Cuomo to AOC: Concentration Camp Comparison 'Wholly Inappropriate'

The governor made the remarks ahead of a planned trip to Israel

(Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
June 26, 2019

New York governor Andrew Cuomo criticized fellow New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wednesday afternoon for comparing immigration detention facilities to concentration camps.

"There is no comparison to the Holocaust, period, and to draw an equivalency suggests one does not understand what happened in the Holocaust," Gov. Cuomo said when asked about his opinions about Ocasio-Cortez's comparisons during a press conference ahead of a planned trip to Israel.

He later added to his criticism by saying any comparison is "wholly inappropriate."

Ocasio-Cortez has received blowback from Republicans and Democrats over tweets last week suggesting immigration facilities at the southern border were akin to concentration camps operated by the Nazi regime in Germany in the 1940s. Nonpartisan institutions and historians weighed in on the controversy, including the US Holocaust Memorial Museum which denounced any "efforts to create analogies between the Holocaust and other events."

During the Wednesday press conference, Cuomo voiced concern over the growing number of anti-Semitic attacks occurring in his state.

"The anti-Semitic activity that is happening in this state is horrifying to me," Cuomo said.

In the first quarter of 2019, the rate of anti-Semitic attacks in New York City has risen by 82 percent compared to 2018, according to data released by the New York Police Department in May.

Cuomo spoke to New York media ahead of his third trip to Israel as governor. He has described the trip as an opportunity to grow the state's trade partnership with Israel and said he will be meeting with a variety of business leaders over the three-day visit.

The third-term governor will seek "to draw Israeli tech firms to the Empire State to help modernize the subway and develop new drone technology," according to the New York Daily News.