Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Reuters

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is standing by her comparison between American border detention facilities and concentration camps.

Speaking in a recent interview with Eyewitness News ABC7NY, the freshman lawmaker said that she does not regret the remarks and agreed that her statements were misinterpreted.

"One I don't regret it at all," she said. "A group, in fact of, I think 200, at least 200, historians, rabbis, academics have come together in support of this term."

Asked whether she believes the conditions in the border facilities are the same as the death camps run by the Nazis, Ocasio-Cortez said she does, pointing to a visit she made with other members of Congress to the border.

"I've seen it. I've sat on concrete floors with woman whose hair was falling out and they're developing sores in their mouth. Parents are dying with their children watching them and all without a trial, all with just an accusation, and all with the intent to dehumanize," the New York Democrat said.

Ocasio-Cortez also said it was "ahistorical" for Republicans to accuse her of being anti-Semitic for downplaying the Holocaust to score political points.

Ocasio-Cortez's comparison in June infuriated Republicans, including the party's third ranking congresswoman Liz Cheney, who urged her to "spend just a few minutes learning some actual history" about the six million Jews exterminated in the Holocaust.

Several other Republicans weighed in with criticism, including Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who said that "comparing the men and women serving our country to concentration camp guards (does) the Congress and country a great disservice."

Ocasio-Cortez defended her use of the term concentration camp, citing experts including a rabbi who say there is a distinction between concentration camps run by Germany in the 1930s and the extermination camps, or death camps, that the Nazis operated beginning in 1941.

This is not the first time that Ocasio-Cortez has used the Holocaust in a controversial manner.

In April, she caused an uproar after she quoted a passage about the Holocaust to defend Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who was criticized for downplaying the 9/11 attacks.

Ocasio-Cortez is known for her criticism of Israel, having two weeks ago said that Israel is “criminal” in its treatment of Palestinian Arabs who, she claimed, have no other choice but to resort to violence as they are “marginalized.”

Previously, she said that cutting military and economic aid to Israel as a way to signal opposition to Israeli policies should be “on the table.”

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