Gov. Cuomo: AOC Comparing Border Shelters to Concentration Camps Suggests Ignorance About Holocaust

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks during the National Action Network Convention in New York, Friday, April 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) on Wednesday blasted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) recent remarks comparing detention centers for illegal aliens caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to “concentration camps.”

Ahead of a scheduled trip to Israel, Cuomo was asked by reporters about the socialist Democrat lawmaker evoking Holocaust imagery in her criticism of the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

“It’s wholly inappropriate comparison,” Cuomo began. “The Holocaust, you’re talking about a tragedy of Biblical proportion and one of the greatest scourges in history. Six million Jews died during the Holocaust, there is no comparison to the Holocaust, period.

“To draw an equivalency suggests one does not understand what happened in the Holocaust,” added the governor.

Ocasio-Cortez set off a political firestorm since referring to President Donald Trump as a “fascist” whose administration is running “concentration camps” on the Southern border last week.

“That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps,” she claimed during a live-stream on Instagram. “The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the Home of the Free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it.”

Cuomo did, however, join the chorus of Democrats denouncing conditions inside the facilities, calling them “horrendous in and of itself.”

“It is a human rights violation,” he claimed.

Ocasio-Cortez’s tirade, in which she said uttered, “Never Again,” a phrase synonymous with Holocaust remembrance, was met with scorn by Republicans, namely Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who urged her colleague to learn “actual history” before commenting on the hot button topic.

“Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history,” Cheney tweeted in response to her remarks. “6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this.”

On Sunday, the freshman congresswoman escalated her attacks on the conditions inside the detention facilities, comparing them to torture camps.

“Remember when the Bush administration bullied media into using their devised term “enhanced interrogation” instead of the accurate term “torture?” Well, waterboarding was torture,” she wrote on Twitter. “And these are concentration camps. Journalism should be about the truth. And this is the truth.”

The United States Holocaust Museum on Monday issued a statement condemning the comparison, without referencing Ocasio-Cortez by name, between the centers  and concentration camps, saying it “unequivocally rejects efforts to create analogies between the Holocaust and other events.”

“That position has repeatedly and unambiguously been made clear in the Museum’s official statement on the matter – a statement that is reiterated and reaffirmed now,” the statement concluded.

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