On Tuesday, while addressing students at George Mason University, Vice President Kamala Harris praised a female student who made false and anti-Semitic claims about the state of Israel, accusing the U.S. ally of “ethnic genocide,” as reported by the New York Post.
Harris’s remarks to the gathering of students were in commemoration of National Voter Registration Day; after her brief speech, the masked Vice President called on the students for a question-and-answer session.
The student in question identified herself as “part-Yemeni, part-Iranian.” The student pointed out that although there were “protests and demonstrations in astronomical numbers standing with Palestine,” Congress still ultimately voted to approve “funds allocated to continue backing Israel.” The bill in question approved funding to Israel’s anti-missile “Iron Dome” system so that it could continue protecting its civilian population from terrorist attacks; but the student said that the passage of this bill “hurts my heart because it’s an ethnic genocide and a displacement of people, the same that happened in America.”
She continued, claiming that “all this money [that] ends up going to inflaming Israel and backing Saudi Arabia and whatnot” could have instead been spent on “healthcare, public healthcare,” and “affordable housing.” The student then said that she felt that she needed “to bring this up because it affects my life and people I really care about’s lives.”
When the student finished her long-winded question, Harris responded by saying that she was glad the student asked it. She then said that “this is about the fact that your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth, should not be suppressed. And it must be heard, right?”
“A democracy is at its strongest when everyone participates,” the Vice President continued. “It is [at] its weakest when anyone is left out…Our goal should be unity, but not uniformity.”
In the days leading up to the passage of the bill, there were vocal protests against the Iron Dome funding by the most radical Democrats in the House, including Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), two Muslim women who have frequently made anti-Semitic remarks in the past. Socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) also vowed to vote against the bill, before suddenly changing her floor vote at the last minute from “Nay” to “Present;” Ocasio-Cortez was then seen crying on the House floor immediately after casting her vote.
The vote even led to a rare instance of open infighting between Democratic members of the House. Speaking in support of the legislation, Congressman Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) called out Tlaib’s prior remarks on the bill, during which she accused Israel of being an “apartheid state.”
“I cannot allow one of my colleagues to stand on the floor of the House of Representatives and label the Jewish, democratic state of Israel an apartheid state,” Deutch said during his remarks prior to the vote. “If you believe in human rights, if you believe in saving lives—Israeli lives and Palestinian lives—I say to my colleague who just besmirched our ally, then you will support this legislation.”