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Ocasio-Cortez Condemns US Complicity in Gaza “Genocide” and “Forced Famine”

“This was all accomplished … with U.S. resources and weapons,” the New York representative said.

Palestinian children, holding empty pots, wait in line to receive food prepared by volunteers for Palestinian families displaced to Southern Gaza due to Israeli attacks, in Rafah, Gaza, on February 10, 2024.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) said that Israel’s siege of Gaza amounts to a “genocide” in a speech on the House floor on Friday as she condemned Israel’s “forced famine” and U.S. complicity in the massacre.

“As we speak, in this moment, 1.1 million innocents in Gaza are at famine’s door, a famine that is being intentionally precipitated through the blocking of food and global humanitarian assistance by leaders in the Israeli government. This is a mass starvation of people engineered and orchestrated following the killing of another 30,000,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This was all accomplished, much of this accomplished, with U.S. resources and weapons.”

The speech came after the House voted to pass a government funding bill that would extend the ban on funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the primary humanitarian group for Palestinians in Gaza, until 2025. The bill also threatens to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority if it supports any action against Israel in the International Criminal Court, essentially seeking to shield Israeli authorities from accountability on the world stage.

Ocasio-Cortez and 21 other Democrats voted against the bill, with many condemning the ban on UNRWA funding, saying that it will even further fuel Israel’s massacre in Gaza and beyond.

Indeed, on Sunday, UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini said that Israel is now blocking all UNRWA food shipments from reaching northern Gaza, days after an update from the UN-backed Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) found that half of the population of Gaza are imminently or already facing famine, with those in northern Gaza the most heavily affected.

Worsening the food blockade amounts to a death sentence for many Palestinians, as famine experts have repeatedly warned that the food disaster in Gaza is the worst since the second World War.

“If you want to know what an unfolding genocide looks like, open your eyes,” Ocasio-Cortez went on. “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.” She said that U.S. officials are violating U.S. law by continuing to send aid to Israel as it carries out grave human rights violations.

Zionist groups attacked Ocasio-Cortez after her speech. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wrote on social media that Ocasio-Cortez’s accusation of genocide “lacks proper factual or legal foundation,” despite the International Court of Justice (ICJ) having found in a preliminary ruling that it is “plausible” that Israel is committing genocide. “Genocide requires intent,” ADL wrote.

Ocasio-Cortez shot back, saying that Israel has been clear in its intent.

“Starving a million innocent people to death by halting and slowing US humanitarian assistance is massive, deliberate choice,” she said. “Not only is it irrelevant to those objectives, it brings them further out of reach and endangers hostages. There is no defense for forced famine.”

She went on to reinforce her stance in an appearance on CNN, saying, “I believe [Israel has] crossed the threshold of intent. It is horrific…. There is no targeting of Hamas in precipitating a mass famine of a million people, half of whom are children.”

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