Ocasio-Cortez provides Zionist lobbyists online platform to slander workers and students as “antisemitic”

New York Representative and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hosted two high-level Zionist lobbyists on her congressional X account to slander opposition to the state of Israel and the US-backed genocide it is currently carrying out as “antisemitic.”

US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat-New York) speaking at a news conference Tuesday, December 7, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. [AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File]

This cynical lie has been repeated ad nauseam by capitalist politicians and their stenographers in the bourgeois press in a crude attempt to undermine and discredit the mass global opposition to Israel’s war of extermination. Lies, mass arrests, expulsions and firings have not deterred workers and students internationally from continuing to protest and organize against the political, economic and military forces responsible for the slaughter.

Since the start of the year, Ocasio-Cortez has mixed infrequent criticism of Israel’s genocide with robust praise and support for Democratic President Joe Biden.

Monday’s 36-minute event featured Amy Spitalnick, CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and Stacy Burdett, a longtime high-level executive at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Notably, the event was held less than 48 hours after over 270 Palestinians were massacred by the Israel Defense Forces with US-supplied weaponry at the Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza. Neither Ocasio-Cortez nor her guests discussed the latest war crime, the mass killing of Palestinian women and children by the IDF, the ongoing famine or the mass arrests of students and faculty, many of them Jewish, for demonstrating against the genocide on their campuses.

Instead, virtually the entire discussion was focused on the alleged rise of antisemitism, by which they meant opposition to Zionism, within “progressive” spaces, namely on college campuses.

Ocasio-Cortez began the event with a blatant lie and introduced her guests as “the foremost experts of fighting antisemitism in America.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s guest are “experts” in promoting Zionism and the Israeli state. Amy Spitalnick is the CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), a lobbying group established in the United States in 1944. In a “narrative and timeline” posted on their website, the group boasts that “JCPA has been a leader in support for Israel. … JCPA successfully advocated for the first US arms sales to Israel. ... In times of war and discord, JCPA has advocated for Israel’s right to defend itself and educate the public about the region.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s second “expert” on “fighting antisemitism,” Stacy Burdett, worked at the ADL for 24 years. Burdett has testified before Congress multiple times and was the ADL’s Washington director. She also led the ADL’s Government and National Affairs Office, which represented the ADL’s agenda to the US and other governments.

The Anti-Defamation League is perhaps the foremost Zionist private intelligence organization in the United States. The agency works closely with both capitalist parties, the police, and the intelligence agencies to track and report “hate crimes” and “hate groups,” which it broadly defines as actions, people and entities opposed to Israel.

In introducing her guests, Ocasio-Cortez failed to note that both the JCPA and the ADL support the Countering Antisemitism Act (HR. 7921/S. 4091). The bill was introduced in the House earlier this year by Rep. Kathy Manning (Democrat-North Carolina) but has also been sponsored in the Senate by Jacky Rosen (Democrat-Nevada) and James Lankford (Republican-Oklahoma).

The bipartisan legislation would create a new “antisemitism” national coordinator who would report to the president. The coordinator would be charged with implementing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism across all US federal agencies. The IHRA’s definition falsely claims that drawing comparisons between the Zionist occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the Nazi treatment of Jewish people during the Holocaust is “antisemitic,” as is calling for the end of the apartheid state of Israel and its replacement by a democratic state.

The new federal antisemitism coordinator would also report to the president and select congressional committees their alleged analysis of “antisemitism” online and at schools, in the US and internationally.

The bill would require the new coordinator to report to the president on efforts to counter “domestic antisemitism across the relevant agencies,” which include, but are not limited to, the Department of State; the Department of Homeland Security; the Department of Justice; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Education; the National Counterterrorism Center; the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; the Department of Transportation; the Department of Agriculture; the Department of Defense; the Department of the Treasury; the Department of Labor; and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Ocasio-Cortez never deigned to raise with her guests their organizations’ support for this anti-democratic legislation, which will be used to target anti-war, anti-genocide and pro-Palestinian groups and people. This further exposes her and the DSA as enemies of the working class and democratic rights.

Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly raised the idea of “bad faith actors” using the charge of antisemitism to target opponents of Israeli policy, but she has refused to name any of these “actors.” This was not a mistake but a whitewash. Not only have both of her guests advanced lies to justify Israeli war crimes and repression against anti-genocide protesters, but Biden, whom Ocasio-Cortez fervently supports, and virtually the entire political and media establishment have done the same.

After a warm introduction from Ocasio-Cortez, Spitalnick began her contribution with pro forma denunciations of Trump and the Republicans Party’s promotion of actual antisemitism and the “Great Replacement Theory,” before turning to the “left.” Spitalnick said, “What is harder for us, as progressives, to recognize or understand is when antisemitism shows up and is normalized in our own spaces. And I want to be frank here, there is very real antisemitism that is in fact showing up in progressive spaces and its deeply painful and hurtful to Jews.”

Ocasio-Cortez never disagreed with her guests that “antisemitism” was “showing up” in “progressive spaces” or that opposing Israel and the political ideology that supports it is antisemitic. Instead, she nodded along as Spitalnick said, “Eliminationist rhetoric,” including calling for the end of Israel as a Jewish state, was “antisemitic.” Spitalnick added that calls to “ban or boycott” Zionists, or to use Zionist as a “pejorative,” were also antisemitic.

At the conclusion of the discussion, Ocasio-Cortez responded to the promotion by her guests of the rationalizations and justifications of the Israeli state with the declaration: “You state this all so beautifully.”

The entire sordid episode exposes the DSA and Ocasio-Cortez as appendages of the Democratic Party and the “left face” of the genocide in Gaza.