New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the Jewish community needs to be protected amid its concerns about anti-Semitism coming from the White House.
In an interview with CNN’s Jason Carroll on Saturday from the march, sponsored by the Women’s March Alliance, Ocasio-Cortez responded to a question about what she would say to those who have concerns about anti-Semitism within the national Women’s March group.
“I think that concerns of anti-Semitism with the current administration in the White House are absolutely valid and we need to make sure that we are protecting the Jewish community and all those that feel vulnerable in this moment,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
She noted that the reason women were coming together for marches across the country “is to make sure that the rights of women are protected in advance. “
“And so I know in my heart that all of the New Yorkers that are coming down here and downtown are coming in that spirit and not in the other spirit” (of anti-Semitism), she said.
Ocasio-Cortez spoke at both the alliance march and at the march in New York City affiliated with the national organization.
Over the last several months, the Women’s March has been embroiled by accusations that the leadership pushed out one of the movement’s co-founders because she was Jewish, and that two of the co-chairs said in a private setting that Jews were responsible for the oppression of people of color. Both of those leaders — Carmen Perez and Tamika Mallory — have denied the charge. The group’s leaders also have close ties to the notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam.
About a month after her election, Ocasio-Cortez announced at a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony that she is descended from Sephardic Jews who fled to Puerto Rico during the Spanish Inquisition.
“I think what it goes to show is that so many of our destinies are tied beyond our understanding, beyond even what we know,” she said at the event.