Funny thing about nation building by foreign powers, it has a tendency to lead to all sorts of gaffes later on.
Take Israel, for example. Israel, the land itself with the city of Jerusalem that is vitally important to three major religions, has always existed, but the modern version of the nation was actually carved out of what was Palestine – itself a country carved out of another territory following the fall of the Ottoman Empire – following World War II.
Why this happened is irrelevant at this point, but that was essentially what occurred and ever since then, there is a faction of politically aware people who insist that Israelis are squatting in Palestinian territory. The problem for those in American politics who adhere to this sentiment is that Israel is a friend to the United States, and therefore making any such point is considered to be bad form.
This should be part of American politics 101, but apparently not. Newcomer and socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, running as a Democrat in New York, put her foot in her mouth this week when it came to this subject.
Cortez was speaking with PBS when she was asked to weigh-in on unfolding events in the Middle East, particularly the growing conflict between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas-backed fighters.
“I think that what people are starting to see with the occupation of Palestine is just an increasing crisis of humanitarian conditions,” said Cortez.
“You used the term occupation of Palestine, what did you mean by that?” pressed the reporter.
“What I meant, is like, the settlements,” she fired-back.
Sure she did.
It does not matter where one comes down on the Israel-Palestine argument, for now, Israel is an independent nation in the Middle East with control over a whole lot of holy sites. Calling the country occupied territory is bad form.
Cortez is going to need to watch how she expresses her sentiments on this topic in the future.