Rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez botched her first national interview Sunday night when she slammed Israel’s actions in Gaza before admitting she was not aware of the situation there.
Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic socialist who has in the past said that Israel was committing a “massacre” in Gaza, was interviewed by PBS’s Firing Line. Margaret Hoover, the host, asked her for her thoughts on Israel.
Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated top-ranking Rep. Joe Crowley in a major upset last month, referenced the Black Lives Matter movement and alleged police brutality in the U.S and her native Puerto Rico before circling back to Gaza.
“I also think that what people are starting to see in the occupation of Palestine is just an increasing crisis of humanitarian conditions,” Ocasio-Cortez responded, “and that to me is just where I tend to come from on this issue.”
Pressed on the term “occupation of Palestine” — there is no such country — Ocasio-Cortez struggled to give a coherent response.
“I think what I meant,” she said, “is that the settlements that are increasing in some of these areas and places where Palestinians are experiencing difficulty in access to housing and homes.”
“Do you think you can expand on that?” Hoover asked.
“Yeah, I think (laughing) I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “You know, for me, I’m a firm believer in finding a two-state solution in this issue. And I’m happy to sit down with leaders on both of these. For me, I just look at things through a human-rights lens, and I may not use the right words.”
She concluded with “I know this is a very intense issue.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center blasted her in a tweet, saying she “knows zero about 3,500 yr relationship of Jewish people to Land of Israel.”
She also got blasted from the left by fellow socialists who said she offered “liberal platitudes about a two-state solution.”
Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro tweeted: “If she were a Republican, she’d now be labeled stupid by every major media outlet in America. But she’s a democratic socialist, which is itself inherently stupid, so she will instead be given a free pass.”
Ocasio-Cortez is considered a shoo-in for election in the heavily Democratic Queens district.