Debating the terms

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defends Holocaust analogy: ‘We did the right thing’

Ståle Grut/NRKbeta

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) at SXSW 2019.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told Jewish Insider on Monday that she has spoken to the Jewish community in her district to clarify her comments last week comparing border detention facilities run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to “concentration camps.”

“We have spoken and we have done a lot of outreach with our constituencies,” Ocasio-Cortez told JI following a press conference on Capitol Hill.

Ocasio-Cortez also defended her comparison, saying that her constituents agree with her assessment.

“I think a lot of the folks back home are in agreement that this has been a striking point of solidarity,” she said. “And although it has certainly struck its own debate, I am confident that in the long run people will see the moral argument that we have made and how many of my constituents back home, who I am concerned with and whom my job is to represent, believe that what we did was the right thing.”

The New York representative’s Holocaust analogy drew the ire of some in the Jewish community in New York.

On Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez maintained that “my Jewish constituents have made clear to me that they proudly stand [with] caged children who are starved, denied sleep & sanitation.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) defended her Democratic colleague on Friday. “There are camps and people are being concentrated,” Omar said on Capitol Hill. “This is very simple. I don’t even know why this is a controversial thing for her to say. We have to really truthfully speak about what’s taking place.”

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