Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) faced some backlash after her recent conversation with Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labor Party.
According to their Twitter feeds, Ocasio-Cortez and Corbyn had a “wide-reaching” conversation about their political beliefs. The two seemed to be big fans of one another.
Great to speak to @AOC on the phone this evening and hear first hand how she’s challenging the status quo.
Let’s build a movement across borders to take on the billionaires, polluters and migrant baiters, and support a happier, freer and cleaner planet.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) February 3, 2019
It was an honor to share such a lovely and wide-reaching conversation with you, @jeremycorbyn!
Also honored to share a great hope in the peace, prosperity, + justice that everyday people can create when we uplift one another across class, race, + identity both at home & abroad. https://t.co/7qnz42I8du
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 3, 2019
While the details of the conversation between Corbyn and Ocasio-Cortez are limited, many took issue with the fact that the congresswoman called it “an honor” to speak with Corbyn due to his complicated past with issues of anti-Semitism.
Corbyn has had several moments throughout his career that left most Britons believing that he is an anti-Semite.
85% of British Jews think Jeremy Corbyn is anti-Semitic (https://t.co/EMiRdx1rcS).
87% of Jews refused to vote for his Labour party in the last election, and for good reason: https://t.co/afePjeeowc@aoc might want to have her staff screen her calls more carefully. https://t.co/0x4luH1uL2
— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) February 3, 2019
Corbyn has voiced his support for anti-Semitic artwork in East London while voicing his opposition to the actions of the State of Israel in the Middle East. Corbyn has denied that he has any animosity toward Jewish people, but many of his supporters continue to push anti-Semitic content online.
Because of the widespread belief that Corbyn is an anti-Semite, Ocasio-Cortez’s support for him left some feeling concerned. Some even compared Ocasio-Cortez’s statement of support for Corbyn to the anti-Semitic ties of the leaders of the Women’s March, including Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour.
— Christina Sommers (@CHSommers) February 4, 2019
has she explained why she met with an anti-semite yet https://t.co/iOfeppWwnN
— Shoshana Weissmann, Sloth Committee Chair (@senatorshoshana) February 4, 2019
The leading new face of the Democratic Party thinks it is an “honor” to chat with perhaps the single most notorious Jew-hater currently in high elected office in a major Western country. https://t.co/368WGB6Z95
— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) February 4, 2019
After the influx of backlash for her meeting with Corbyn, Ocasio-Cortez addressed the issue of anti-Semitism in response to a tweet from a concerned follower, Elad Nehorai, who is a fan of the congresswoman. She announced support for the Jewish community but didn’t directly condemn Corbyn or his past actions in any way.
Hi @PopChassid – thank you for bringing this to me. We cannot + will not move forward without deep fellowship and leadership with the Jewish community. I’ll have my team reach out. ?
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 4, 2019
The congresswoman said she would have her team “reach out” to Nehorai to hear his concerns about anti-Semitism from Corbyn and others.
Beyond anti-Semitism, some were upset with Ocasio-Cortez’s praise for Corbyn because of his support for secure borders for Great Britain and an exit from the European Union, commonly known as Brexit.
As a British citizen and a progressive, it saddens me that you'd consider it a mark of honour to associate with a pro-brexit politician who has used xenophobic language to exploit England's anti-immigrant sentiment and who supported Russia's murderous intervention in Syria. pic.twitter.com/nypxCeQNrB
— Idrees Ahmad (@im_PULSE) February 4, 2019
There are so many great progressive leaders around the world for @AOC to work with to share unique insights and energy, but @jeremycorbyn supports #Brexit and is an overt antisemite. So, please no. https://t.co/eAsyiWUndl
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) February 4, 2019
From the looks of things, Ocasio-Cortez seems open to listening to those who were concerned about Corbyn’s anti-Semitism, making it seem as though she may have been unaware of his rocky reputation prior to the conversation. Either way, she seems willing to learn from those who were concerned, which is a good practice for politicians.