President Joe Biden issued a statement declaring that Israel had a right to defend itself from rocket attacks and many on the left immediately recoiled in horror, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
Israel has been bombarded by dozens of rocket missile attacks for several days while violence from supporters of the Palestinian cause has erupted against Jews in several Israeli cities.
On Wednesday, Biden defended Israel after speaking via telephone with the nation’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Israel has the right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory,” Biden said to reporters.
“My hope is that we’ll see this coming to a conclusion sooner than later,” he added.
That support for Israel was reflected in the White House official readout of the call with Netanyahu which said that Biden reiterated his “unwavering support for Israel’s security and for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians.”
Ocasio-Cortez immediately excoriated Biden for the statement.
“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,” said Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet.
“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,” she added.
“This is not neutral language,” she concluded. “It takes a side – the side of occupation.”
Others on the left condemned Biden for voicing support for Israel.
“What a shameful, terrible statement,” said columnist Wajahat Ali. “Biden could have condemned Hamas, attacks on civilians, and affirmed Israel’s right to exist, and also condemned Israel for forced evictions, escalating tensions at Al Aqsa, Gaza strikes, the killing of Palestinian children, and, you know, continuing illegal settlements.”
Ocasio-Cortez used similar language to berate New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang into acquiescing to her demands after he issued a tweet of support for Israel.
At last count, at least 65 people in the Gaza Strip had died from the latest conflict, while about 6 had died in Israel, according to Reuters.