Alexandria Ocasio-cortez Criticizes Democratic Lawmaker Amid Ilhan Omar Israel Controversy

Freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has weighed in on criticism of congresswoman Ilhan Omar over recent comments about Israel.

Some Democratic lawmakers have accused the Minnesota representative of undermining or "mischaracterizing" the U.S.-Israel relationship.

On Monday, Ocasio-Cortez hit back at a tweet from Representative Juan Vargas of California, who suggested Omar was employing negative stereotypes and "questioning" support for the country's allegiance to Israel.

"It is disturbing that Rep. Omar continues to perpetuate hurtful anti-Semitic stereotypes that misrepresent our Jewish community. Additionally, questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable," Vargas tweeted. "Israel has and remains a stalwart ally of the United States because of our countries' shared interests and values."

Ocasio-Cortez responded by asking Vargas to "explain his stance" on questioning American foreign policy. "Plenty of Dem members have asserted that discussion and debate on this issue is fair and merited. Is this stance a departure from that?"

In subsequent tweets, she compared Vargas's position to a Congress she said was once afraid to question the war in Afghanistan. "History shows that making some questions 'unacceptable' is a mistake," she said.

Days before, fellow Democratic lawmaker Nita Lowey also criticized Omar. Comparing the "Islamaphobic stereotypes" displayed in a poster falsely linking Omar to terrorism to harmful "anti-Semitic tropes," Lowey called on her fellow congresswoman to stop "mischaracterizing support for Israel."

In response, Omar denied the "mischaracterization" in a series of tweets and contended that opposing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "and the occupation" does not equate to anti-Semitism.

"Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman," she added. "I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee."

Omar's tweets echoed recent comments she made at a Washington bookstore. As reported in The New York Times, she said: "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country."

The congresswoman incited a backlash from top Democrats in February when she suggested the influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in U.S. politics was "all about the Benjamins" in a now-deleted tweet.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and others issued a statement condemning the tweet for invoking "anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations" and calling on Omar to apologize.

Top Democrats recently drafted a resolution discussing the history and rise of anti-Semitism. Shared among members Monday night, it did not mention Omar specifically, Politico noted. Pelosi and others will bring the matter to the House floor on Wednesday, according to Politico.

Alexandria Ocasio-cortez Criticizes Democratic Lawmaker Amid Ilhan Omar Israel Controversy | U.S.