Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is coming under fire from a Jewish community in her own state after she compared southern border detention facilities to “concentration camps.”
The controversial freshman made the remark late Monday during a live video, in which she took aim at President Donald Trump, labeling him “fascist,” and condemned his administration’s plans to hold undocumented migrant children at a facility in Oklahoma — a place once used as a Japanese American internment camp, but turned into a military base. It’s worth noting, the Obama administration once used the same facilities and others for the same purpose, before stopping after receiving backlash.
“The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are,” Ocasio-Cortez said, as IJR Red previously reported.
She continued to reference the term “never again,” which as Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer also pointed out, “‘Never again’ is the phrase that Jews all over the world use to make sure that the extermination between 1939 and 1945 never happens again.”
In a letter to Ocasio-Cortez, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York condemned her remark:
“We are deeply disturbed by the language used in your recent Instagram live video which seeks to equate the detention centers on America’s southern border with Nazi-era Concentration Camps. The terms ‘Concentration Camp’ and ‘Never Again’ are synonymous with and evocative of the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany, in which 6 million European Jews were systematically denied civil and human rights due to their race and ultimately murdered in a state-sponsored genocide.”
The Jewish council offered Ocasio-Cortez a visit to a Holocaust museum and a concentration camp to grasp a “better understanding” of the “horrors of the Holocaust.”
They also urged her to stop “using terminology evocative of the Holocaust to voice concerns about contemporary political issues” — this wasn’t Ocasio-Cortez’s first comparison of current politics to Nazi Germany.
Check out their full letter below:
— JCRC of New York (@JCRCNY) June 18, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez attempted to defend herself against the “shrieking Republicans,” as she suggested on Twitter on Tuesday that experts define “concentration camps” as “‘the mass detention of civilians without trial.'”
Her comments, however, didn’t sit well with many, as Republican lawmakers blasted her for “the lack of respect for those serving at the border” and “not lifting a finger to solve the problem” at the U.S.-Mexico border.