United States Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has withdrawn from an occasion commemorating former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, her workplace advised Al Jazeera on Friday, after dealing with a barrage of criticism.
In a quick electronic mail, a spokesperson for the consultant from New York mentioned she wouldn’t be taking part within the October 20 commemoration organised by Americans for Peace Now, a US-based group.
Her workplace didn’t elaborate on the explanation behind the reversal, however pointed to a tweet Ocasio-Cortez wrote earlier on Friday by which she mentioned, “this event and my involvement was presented to my team differently from how it’s now being promoted.”
The spokesperson didn’t present additional particulars.
Hey there – this occasion and my involvement was introduced to my group otherwise from the way it’s now being promoted.
Thanks for pointing it out. Taking a glance into this now.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 25, 2020
The choice got here after Palestinians and Palestinian advocacy teams criticised Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democratic congresswoman who additionally goes by AOC, for planning to honour the previous Israeli chief, who was assassinated 25 years in the past.
Rabin, who served as Israel’s prime minister from 1974-1977 and from 1992 till his assassination in 1995, is upheld by liberal Israelis as a peacemaker and remembered for signing the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
On November 4, 1995, he was shot at a peace rally by Yigal Amir, who was motivated by his opposition to the negotiations.
However, Palestinians bear in mind Rabin for harshly cracking down on the First Intifada rebellion that started within the late 1980s towards the Israeli occupation.
Serving as defence minister on the time, Rabin is believed to have instructed Israeli troopers to “break the bones” of Palestinian demonstrators concerned within the rebellion. He was recognized to Palestinians because the “bone crusher“.
The Adalah Justice Project, a Palestinian advocacy group within the US, first tweeted Friday that Ocasio-Cortez had pulled out of the Rabin commemoration.
“His legacy is one of violence and dispossession for Palestinians. Thank you AOC for listening to the lived experience of the Palestinian people,” the group wrote on Twitter.
US freelance journalist Alex Kane, who first raised questions on Ocasio-Cortez’s participation within the occasion, mentioned Friday that her withdrawal wouldn’t have occurred 5 years in the past. “Here we have a wildly influential Congresswoman listening to Palestinians and the broader Palestinian rights movement,” Kane mentioned.
Noura Erakat, a Palestinian human rights lawyer, had additionally criticised Ocasio-Cortez earlier on Friday, saying she “should not be speaking at an event that rehabilitates the legacy of Rabin and the ‘peace process’”.
Regardless of content material, @AOC shouldn’t be talking at an occasion that rehabilitates the legacy of Rabin and the “peace course of,“ which was geared toward establishing an autonomy association of everlasting subjugation and by no means the prospects of (even) a truncated Palestinian state. https://t.co/VxtjDYrW0z
— Noura Erakat (@4noura) September 25, 2020
On Thursday, Americans for Peace Now promoted subsequent month’s digital commemoration by naming Ocasio-Cortez as one among three audio system set to take part.
“Rabin’s legacy inspires us all,” the group wrote on Twitter. “Hear [Ocasio-Cortez] reflect on fulfilling the courageous Israeli leader’s mission for peace and justice today in the US and Israel.”
Dan Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, mentioned earlier than the reversal that he hoped Ocasio-Cortez “will not back down” from becoming a member of the occasion. “Honoring Rabin, an Israeli patriot killed for trying to make peace, in no way detracts from a commitment to Palestinians’ rights,” he tweeted.
But Diana Buttu, a Palestinian lawyer and analyst who served as a authorized adviser to the Palestinian negotiating group, mentioned Rabin’s legacy has been “whitewashed”.
“Amount of whitewashing Rabin’s crimes is incredible. While he was purportedly ‘seeking peace’ he continued to build Israeli settlements and when a settler massacred Palestinians in Hebron in 1994 instead of removing settlers he fortified them,” she tweeted.
Amount of whitewashing Rabin’s crimes is unimaginable. While he was purportedly “seeking peace” he continued to construct Israeli settlements and when a settler massacred Palestinians in Hebron in 1994 as a substitute of eradicating settlers he fortified them. He had selections: he selected apartheid.
— Diana Buttu (@dianabuttu) September 25, 2020