AOC calls Israel's war on Gaza an 'unfolding genocide', demands Biden halts arms sales

AOC calls Israel's war on Gaza an 'unfolding genocide', demands Biden halts arms sales
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivered a passionate speech in which she demanded that the Biden administration stop facilitating Israel's genocide in Gaza
2 min read
23 March, 2024
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had previously hesitated to use the term genocide about Gaza [Getty]

US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called Israel’s war on Gaza an “unfolding genocide” in an impassioned speech on Friday, demanding that the administration of Joe Biden immediately halts arms sales to Israel.

The progressive representative from New York was speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives where she condemned Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which the UN says has pushed the Palestinian enclave towards famine.

“This is a mass starvation of people, engineered and orchestrated following the killing of another 30,000 -70 percent of whom were women and children killed. There is hardly a single hospital left. And this was all accomplished, much of this accomplished, with US resources and weapons,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“If you want to know what an unfolding genocide looks like, open your eyes. It looks like the forced famine of 1.1 million innocents. It looks like thousands of children eating grass as their bodies consume themselves, while trucks of food are slowed and halted just miles away."

Ocasio-Cortez is a leading member of the Democratic Party’s left-wing in Congress. Her speech marks the first time that has referred to Israel’s war on Gaza as genocide.

Last month, during a Meet the Press interview on NBC, the congresswoman hesitated to use the term for Israel's war on Gaza, although she defended the use of the term by others in her party, including her close friend and ally Rashida Tlaib.

The Biden administration denies that Israel is carrying out systematic and deliberate crimes in Gaza and dismissed South Africa’s genocide case at the International Court of Justice against Israel as “unfounded”, despite the court's ruling that it is plausibly committing genocide.

Ocasio-Cortez said the US can no longer hide behind its alliance with Israel and demanded that Biden cut off the weapons supply.

“The time is now to force compliance with US law and the standards of humanity, and fulfil our obligations to the American people to suspend the transfer of US weapons to the Israeli government in order to stop and prevent further atrocity,” she said.

The US is Israel’s primary supplier of weapons to Israel. It gives $3.8 billion annually, with the Biden administration trying to push through an additional $14 billion through Congress amid the Gaza war.