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Ocasio-Cortez Softens Stance On Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic candidate from New York City, is standing by her promise to “learn and evolve” regarding Middle East affairs, choosing on Sunday not to comment on a position until speaking to activists. Some, however, are accusing her of backpedaling now three times.

Ocasio-Cortez took a neutral stance on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a live conversation hosted by left-wing American news program “Democracy Now!” the Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

When asked if she still advocated for a two-state solution, she replied: “Well, you know I think this is a conversation that I am engaging in with activists right now because this is huge.”

Without specifying the activists, Ocasio-Cortez added, “You know, especially over this weekend – and this is a conversation that I’m sitting down with lots of activists in this movement on and I’m looking forward to engaging this conversation.”

This differs from the firm statements she made during an appearance on the PBS show “Firing Line” Friday, where she explained that she believes in Israel’s right to exist and a two-state solution.

She said that her tweet condemning the violence on the Gaza border as a “massacre” was written “as an activist,” admitting that she is not an expert on Middle East affairs.

“I come from the South Bronx, I come from a Puerto Rican background. And Middle Eastern politics is not exactly at my kitchen table every night,” she said. “But I also recognize that this is an intensely-important issue for people in my district, for Americans across the country. And I think at least what is important to communicate is that I am willing to listen.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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