Ocasio-Cortez refuses invitation to visit Auschwitz
Not for the first time, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is choosing ignorance.
The freshman congresswoman is discovering that her casual labeling of detention centers for border-violators as "concentration camps" denigrated the unique horror of the Holocaust, as well as libeling the law enforcement officers of ICE as comparable to Nazi death camp–operators.
Because she clearly did not understand at the time of her remark, she has been invited to visit Auschwitz and see the difference. Because she now knows that she is on thin ice and would have to retract her odious comparison, she in effect says, "Ignorance is bliss."
Her Twitter rejection of an offer to see what a concentration camp really is smacks of a desperate effort to find an excuse.
The last time you went on this trip it was reported that you also met w/ fringe Austrian neo-Nazi groups to talk shop.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 23, 2019
So I’m going to have to decline your invite. But thank you for revealing to all how transparently the far-right manipulates these moments for political gain. https://t.co/TQkaPEESoD
The obvious next step is for someone not directly involved in politics to extend another invitation and let her squirm to find an excuse to avoid firsthand knowledge. The reality of the ovens at Auschwitz is eye-popping, to say the least.
Cropped from this source.
I suspect that the blowback has surprised her. Via Breitbart, we see that:
Alan Dershowitz, who recently said he would support Joe Biden over President Donald Trump in 2020, said Ocasio-Cortez's "concentration camp" claim made her a "Holocaust denier." Bill Maher, host of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, and a determined foe of President Trump, criticized her on his show Friday evening: "If you want to run a campaign based on reparations and concentration camps then it’s going to be very hard to win the election." Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (who is also a Breitbart News contributor) published a full-page ad in the New York Times:
Our full page ad in today’s @nytimes countering @AOC trivialization of the #holocaust. We must fix the humanitarian crisis on the border. But comparing it to the genocide of six million Jews desecrates the memory of the victims and the #NeverAgain commitment against genocide. pic.twitter.com/CKC7fsCRUq— Rabbi Shmuley (@RabbiShmuley) June 23, 2019
Facts and a deeper understanding do have a tendency to get in the way of simplistic ideological sniping. I suspect that until she gives in and visits Auschwitz, Ocasio-Cortex will be dogged by accusations of Holocaust denial and challenged to stop avoiding the facts.