Yesterday, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told me straight up that she will not be a PEP, “Progressive Except on Palestine.”
I’m still feeling moved after my meeting with AOC. I was joined by representatives of the Institute for Middle East Understanding and Jewish Voice for Peace. We were not sure what to expect from the Congresswoman. For so long and rightly so, Palestinians have been cynical of US power brokers and lawmakers who have left us outside their definitions of humanity and have supported time and time again any opportunity to further our oppression. But AOC made clear from the outset that she understands that Palestinian aspirations for justice must be part of her progressive agenda. In her, I believe we have a partner in organizing for our liberation.
Let’s be clear. She doesn’t know everything about our issues. She acknowledged that she’s new to the question of Palestine and that she still has a lot to learn. The important message I heard is that she is open to learning from Palestinians. She understands that Palestine is interconnected with efforts to end mass incarceration, reduce the impact of militarism and end colonialism here and abroad.
Adalah Justice Project recognizes that we’ve won the progressive left and a few progressive members of Congress to our side. Our work now is to provide these allies with the political education, messaging and backing to speak up for Palestinian rights with deep analysis, confidence and strength. Adalah Justice Project is committed to amplifying Palestinian framing and demands that can be used by our allies. We are shaping the conversation and making sure it is Palestinians that are centered.
My meeting with AOC was remarkable! I want you to know that your support of our work is making a difference. I’m more confident than ever that we will all get free!