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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., suggested the U.S. should consider cutting off aid to Israel on Thursday when she was confronted by a constituent about the U.S. vetoing a United Nations ceasefire resolution.

The progressive “Squad” Democrat made the comments during a town hall to discuss the Green New Deal.

“I think it is completely wrong,” Ocasio-Cortez said of the veto. “I think that it is an outrage that we said that we would send our top diplomat to veto a ceasefire resolution that has essentially been agreed to by every other actor and only abstained by one. I think it is against our values.”

She targeted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu specifically, who leftists have attacked over his response to Hamas’ Oct, 7 surprise attack that saw just over 1,000 people, mainly civilians, killed.

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“I believe that not only should we be advocating for a ceasefire, I believe that we have to at bare minimum being conditioning aid, if not cutting aid, to the Netanyahu government, which has shown no regard for human life in Gaza,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Her comments were met by applause from the audience.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between fighters and civilians, has said more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s response to the invasion.

Progressives have been critical of the Biden administration’s continued support for Israel and it’s even inspired waves of Muslim Americans to campaign against his re-election. President Biden himself has pressed for restraint, but his left wing has argued it’s not far enough.

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Netanyahu Israel

Ocasio-Cortez, for example, called for the U.S. to “wind down” its support to Israel “in order to prevent additional loss of life.”

“This has been atrocious. It is very clear that the language of ethnic cleansing is being invoked against Palestinians and innocent people,” she said.

The U.S. vetoed a United Nations ceasefire resolution for the third time earlier this week, arguing it could have adverse effects on ongoing negotiations to free Israeli hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza. Thirteen countries voted in support of the resolution, and the United Kingdom abstained.

The issue of Israel and the U.S.’s relationship with its Middle Eastern ally has driven a wedge within the Democratic Party, with younger leftists calling to shun longstanding diplomatic ties over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. 

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Hamas sexual assault

Ocasio-Cortez has been among the growing number of progressives calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, a position that has put her at odds with both American Jewish groups as well as moderates within her own party.

On Wednesday she clashed with the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a Jewish lobbying group, over a social media post that mentioned her and several other lawmakers with the caption, “A cease-fire now keeps these rapist monsters armed and in power in Gaza.”

She responded, “It is appalling that AIPAC is targeting women members of Congress who have survived sexual assault with this horrific rhetoric. Each and every day, their role in U.S. politics becomes a greater scandal. They are the NRA of foreign policy. Of course they don’t want a cease-fire.”

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