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