Harris Praises George Mason Student Who Accused Israel Of Genocide
Harris had addressed a class of students at George Mason University in northern Virginia to mark National Voter Registration Day. Following her brief talk, Harris called on students for questions.
One of the students the veep recognized identified herself as “part-Yemeni, part-Iranian” and claimed that “a lot of taxpayer money is allocated for funding the military, whether it’s in backing Saudi Arabia or in Palestine.”
“You brought up how the power of the people and demonstrations and organizing is very valuable in America” the woman told Harris. “But I see that over the summer, there have been, like, 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 an ethnic genocide and a displacement of people — the same that happened in America — and I’m sure you’re aware of this.”
As Harris gave the student her full attention, the coed continued: “I bring this up also because of the issue of how Americans are struggling because of lack of healthcare, public healthcare, lack of affordable housing and all this money ends up going to inflaming Israel and backing Saudi Arabia and whatnot. And I think that the people have spoken very often in what they do need and I feel like there’s a lack of listening and I just feel like I need to bring this up because it affects my life and people I really care about’s lives.”
“I’m glad you did,” the vice president reacted. “I’m glad you did. And again, 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,” Harris added. “It is [at] its weakest when anyone is left out. And that’s not only about being physically present, but that your voice is present … Our goal should be unity, but not uniformity.”
The exchange took place days after left-wing House Democrats forced the removal of language providing $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system from a continuing resolution to fund the government through early December.
Amid an outcry from members of both parties and concern from the Israeli government, Democratic leaders raced through a standalone bill that provided the funding to the House floor. The measure was passed by a vote of 420-9, with two Democrats — Reps. Hank Johnson of Georgia and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York — voting “present.”
The vote was preceded by intense debate, with Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) accusing fellow Democrat Rashida Tlaib of Michigan of anti-Semitism by opposing the legislation.
“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. “I reject it … 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.”
Harris’ office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the exchange.
Author: Samuel Chamberlain