AOC yelling at camera (two split)


‘You’re not helping’: AOC curses out protesters targeting her over Gaza

'You refuse to call it a genocide,' one of the protesters said.


Katherine Huggins


Posted on Mar 5, 2024

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) had a sharp rebuke to the pro-Palestine protesters who confronted her in a Brooklyn movie theater and accused her of not characterizing Israel’s war in Gaza as a “genocide.”

“You refuse to call it a genocide,” one protester says in the now-viral video clip of the incident. “It’s not okay that there’s a genocide happening and you’re not actively against it.”

“You’re lying,” Ocasio-Cortez retorts, prompting another protester to say: “You haven’t been calling it a genocide, don’t tell me I’m lying. Then just say it’s a genocide. Just say it. Over 30,000 people are dead … just say it for once, just say the word. That’s it, that’s all we want you to say.”

The video shows the protesters following her and her fiancé outside, where the three-term lawmaker snapped.

“You’re going to cut this and you’re going to clip this so that it’s completely out of context. I already said that it was, and y’all are just going to pretend that it wasn’t, over and over again. It’s fucked up, man. You’re not helping these people. You’re not helping them.”

The video clip drew a number of critical responses, with many social media users questioning why Ocasio-Cortez was the lawmaker being targeted by the protesters.

“the only member of Congress they could find to harass already agrees with them,” wrote one user on X.

“wish they’d do this to chuck schumer seems like a better use of your time lol,” responded someone else, referring to the Senate Majority Leader.

Another user noted Ocasio-Cortez’s work to support Gaza, asking: “What more do you want? My god just let her see Dune 2 in peace.”

But other users were less sympathetic, noting her past comments praising the act of protesting.

“Yeah she may be right but she also asked for it,” wrote one person.

“Good for these protesters! AOC likes to think of herself as being on the right side of this, but she is very weak & cowardly, and hasn’t done nearly enough,” one pro-Palestine X user argued. “She always ends up supporting & defending the status quo.”

Ocasio-Cortez has continually vocally advocated in support of Palestinians and was one of the earliest politicians to call for a ceasefire—on Oct. 9, two days after Hamas’ attack. She also has an “A” grade from Americans for Justice in Palestine Action, a nonprofit that lobbies in support of Palestinians.

She also co-sponsored Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) resolution to block a major weapons sale to Israel and was one of ten lawmakers to vote against a resolution in October condemning Hamas and affirming U.S. commitment to supporting Israel’s security. The resolution passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, 412-10.

Ocasio-Cortez has avoided directly labeling the conflict a “genocide,” though she defended the usage of the word in January, saying that she doesn’t think “it is something to completely toss someone out of our public discourse for using.”

Asked about if the word “genocide” goes too far, Ocasio-Cortez responded, “I think what we are seeing right now throughout the country is that young people are appalled at the violence and the indiscriminate loss of life.”

In the interview she noted that the International Court of Justice has not determined that Israel is committing genocide—though the court warned Israel of the necessity to take action to prevent genocide from occurring.

“The fact that [the ICJ] said there’s a responsibility to prevent it, the fact that this word is even in play, the fact that this word is even in our discourse, I think demonstrates the mass inhumanity that Gazans are facing,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

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*First Published: Mar 5, 2024, 10:53 am CST