AOC slams ‘destructive and dangerous’ DeSantis for saying all Gaza refugees are antisemitic

A Palestinian American child in Chicago was stabbed to death in an apparent hate crime triggered by the confict in Israel and Gaza

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 17 October 2023 23:22 BST
Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex responds to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis saying all Palestinian reugees are ‘antisemitic’

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Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez laid into Florida Governor and GOP presidential primary candidate Ron DeSantis after he suggested all refugees from Gaza were antisemitic.

More than a million people living in Gaza have been driven from their homes by the Israeli Defence Force as it carries out retaliatory military actions in the wake of Hamas' terror attack on 7 October, which left 2,000 Israelis dead.

The Palestinians living in Gaza have nowhere to run. Mr DeSantis said the US should not take any Palestinian refugees, claiming they are all antisemitic.

"We cannot accept people from Gaza into this country as refugees. I am not gonna do that. If you look at how they behave, not all of them are Hamas, but they are all antisemitic, none of them believe in Israel’s right to exist," Mr DeSantis said during a campaign event.

During an appearance on CNN, Ms Ocasio-Cortez was shown the clip of Mr DeSantis making the statements, and watched, shaking her head, as the governor insisted the US reject any refugees.

While the congresswoman said that regional partners — including Arab states — should be working to help shelter Palestinian refugees, she said it does not mean the US should shirk its responsibility to the people of Gaza.

She then turned her attention to "how incredibly destructive and dangerous [Mr DeSantis's] rhetoric" was in the clip she viewed.

"We just had a six-year-old boy, stabbed 26 times because of rhetoric like that. It is dangerous, it is unacceptable, it is reckless, and no leader in the United States of America should be amplifying a message like that," she said.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez was referring to the stabbing death of a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy by his family’s 71-year-old landlord in Chicago. The boy was stabbed 26 times and died. His mother was also injured in the attack.

The Will County Sheriff's Office investigators said the victims were "targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis," according to CNN.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Unit is investigating an attack in which a man tried to force a Sikh man to remove his turban. The attacker allegedly told the man "We don't wear that in this country."

The suspect reportedly punched the 19-year-old Sikh man in the face and the back multiple times and tried to tear the turban off his head before fleeing on foot.

Mr DeSantis is not the only GOP lawmaker to show an utter lack of empathy toward the civilians caught in the crossfire of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Senator Tom Cotton said he would like to see Israel "bounce rubble" in Gaza — meaning to completely destroy it — before saying any civilian deaths caused by IDF military action would be the fault of Hamas.

Senator Lindsey Graham made similar comments, saying he believed any civilian deaths caused by the IDF going forward would be on the hands of Hamas.

Republicans weren't the only ones pushing back against calls for the IDF to consider civilian casualties in its response to Hamas's horrific attacks on 7 October; White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that calls for a ceasefire from progressives in the Democratic Party were "repugnant" and "disgraceful."

On Tuesday, hundreds were killed and injured when the IDF allegedly launched an airstrike on a hospital in Gaza where displaced individuals were seeking shelter and treatment.

The IDF claimed the attack came from “Islamic Jihad terrorist organisations” citing its own analysis but providing no evidence to the allegation.

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