Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-NY) political party, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), called for the elimination of Israel after the party's delegates voted to adopt the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
The incident happened on August 5, 2017, when DSA's 697 delegates met at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s campus for DSA's national convention.
After the delegates voted to adopt the BDS campaign, they chanted "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free."
"The river in this formulation is the Jordan, the naturally occurring eastern border of Israel and of the West Bank; the sea is the Mediterranean to the west," The Daily Beast reported. "Uttered by advocates of the Palestinian cause for decades, the pithy slogan very pointedly makes no place for Israel. It evokes a strip of Middle Eastern land where Israel is no more, replaced by a unified Palestinian entity in the space it once occupied."
"In short, BDS erroneously believes Israel is an apartheid state," The Daily Wirereported at the time. "They want Israel cut off from the rest of the world economically (boycott, divestment), and they want sanctions placed on the nation until it complies with their demands."
In a July 2018 interview on PBS's "Firing Line With Margaret Hoover," Ocasio-Cortez revealed that she believes that Israel is occupying Palestine, a belief held by anti-Semites.
"I also think that what people are starting to see, at least, in the occupation of Palestine, is just an increasing crisis of humanitarian condition," Ocasio-Cortez said. "And that, to me, is just where I tend to come from on this issue."
Host Margaret Hoover immediately pressed Ocasio-Cortez, asking, "You use the term 'the occupation of Palestine.' What do you mean by that?"
"Um... I think what I meant is ... like ... the settlements that are increasing in some of these areas and places where Palestinians are experiencing difficulty in access to their housing and homes," Ocasio-Cortez said as she struggled to answer.
"Do you think you can expand on that?" Hoover asked.
"Yeah... I mean, I think ... I'd ... also just— I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue," Ocasio-Cortez said as she dodged answering the question.
The notion that Israel is an illegal occupier is a deeply rooted, oft-repeated, and is false. The Daily Wire reported:
In 1967, the nation of Israel faced escalating military pressure and threats of war from surrounding Arab nations, including Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The Jewish Virtual Library notes that in the first week of June 1967, “approximately 465,000 troops, more than 2,800 tanks, and 800 aircraft ringed Israel.”
As the tensions escalated, Israel decided to launch a preemptive strike. In the Six-Day-War, the nation of Israel took possession of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
According to renowned legal scholar, Alan Dershowitz, “military occupations are clearly permitted under international law following an aggressive attack by a neighboring state.”
Despite trading “land for peace” on multiple occasions, and even offering 94% of the West Bank in two attempted peace deals which were summarily rejected by Palestinian leaders, Israel continues to be attacked on a near-daily basis by terrorist organizations operating under the umbrella of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The aggressor in this situation is not Israel.