Ocasio-Cortez learns the hora at Hannukah celebration
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Ocasio-Cortez learns the hora at Hannukah celebration

The newly elected Democratic Congresswoman lights candles with Jews for Racial & Economic Justice in Queens

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (L) helps light a candle at a Hannukah celebration on December 9, 2018 ( Jews for Racial & Economic Justice/Twitter)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (L) helps light a candle at a Hannukah celebration on December 9, 2018 ( Jews for Racial & Economic Justice/Twitter)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been criticized for her positions on Israel, but she’s clearly not opposed to a bit of Israeli folk dancing.

The Democratic superstar on the cusp of making history as the youngest woman elected to Congress danced the hora for the first time Sunday as she attended a Hannukah celebration with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice in Queens.

“What a beautiful and touching evening we shared tonight for our community Chanukah celebration,” she tweeted. “Thank you Rabbi Mia for the opportunity of helping you light the shamash, and thank you @JFRASJNYC for assembling the festivities! May tonight’s light and hope spark many others.”

She then posted a video of herself dancing the hora with the caption: “Plus I can never turn down an opportunity to try a new dance!”

“We can’t wait to bring light together to D.C,” the far-left Jewish organization wrote.

The 29-year-old, blessed with telegenic looks, charisma and bursting with youthful idealism, is both a media darling and a lightning rod for criticism.

Her comments on Israel have prompted criticism from the right and left.

Although she has commented infrequently on foreign affairs, in May she called the killing of Palestinian protesters by Israeli troops on the Gaza border fence a “massacre.”

Then in July, Ocasio-Cortez decried the “occupation of Palestine” during a television interview, but stumbled when pressed to explain what she meant.

Appearing July 13 on PBS’s “Firing Line,” Ocasio-Cortez admitted that she was “not the expert” on the issue, drawing accusations that she was “clueless.”

On “Firing Line,” host Margaret Hoover asked Ocasio-Cortez “What is your position on Israel?” Ocasio-Cortez responded, “I believe absolutely in Israel’s right to exist.” She added: “I am a proponent of a two-state solution.” The candidate said her previous position on the Gaza clashes “is not a referendum on the State of Israel.”

When pressed to explain herself further she said “I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue,” and “I just look at things through a human rights lens and I may not use the right words… Middle Eastern politics is not exactly at my kitchen table every night.”

However, in August she was cheered at an event at the New York’s Jewish museum, albeit one that did not touch on Israel or the Jewish community.

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