Over the weekend, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who consistently attacks Israel, tweeted yet another attack as she accused Israel of being an apartheid state, writing, “Apartheid states aren’t democracies.”
Apartheid states aren’t democracies.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 15, 2021
That tweet prompted an Israeli Arab who is also Muslim to fire back, “I’m an Israeli-Arab and a Muslim and I’m a proud Israeli. We are fighting Hamas terrorists who hijacked our religion while you tweet about something you know nothing about. Stfu!!!”
— Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll (@skjask) May 17, 2021
In 2018, Ocasio-Cortez made clear that the voices she takes her advice from regarding Israel came from vehemently anti-Israel groups while at the same time claiming critics of her lack of knowledge on Israel were “alt-right”:
So who is she learning from on Israel now?
Ocasio-Cortez says groups include Jewish Voices for Peace, J Street and "Palestinian rights organizations."
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) July 18, 2018
As the Anti-Defamation League noted, “Jewish Voice for Peace is a radical anti-Israel activist group that advocates for a complete economic, cultural and academic boycott of the state of Israel… JVP considers supporters of Israel, or even critics of Israel who do not hew to JVP’s own extreme views, to be complicit in Israel’s purported acts of racist oppression of Palestinians. JVP leaders believe that expressing support for Israel, or not challenging mainstream Jewish organizations that support Israel, must also be viewed as an implicit attack on people of color and all marginalized groups in the United States.”
J Street has long been seen as anti-Israel. As far back as 2010 attorney Alan Dershowitz wrote, “It claims to be ‘a pro-Israel, pro peace lobby.’ It has now become neither.” Paul Miller noted in The Hill in 2014, “J Street partners with the rabidly anti-Semitic Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a group in the forefront of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. An SJP document recently uncovered by the education watchdog group AMCHA Initiative reveals SJP plans to target, ostracize, harass and silence pro-Israel students. These are the bigots J Street deems ‘pro-Israel, pro-peace.’” In 2017, the university arm of J Street called for the Jewish community to take “a new approach” and stop “demonizing” the BDS movement, which stands for boycotting, divesting from and sanctioning Israel.
In July 2019, Ocasio-Cortez justified violence from the Palestinian people against Israel. “I believe that injustice is a threat to the safety of all people, because once you have a group that is marginalized and marginalized and marginalized — once someone doesn’t have access to clean water, they have no choice but to riot, right?” she said.
In that same interview, the host claimed, “what’s going on with Israel and Palestine — while it’s very, very deep — it is very, very criminal and it is very, very unjust.” Ocasio-Cortez replied, “Absolutely. I think to where we’re at as a country when it comes to Israel-Palestine is very much a generational issue.”
The Arab Muslim who slammed Ocasio-Cortez, Mohammad Kabiya, is an Israeli Bedouin who served in the IDF on a search and rescue team in the Israeli Air Force and later served as an IDF consultant and pro-Israel activist. He has released a video with PragerU in which he states:
I am an Arab. I am a Muslim. And I love my country. In fact, I’m prepared to die for it, which is why I serve in its army. I don’t have to do this; I want to do this, because my country is a special place unlike any other: free, diverse, vibrant. Yet other countries, countries not so free, not so diverse, call for my country’s complete destruction. The moment my country lets its guard down, it will be destroyed. My country is Israel.
I grew up and still live in a small village named after my family’s Bedouin Arab tribe; our roots in this land run deep. In 1948, when Arab armies invaded the new state of Israel, my family thought of leaving our village. Some of them did. But when the Jews’ leaders heard that, they implored us to remain. This is our country for both Arabs and Jews, they said. Stay and we will work together to build it. My family stayed; my parents were born here, made their lives here, started their own family here in Israel.
In 2002, I was a teenager; it was a violent time. Palestinian suicide bombers were blowing up Israeli civilians, a danger to Arabs and Jews alike. Israeli troops entered the West Bank to stop them at their source. As a result, many Palestinians were killed. I was torn. Whose side was I on? Israelis or the Palestinians? Is it possible to be an Arab and an Israeli? The question became even more difficult when I saw men from my own village wearing the uniform of the Israeli army. Only Jews are required to serve in the military. No one forced these Arab men to join; they chose it. “Why,” I asked them. “Our home is here is Israel,” they said. “Our home is under attack. Our neighbors in this home are Jews. They are being attacked. We fight together.”
Still, I struggled. I went to high school in Nazareth. There, I left the village where I grew up. Most of the students identified as Palestinian even though they are citizens of Israel. Some of the students, my friends, hated Israel. They could not understand me. “You are Palestinian,” they said, “so you must hate Israel.” When I said that I didn’t, that we had far more freedom and opportunity than Arabs anywhere in the Middle East, they called me a traitor.
After high school, I went to study electrical engineering at Technion, a leading Israeli university. During my first semester, heavy rock fire from Gaza forced Israel to launch a counter-attack. Not long after the war began, I witnessed a group of Arab-Israeli students expressing their solidarity with Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization that controls Gaza and is committed to Israel’s violent destruction.
Did these students not understand that those rockets could just as easily be aimed at them? Hamas didn’t care who they killed as long as they landed inside the borders of Israel. Had my fellow Arab students forgotten that Israel had left Gaza a few years before? That there wasn’t a single Israeli living there?
That day I dropped out of school to join the Israeli army, the IDF. A few months later, I was a soldier in the Israeli air force. After months of training, I was assigned to the search and rescue helicopter unit. Our job was to save lives. We never concerned ourselves with the identity of the people who needed our help. We rescued Syrian civilians wounded in their country’s civil war, Palestinian children from Gaza requiring urgent medical care and countless Israelis of every religious and ethnic background. A life, whether it is Muslim or Jewish, Palestinian or Israeli, is a life. On a base of 6,000 soldiers, I was the only Bedouin, but it didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was keeping Israel our home safe. We came from all parts of the country and from many parts of the world. Our shared goal created a deep bond.
Today I am a student at Haifa University. Half of the students are Arab. More than once I have seen the Palestinian flag being waved at a rally or protest on campus. In Israel, you can do this. Because whether you are a Jew or an Arab, you are free. What more do you need to know?