Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized the United States for selling arms to Israel in a tweet on Wednesday, claiming that Israel targets Gazan “media outlets, schools, hospitals, humanitarian missions and civilian sites for bombing.”
The United States should not be rubber-stamping weapons sales to the Israeli government as they deploy our resources to target international media outlets, schools, hospitals, humanitarian missions and civilian sites for bombing. We have a responsibility to protect human rights. https://t.co/OctBNYFpwp
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 19, 2021
“We have a responsibility to protect human rights,” she concluded. Ocasio-Cortez also called Israel an apartheid state in a tweet on Saturday that marked an inflection point in her increasing criticism of Israel.
“Apartheid states aren’t democracies,” she wrote in a tweet that garnered 275,000 likes.
Ocasio-Cortez has been unabashedly critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies since joining Congress in 2018 but has stopped short of endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that her colleagues Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib champion.
Her most recent rebuke comes after US President Joe Biden approved an arms deal with the State of Israel worth $735 million on Monday, as estimated by Israeli media.
The deal primarily focused on Israel acquiring US accurate missiles and special munition capabilities.
Ocasio-Cortez was not alone in her objection to the deal. Congress, led by Democrats, pressured Biden on Wednesday to pause the transfer of precision-guided missiles to Israel, which would be the first time in the history of the US-Israel relationship that it pressured the president to restrain Israel instead of giving it free rein.
Congressman Gregory Meeks, the chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee considered sending the Biden administration a letter asking it to defer for a week or so granting an export license, a key step in the transfer of more than $700 million in precision-guided missiles, according to a congressional staffer familiar with the discussion.
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