MATTHEWS: On standing against antisemitism in the face of outrage mobs

When you stand against antisemitism, there is zero need to explain yourself to people who can’t be reasoned with.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks at Prince William Forest Park on Earth Day in Triangle, Virginia. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo)

One would think that taking a stand against antisemitism would be a no-brainer no matter on what side of the political aisle you reside.

But for some Democrats who have coddled the anti-Israel faction here in the United States, it turns out that taking such stands is a rather tall order.


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is one such Democrat. The leader of the so-called “Squad” of radical leftist House members that includes Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has been hard-pressed since she took office in January 2019 to come down against clear instances of antisemitism, including when it has come directly from Tlaib and Omar.

New York City is home to the largest Jewish population in America. It is also a city where antisemitism is a near-daily occurrence on city streets.

It’s gotten even worse since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel, with anti-Israel citizens here in the U.S., perhaps feeling emboldened, showing us who they really are.

Like she was before the attacks, Ocasio-Cortez has been reluctant to condemn antisemitism, often siding with her far-left colleagues in their attacks on Israel, which usually revolve around being offended that Israel would want to defend itself against future terrorist attacks.

But last week, the politico otherwise known as “AOC” finally took a stand, calling out what could only be described as a pro-Hamas mob who deliberately disrupted a Nova Festival Victims exhibit in the Big Apple, where chants of “long live the intifada” and “Israel go to hell” could be heard. Members of the Jewish community were also harassed and bullied on the way into the somber exhibit.

In a tweet, AOC wrote that “The callousness, dehumanization, and targeting of Jews on display at last night’s protest outside the Nova Festival exhibit was atrocious antisemitism — plain and simple.”

“Antisemitism has no place in our city nor any broader movement that centers human dignity and liberation,” she also wrote.

In response, the online mob lashed out, with some calling her an “apologist” for the so-called “Israel death machine.” Others said she made false accusations of antisemitism and suggested she was being bought and paid for by pro-Israel groups.

In response, while she maintained that what she saw was antisemitism, she tried to placate the mobs by suggesting that “we can mobilize to end the atrocities in Gaza and combat the rise of antisemitism at the same time. Bigotry in organizing spaces imperils everyone’s work…”

In another tweet, she wrote “I am one of the only members of Congress to cosponsor the ceasefire reso since Day 1. I consistently vote NO on military budgets, including further weapons to [the] Israeli gov. I think Netanyahu is a war criminal. AIPAC targets me.”

In other words, please leave me alone, I’m really on your side!

Here’s the thing: When you stand against antisemitism, there is zero need to explain yourself to people who can’t be reasoned with. In fact, one shouldn’t feel obligated to explain why they’ve taken a stand against it. A mere history book or link to a website explaining antisemitism in its many forms should suffice for anyone who demands to know why.

When you’ve taken a stand on an issue of this magnitude, stay true to it. Don’t give in to the urge to appease critics or attempt to backtrack because it’s an argument you can’t win with people who are too dug in to be able to see the issue in any other way.

Regarding AOC, there’s a little reaping and sowing at play here, but assuming she remains consistent, it’s a welcome change from her considering her history of looking the other way when it comes from within her ranks.

North Carolina native Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a media analyst and regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.