Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the "democratic-socialist" running for Congress, experienced an embarrassing moment during an interview on PBS' "Firing Line" Friday when she stumbled through a series of questions on Israel before finally admitting she is no "expert" on the issue.
Ocasio-Cortez's position on Israel isn't exactly clear. However, in May, during heightened tensions between Palestinian protesters — many of whom were Hamas terrorists — and Israel soldiers on the Gaza border, Ocasio-Cortez said Israel committed a "massacre" by defending its borders.
What happened in the interview?
PBS host Margaret Hoover sought to clarify Ocasio-Cortez's position on Israel following that tweet, asking her a series of questions about the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
First, Ocasio-Cortez admitted she "absolutely" believes in "Israel’s right to exist. I am a proponent of the two state solution." However, she equated the May conflict, which resulted in the deaths of dozens of Palestinian protesters, with protests in America, declaring "it would just be completely unacceptable if that happened on our shores."
Hoover pushed back against the comparison, explaining geo-political differences drive the Israel-Palestine conflict, which is different from Americans expressing their First Amendment rights.
"Well, yes, but I also think that what people are starting to see in the occupation of Palestine is just an increasing crisis of humanitarian conditions and that to me is just where I tend to come from on this issue," Ocasio-Cortez responded.
"You use the term, 'the occupation of Palestine.' What did you mean by that?" Hoover asked.
"Oh, um ... I think what I meant is ... like ... the settlements that are increasing in some of these areas and places where ... um ... Palestinians are experiencing difficulty in access to their housing and homes," Ocasio-Cortez responded.
Hoover pressed again: "Do you think you can expand on that?"
"Yeah ... I mean, I think ... I'd also just— I am not the expert on geo-politics on this issue," Ocasio-Cortez finally admitted.
The New York congressional candidate reiterated she's a "firm believer" in a two-state solution and expressed her desire to talk with people on both sides of the issue if elected to Congress.