sanders to block the sale of $735 million in military weaponry to Israel that’s already been approved.
She also ripped President Joe Biden on the House floor for comments he made about the latest conflict in which he said that ‘Israel has a right to defend itself’ from Hamas, the militant group that rules the Gaza Strip.
‘The president stated that Israel has a right to self-defense. Do Palestinians have a right to survive?’ said Ocasio-Cortez.
It is not the first time that Ocasio-Cortez’s positions have drawn criticism from supporters of Israel.
Last fall, pro-Israel group were dismayed after she pulled out of an event honoring Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister who was assassinated.
On Saturday, Egyptian mediators were called it to try to firm up the ceasefire in Israel.
Palestinians are seen among damaged or destroyed buildings following cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas reached with Egypt mediation took effect at 2am Friday
Palestinians clear debris from their shops, which were damaged in Israeli attacks, in Gaza City, Gaza on Saturday
As the hostilities eased, thousands of Palestinians returned home to scenes of devastation after the temporary peacetime was agreed in the early hours of Friday.
Since May 10, Israel has unleashed hundreds of air strikes against militant targets in Gaza, while Hamas fired more than 4,000 rockets towards Israel.
A total of 243 Palestinians are understood to have died during the clashes, while 12 people died in Israel. Among them are 66 children.
Officials believe it will cost tens of millions and take years to reconstruct Gaza following catastrophic air strikes which struck the densely-populated area.
Sources say the US Secretary of State will visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank on Wednesday and Thursday, hoping to build on the ceasefire mediated with US support.