Vice President Kamala Harris failed to challenge a student who accused Israel of genocide during an event this week, setting off a minor diplomatic crisis with an American ally.
The vice president affirmed her “unwavering” support for the Jewish state after the controversial incident at George Mason University on Wednesday, Politico reported.
“The power of the people”
According to Fox News, the student had questioned America’s policy of “inflaming Israel and backing Saudi Arabia” with taxpayer dollars despite “astronomical” protests in support of Palestinians.
Harris, the student said, had mentioned “the power of the people and demonstrations,” and yet America continues to support Israel, which the student accused of “ethnic genocide and displacement of people, the same that happened in America,” according to the New York Post.
That’s when Harris, apparently taken off guard, used the awkward woke dialect to praise the student for sharing “your truth,” using “truth” as a synonym for “perspective” and “experience.”
But Harris appeared reluctant to endorse the student’s incendiary comments entirely and went on to distance herself from them a bit, saying with ambivalence that the student’s point of view was worth sharing in a democracy.
“The point that you are making about policy that relates to Middle East policy, foreign policy, we still have healthy debates in our country about what is the right path, and nobody’s voice should be suppressed on that,” she opined, according to Fox.
Harris went on to say that democracy “is at its weakest” when speech is suppressed and that “our goal should be unity, but not uniformity.” She is right about that, even if her comments are cynical and a touch ironic, given her party’s aggressive use of censorship to stifle dissent.
Still, Harris was slammed by Israeli newspapers for failing to push back on the student’s dramatic claim, and her office shortly went into damage control mode to avoid offending pro-Israel Democrats, Politico reported.
Mark Mellman, president of Democratic Majority for Israel, said that Harris’ office conveyed that the vice president “strongly disagrees with the George Mason student’s characterization of Israel.”
“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 unwavering,’” Mellman said, according to Politico.
Harris also reportedly contacted the Anti-Defamation League to apologize.