U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) rejected an invitation on Sunday to tour Auschwitz with a Holocaust survivor.
The organization From the Depths, whose president, 93-year-old Edward Mosberg, is a Holocaust survivor, invited her to see the camp, where an estimated 1.1. million people, almost all of them Jews, were killed.
“The opportunity you will have of visiting the German Nazi Concentration Camps along with Mr. Mosberg, a 93 year old survivor of history’s most brutal genocidal regime, will enable you to become a witness of a witness, something that our generation will sadly be the last to do, as result of the fact that the survivors are passing away at an ever increasing rate,” wrote Jonny Daniels in the invitation, which occurred after the congresswoman said in an Instagram video last week that the United States is “running concentration camps on our southern border,” in reference to the Trump administration’s policies regarding illegal immigrants.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who endorsed a white supremacist running in the Toronto mayoral race last year, urged the Democratic congresswoman to accept Mosberg’s invitation.
“@AOC I went to Auschwitz & Birkenau with Eddie Mausberg & Jonny Daniels with In the Depths. I went with a deep understanding of the Shoah and had a profound personal experience. Please accept their offer,” he tweeted on Saturday.
Ocasio-Cortez rejected King’s plea.
“The last time you went on this trip it was reported that you also met w/ fringe Austrian neo-Nazi groups to talk shop. 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,” she tweeted.
Before declining the invitation, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Mr. King, the Republican Party literally stripped you of your Congressional committee assignments because you were too racist even for them. My Jewish constituents have made clear to me that they proudly stand w/ caged children who are starved, denied sleep & sanitation,” referring to migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
King’s committee assignments were taken away in January following remarks questioning how terms such as “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” have become “offensive.” For years, King was cited for the use of similar language.
A House resolution passed almost unanimously in January, condemning white supremacy and King specifically.
‘A mistake on her part’
In her social-media remarks, Ocasio-Cortez she wants to talk to those “who are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something.”
“The fact that concentrations camps are now an institutionalized practice in the Home of the Free is extraordinarily disturbing, and we need to do something about it,” she continued.
Ocasio-Cortez warned, “We are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency.”
“I don’t use those words lightly,” she continued. “I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist, and it’s very difficult to say that.”
Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) called out her remarks.
“I think it was a very, very poor choice of words. I know her and I respect her and I don’t believe that her intent was to conflate German concentration camps from the Holocaust with the border camps,” Phillips told Jewish Insider on Friday. “I think it was a mistake on her part and I do not think in her heart that it was her intention.”