(January 16, 2019 / JNS) Prominent Democratic strategist and former Clinton White House communications director Ann Lewis appeared to sidestep the anti-Israel issues surrounding freshmen Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.).
Lewis was speaking at an event hosted by Zioness Movement, a group that advocates progressive causes, in addition to speaking out against anti-Semitism, as the leaders of the Women’s March have associated with Jew-hatred such as supporting Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Lewis, who serves on the board of Zioness, called the aforementioned congresswomen as “two-and-a-half people” with Ocasio-Cortez being “much more muted on foreign policy.”
Before being elected, Ocasio-Cortez has slammed Israel for its defensive responses against border and rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza as “a massacre.” Although she has not explicitly supported BDS, she is affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America, which endorses it.
“Out of the 200-plus new members, they are getting—those two-and-a-half—perhaps more press attention than everybody else put together,” said Lewis. “I think that is not fair to everybody else who voted to where we really are. And, by the way, it’s not good for us.”
“If we want to be serious and to make policy and to understand where we are, listen to the members of Congress who get elected who are solid, mainstream Democrats and Republicans. Ask them about how to work together both on domestic and foreign policy,” she continued. “Do not let ourselves get so hypnotized by those two women who are, again, just dominating the press, the media. And they aren’t going to be able to get anything done.”
“I’m a lot less concerned about them than I [am] about the agenda we have,” added Lewis. “Let’s use these two years to show that we can really make a difference in people’s lives.”
Lewis also refuted accusations of Jewish institutions, such as the Anti-Defamation League, not taking the threat of anti-Semitism seriously.
“I’m not sure which Jewish institutions you mean. The ADL, the others, I’ve not heard them brushing it off,” she said. “It may be you and I disagree what’s effective pushback, but I think they try very hard to push back.”