Inside the Iron Dome fundraising deliberations + The Met Gala and cultural influence

The Met Gala and the far left versus the far right

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attends the 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) sparked a storm of media comment last week when she arrived at the Met Gala in Manhattan wearing a white Brother Vellies dress adorned with bold red lettering with the no si subtle phrase “Tax the rich”. The two-term New York City MP, a Democratic socialist who portrays herself as a champion of the working class, has been widely criticized as being out of touch. Even some progressives have given up on the gesture as superficial. For some Jewish leaders and commentators, the MP’s high-profile appearance underscored the extent to which some far-left lawmakers are increasingly accepted in mainstream culture – unlike right-wing provocateurs in the House who are largely shunned. such events and tend to operate in their own isolated silos on the fringes, reports Jewish initiateby Matthieu Kassel.

Culturally Trendy: Seen from a broader perspective, the controversy confirmed that the 31-year-old Ocasio-Cortez reached such a level of stardom that even an innocuous slogan written on the back of a designer dress was able to lead the cycle of the dress. news for several days. “The Squad is culturally trendy, and AOC just proved it by receiving an invitation and wearing a controversial dress to the Met Gala, said Thane Rosenbaum, author and distinguished university professor at Touro College, referring to the growing coalition of powerful House Democrats. including Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Ocasio-Cortez, which is known colloquially as AOC. “Conservative Republicans would not receive an invitation to a Greek restaurant on Madison Avenue.”

Concern: Jewish leaders have expressed concern that Ocasio-Cortez and his allies in the House are using their inordinate cultural influence to smuggle views that were until recently taboo within the Democratic Party, including including, among others, calls to suspend US aid to Israel. “For me, what is particularly concerning about this is that this is a moment of great hope right now,” said Barry Shrage, professor in the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at the University. Brandeis, referring to the new unity government in Israel. “This is the time when people, at least on the center-left, should be able to say, ‘Hey, it’s really time to give Israel a chance to take steps towards peace.’ . “This is something the Squad is going to fight with all its might,” said Shrage, former chairman of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston.

Opposite end: Far-right upstarts such as Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO) have, of course, also been accused of anti-Semitism. “Of course, there are far-right extremists who hate Jews, but where are they, how many are they and what possible influence they might have, compared to progressives on college campuses and in the media ( mainstream and social), who have cache, social influence and serious numbers behind them, ”Rosenbaum said in an email to JI.“ And they have high-level platforms to express themselves: lecture theaters, a press supportive and a host of followers on Twitter and Instagram. “For Rosenbaum, it boils down, as he put it, to” much smaller numbers, negligible social capital, and cultural irrelevance that distinguish progressives from Republicans. extremists ”.

Quarrel within the party: The Iron Dome clash was just the latest escalation in an ongoing intra-party feud over Israel that became increasingly controversial in the months following the May conflict between Israel and Hamas. Last week, Ocasio-Cortez introduced an amendment that would block a $ 735 million arms sale to Israel, following a previous unsuccessful effort to submit a resolution condemning the sale. In addition, a number of progressive House candidates, who are running for election this cycle, have called for conditional aid to the Jewish state. Beyond foreign policy, some progressives have been accused of using anti-Semitic language while addressing Israel or social issues more broadly. This has alarmed Jewish leaders who fear that such rhetoric will normalize on the left because it emanates from high-level lawmakers in the House.

Read the full story here.

Elsewhere: Representative Andy Levin (D-MI), joined by 18 cosponsors, is set to announce today a bill preventing Israel from using US defense items and services to annex Palestinian territory or violate human rights. The legislation also supports the reopening of the US consulate in Jerusalem and the mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington. It also requires labeling all exports from the West Bank and Gaza as such, rather than as products of Israel, as required by the Trump administration. The bill is supported by J Street.

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