Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explained Friday why she shed tears when after a contentious exchange on the House floor Thursday for Israel’s Iron Dome.
The House of Representatives voted 420 to 9 to fund Israel’s missile defense system. Initially, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York who is frequently critical of the Israeli government, voted “no” along with her progressive colleagues.
But then the self-described democratic socialist congresswoman switched her vote at the last minute to “present” and was seen crying on the floor afterward.
“What we saw is a disappointment of just a willingness to rip our communities apart and put member safety at risk,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez told The Independent.
The vote also led to an exchange wherein Rep Ted Deutch of Florida, who is Jewish, accused Rep Rashida Tlaib, who is Palestinian, of being antisemitic for labeling Israel an apartheid state.
"When there is no place on the map for one Jewish state – that’s antisemitism, and I reject that," he said at the time.
Democratic Rep Debbie Dingell, of Michigan, who was with Ms Ocasio-Cortez, said she and Ms Ocasio-Cortez was upset because of the way the Iron Dome’s funding was brought to the House floor, saying how it never went through committee.
“It’s very upsetting to people like she and I when it’s not in regular order, there were a lot of different opinions,” Ms Dingell, who voted yes on the legislation, noting how Ms Ocasio-Cortez has a significant Jewish community in her district. “The way that it was handled, and several of us have made it very well-known to leadership, it should never have been brought up that way and it should not have been out of regular order.”
When asked if there was still a stigma around politicians crying, Ms Ocasio-Cortez told The Independent, “you tell me.”