Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Backs off Support for Two-State Solution After Only Three Days

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Getty Images
July 17, 2018

Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez backed off her support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict only three days after first voicing it.

The upstart New York politician and self-described democratic socialist has a history of being critical of Israel, tweeting during her campaign that the killing of Palestinians at mass border protests by Israeli security forces was "a massacre."

But during a Friday interview on PBS' "Firing Line" Friday, Ocasio-Cortez gave a more nuanced answer when asked her views on the Jewish state. "Well, I believe absolutely in Israel’s right to exist. I am a proponent of a two-state solution. And for me, it’s not — this is not a referendum on the state of Israel," she said.

Ocasio-Cortez walked back her use of the terms "massacre" and "occupation." "I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue," she laughed. "I am a firm believer in finding a two-state solution on this issue, and I'm happy to sit down with leaders on both of these..."

But when Ocasio-Cortez interviewed with the left-wing Democracy Now! on Monday, she was singing a different tune, now declining to say she supported the two-state solution.

"Are you still for a two-state solution with Israel and Palestine?" asked host Amy Goodman.

"You know, I think this is a conversation that I'm engaging with with activists right now," she responded. "Because this is a huge-- especially over this weekend. This is a conversation that I'm sitting down with lots of activists in this movement on, and I'm looking forward to engaging in this conversation."

Ocasio-Cortez became the Democratic congressional nominee in New York's 14th Congressional District after defeating incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in last month's primary.