“Like, everyone just sees the doctored version instead of the actual exchange.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed her July comments about Israel’s “occupation of Palestine” were a “doctored” misrepresentation of what she actually said.
WATCH: Ocasio-Cortez Panics When She’s Called Out on Pro-Palestinian Talking Points“`
Speaking on The Intercept podcast Monday, Ocasio-Cortez said that her interview on PBS’ “Firing Line” had been “doctored and then the doctored video was the one that ended up on Fox News, and then, like, everyone just sees the doctored version instead of the actual exchange.”
Her original comments, which aired on July 13, were criticized by experts of the region (which the 29-year-old Congresswoman from New York admitted she was not).
In that interview, she was asked to comment on the killing of 61 Palestinian demonstrators — 50 of whom turned out to be members of the terrorist group Hamas — who tried to violently cross the Israeli border. In a familiar rhetorical move of American progressives, Ocasio-Cortez seemed to judge the complexities of the incident (and of the Middle East more broadly) through the only prism the left understands: the Civil Rights movement.
“The lens through which I saw this incident, as an activist, as an organizer — if 60 people were killed in Ferguson, Missouri, if 60 people were killed in the South Bronx, unarmed, if 60 people were killed in Puerto Rico — I just look at that [Gaza] incident more through just, as an incident, and to me, it would just be completely unacceptable if that happened on our shores,” she said.
“Of course the dynamics there, in terms of geopolitics … is very different than people expressing their First Amendment right to protest,” “Firing Line” host Margaret Hoover pushed back.
“Yes. But I also think that what people are starting to see at least in the occupation … of Palestine [is] just an increasing crisis of humanitarian condition and that to me is just where I tend to come from on this issue,” Ocasio-Cortez responded, failing to note that “Palestine” is not a legal (or existent) entity, and that Israel’s military presence in disputed territories is perhaps one of the most intractable issues of current international law.
As for her claims about misrepresentation: The only “doctored” version of this interview was a satirical video by CRTV’s Allie Beth Stuckey, in which the right-wing prankster pretended to interview the self-proclaimed democratic socialist. But Stuckey’s video was patently fake, and widely mocked. It wasn’t her doctoring that made Ocasio-Cortez’s comments appear ignorant.
Ocasio-Cortez is among a number of new left-wing Democratic lawmakers who have been unusually critical of Israel, as well as US foreign policy in general. The trend has supporters of the Jewish state in both parties worried.
At the same time, Ocasio-Cortez has come into increasing conflict with the once-fawning press over her struggles with factuality. Her belligerent wrongness — along with her skilled use of social media to circumvent the mainstream media — have earned her comparisons to President Donald Trump, which she has angrily rejected.
The future of American politics is just Trump clones owning each other https://t.co/4akeZqaLAd
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) January 31, 2019
What really matters, she has argued, is being “morally right.”
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talking on The Intercept podcast on Jan. 29, 2019.: Screen grab from YouTube