Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez raised eyebrows during an interview Sunday when she said the possibility of cutting military or economic aid to Israel is “on the table” after the election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ocasio-Cortez was on Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast when she said Netanyahu’s election comes during a disturbing trend of “authoritarianism across the world” and called the leader a “Trump-like figure.”
Netanyahu has pledged to “apply sovereignty” to Jewish settlements in the West Bank. He told Israeli Channel 12 TV that, “we will go to the next phase to extend Israeli sovereignty.”
“I will impose sovereignty, but I will not distinguish between settlement blocs and isolated settlements,” he continued, The Associated Press reported. “From my perspective, any point of settlement is Israeli, and we have responsibility, as the Israeli government. I will not uproot anyone, and I will not transfer sovereignty to the Palestinians.”
The annexation of large parts of the West Bank could damage hope for an Israeli-Palestinian deal on the terms of a Palestinian state on lands Israel captured in 1967. The New York Times reported that American officials have discouraged any Israeli attempt to extend sovereignty in the disputed territory.
Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital early in his term. The Palestinians, who seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital, suspended contact with the U.S. Trump has also recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a plateau Israel captured from Syria in 1967. The move was viewed in Israel as a political gift from Trump to Netanyahu.
This is not the first time that the freshman representative talked about the tension in the region.
Ocasio-Cortez in July was forced to explain her comment on PBS’ “Firing Line” when she referred to the “occupation of Palestine.” Republicans took the comment to criticize her knowledge on the region. The host of the show, Margaret Hoover, asked a follow-up question and Ocasio-Cortez admitted, “I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue,” but said she believed in a two-state solution.