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AOC lauds pro-Palestinian ‘activism,’ accuses US of aiding ‘gross’ human rights abuse in Gaza

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York accused the Biden administration of enabling “gross human rights abuses” in the Gaza Strip by sending military aid to Israel in its efforts to eradicate Hamas.

The progressive congressman held a teletown hall Monday night and answered multiple questions about the Middle East conflict, including one that said the U.S. should “stop funding Israel and send money and aid to Gaza.” This included voters who said,

He also encouraged pro-Palestinian activists to continue pressuring Democratic lawmakers to support a ceasefire, despite rising tensions over the issue leading to acts of vandalism and intimidation.

Ocasio-Cortez said, citing a series of laws known as the Leahy Act, that “military forces receiving U.S. military assistance may not commit gross human rights violations.” “And if they are involved in serious human rights violations, that aid must either be withdrawn, reconsidered, conditioned, etc.”

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Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is among the progressives calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. (Tom Williams/Getty Images)

According to the State Department, the Leahy Act prohibits the government from “using funds to support foreign security forces if there is credible information indicating that the forces are involved in serious human rights abuses.” be.

“What we are witnessing are gross human rights violations in Gaza, and they are being perpetrated with U.S. military aid,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I don’t think the American people want our public resources to be used to finance gross human rights violations.”

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Smoke rises from the Gaza Strip

Smoke was seen rising from the Gaza Strip on Thursday, November 24, before the current ceasefire took effect. (John McDougall/AFP via Getty Images)

At another point, a caller asked what Americans who support a ceasefire should do to keep pressure on lawmakers. “I also want to be clear about how strong voter engagement is,” Ocasio-Cortez responded.

He said support for the ceasefire was growing, with calls and messages pouring in from pro-Palestinian activists to pro-Israel Democrats.

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“They’re not just progressives,” she said. “We have seen floating members of parliament who have barely won seats starting to voice their support for the ceasefire. All of this activity is making this politically sustainable. That’s why I want to do that, to encourage people who are trying to call, or who haven’t called yet, to call. . ”

Palestine supporters in New York

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators calling for a ceasefire in Gaza block the Manhattan Bridge in both directions on Sunday, November 26, 2023, in New York City. (Gardiner Anderson/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

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But some of that pressure has led to heightened security concerns when the activity goes beyond the range of the phone. Earlier this month, Congressman Daniel Goldman (D.Y.), who is Jewish, saw his office in Brooklyn vandalized with pro-Palestinian messages.

And the demonstration outside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters became so heated that one Democratic lawmaker who was in the venue at the time called it a violent protest at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. compared with.

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