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Opinion

The Democrat challenging Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

At the Zionist Organization of America’s (ZOA) Justice Louis D. Brandeis Award Dinner, I sat at the same table as New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who is running in the Democratic primary against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Credit: Flickr.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Credit: Flickr.
(Twitter)
Joseph Frager
Dr. Joseph Frager is a lifelong activist and physician. He is chairman of Israel advocacy for the Rabbinical Alliance of America, chairman of the executive committee of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim and executive vice president of the Israel Heritage Foundation.
In the Democratic primary for Queens District Attorney, I helped Melinda Katz secure a narrow win over her Socialist, progressive opponent Tiffany Cabán. Cabán was endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC—one of the congresswomen elected in 2018 that must be defeated if America is going to be led back in the right direction.
At the Zionist Organization of America’s (ZOA) Nov. 17 Justice Louis D. Brandeis Award Dinner, I sat at the same table as New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who is running in the Democratic primary against Ocasio-Cortez. Defeating AOC will not be easy—she has taken the country by storm, gathering a significant national following and having already raised $3,354,731. Councilman Cabrera does, however, does have a chance.
Unlike AOC, Cabrera is profoundly pro-Israel and anti-BDS. He got a great round of applause at the ZOA dinner when he was acknowledged by the emcee. He has been to Israel seven times. He told me that “Israel is the rightful place for the Jewish people,” and that “ultimately, it comes down to the Jews of Israel.”
He has shown his support for the Jewish people on many occasions. He went to the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018 soon after the massacre there to show solidarity. He told me he went there to tell the Jewish people “you are not alone.” He further said, “Any movement against Israel, I oppose.”
When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Nov. 18 that the United States no longer viewed Judea and Samaria settlements as violations of international law, Cabrera was one of the few Democrats who heralded it, proclaiming it a “nice” move.
Cabrera has a doctorate in education and was a professor at Mercy College before becoming a member of the New York City Council in 2010. As a councilman, he has helped the city achieve a 60 percent reduction in crime via bills he sponsored or participated in.
AOC, he said, has been “MIA” in her district and has only a 24 percent approval rating there. Her plans, he said, are “clueless.” Her Green New Deal, legislation that aims to address climate change and economic inequality, he dismissed as “pie in the sky,” while her opposition to the Amazon HQ2 deal was “baffling.”
Cabrera is 55 years old and a Bronx native. He believes he can defeat AOC. He has the support of a large Hispanic bloc, and  is also a member of the Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.
He’s the real deal. Just as Katz beat Tiffany Cabán in the election for Queens District Attorney, I believe Cabrera can beat AOC in the Democratic primary for Congress. He deserves our support.
Dr. Joseph Frager is first vice president of the National Council of Young Israel.
The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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