Kamala Harris’ spokeswoman said, “The vice president strongly disagrees with the student’s characterization of Israel.”
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
A video of Vice President Kamala Harris failing to refute a college student’s characterization of Israel as committing “ethnic genocide” has sparked outrage from Jewish groups, and her office recently released a statement clarifying that she does not agree with the allegation.
But while Harris engages in what appears to be a widespread damage control campaign, some critics believe that her statements are too little, too late.
During a visit to George Mason University last week, Harris gave a speech emphasizing the importance of public debate and political protests.
A student, who identified herself as a person of Yemeni and Iranian heritage, challenged Harris, arguing that political demonstrations don’t actually result in change on the ground.
“You brought up how the power of the people…but I see that over the summer there have been protests and demonstrations in astronomical numbers standing with Palestine,” said the student.
“But then just a few days ago there were funds allocated to continue backing Israel, which hurts my heart because it’s ethnic genocide and displacement of people, the same that happened in America, and I’m sure you’re aware of this…”
“This is about the fact that your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth cannot be suppressed, and it must be heard,” Harris said, cutting off the student. “Our goal should be unity, but not uniformity.”
“We still have healthy debates in our country about what is the right path. And nobody’s voice should be suppressed on that.”
Because Harris did not challenge the student’s assertion that Israel is actively carrying out genocide against the Palestinians, some felt that her actions were equivalent to an endorsement of the statement.
According to CNN, Harris’ office has reached out to Jewish groups, in order to reassure them that she does not endorse that view of the Jewish State.
Harris’ spokeswoman Symone Sanders said in a statement, “The vice president strongly disagrees with the student’s characterization of Israel.”
“Throughout her career, the Vice President has been unwavering in her commitment to Israel and to Israel’s security. While visiting George Mason University to discuss voting rights, a student voiced a personal opinion during a political science class.”
“The Biden-Harris Administration, as well as President Biden and Vice President Harris personally, have exemplary pro-Israel records, for which we are immensely grateful,” Mark Mellman, the president of the Democratic Majority for Israel, said in a statement.
“We were pleased Vice President Harris’s senior staff reached out to us today to confirm what we already knew: Her ‘commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad,’ and she ‘strongly disagrees with the George Mason student’s characterization of Israel.’”