U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris commended a student at George Mason University who accused Israel of “ethnic genocide” and condemned funding of the Iron Dome missile defense system during a campus meeting.
The student, who identified herself as part-Yemeni, part-Iranian, and “not an American,” objected to military aid to Israel and Saudi Arabia. The statement was made during a discussion about National Voter Registration Day:
“You brought up how the power of the people and demonstrations and organizing is very valuable in America, but I see that over the summer there have been protests and demonstrations in astronomical numbers standing with Palestine, 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…” she said.
Instead of defending the U.S. pro-Israeli policy, as might have been expected given Harris’s record of support for Israel, the vice president nodded as the student spoke and then responded, saying she was “glad” that the student spoke up, and that “your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth, cannot be suppressed and it must be heard.”
Former U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman expressed outrage at Harris’s statements, tweeting, “Shameful. There is truth and there are lies. No one is entitled to their personal truth. This attack on Israel is simply a lie and VPOTUS should have called that out.”
The incident took place several days after the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for legislation to provide $1 billion to Israel to replenish the Iron Dome, which has been highly successful in shooting down rockets from Gaza.
The vote came just two days after the funding was removed from a broader spending bill after some members of the Democratic Party said they would vote against it if the allocation of funds to Israel was not removed.