Congresswoman showed 'apparent disinterest' in improving relationships with Jewish community leaders
Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged fellow progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to establish better ties with the Jewish community troubled by her Israel stance but was given the cold shoulder, according to an end-of-term profile in Politico.
The congresswoman representing parts of the NYC boroughs of the Bronx and Queens has used harsh rhetoric about the Jewish state and its policies toward the Palestinians since her election in 2018.
"During an early talk with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, de Blasio urged the new Congress member to forge better relationships with Jewish community leaders who were troubled by her stance on Israeli politics, according to two people familiar with the meeting," the article states.
"A defender of Israel who believes the left misunderstands the relevant history, de Blasio instructed his aides to follow up with Ocasio-Cortez repeatedly, until finally accepting her apparent disinterest in his advice, the people said."
De Blasio served as the city's 109th mayor from 2014 to 2021, the position currently held by ex-police captain Eric Adams.
Ocasio-Cortez is highly critical of Israel, including previous statements referring to Jewish communities in the West Bank as an "occupation of Palestine" and warning that annexation plans "would lay the groundwork for Israel becoming an apartheid state."
In 2019, Ocasio-Cortez voted against a resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and this past September changed her vote from "no" to "present" at the last minute on a bill providing $1 billion for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.
The representative said in 2018 at a Chanukah event in New York that she has some Sephardic ancestry.