Student accused Israel of ‘ethnic genocide’ and VP Harris replied ‘your truth cannot be suppressed’

Vice President Kamala Harris was at George Mason University in Virginia Tuesday to discuss National Voter Registration Day. During her time with the class a student said that Israel was guilty of “ethnic genocide.” Harris not only didn’t take issue with that, she thanked the student for sharing her truth, whatever that means.

“You brought up how the power of the people and demonstrations and organizing is very valuable in America,” she said. “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, and I’m sure you’re aware of this.”…

In response, Harris said she was “glad” the student spoke up.

“Your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth cannot be suppressed, and it must be heard,” she said.

The funds allocated to Israel that the student was talking about was almost certainly the vote to spend $1 billion on Israel’s Iron Dome. You may recall that AOC initially voted no on that and then changed her vote to present because she was worried about pushback from the Jewish voters in her district. That decision left AOC in tears, though she was never really able to explain why voting to support a purely defensive program to protect Israeli civilians from indiscriminate rocket attacks was so hurtful to her. The George Mason college student didn’t explain herself either, she just said it “hurts my heart.”

This question would have been a perfect moment for a competent politician to gently but firmly point out that the thousands of rocket attacks on Israeli civilians this year are war crimes being committed by terrorist groups.

I’m not saying she needed a Sister Souljah moment here. Denouncing a student in front of the class wasn’t necessary. We can all see she’s still a very young person. But Harris could easily have pointed out that protecting innocent people from rocket attacks is a good thing for the US to do and not a very controversial one. In fact, it’s so uncontroversial that nearly ever elected official in the US House on both sides of the aisle supported the funding (remember the vote was 420-9).

Beyond that, the suggestion that funding Iron Dome is tantamount to support for ethnic genocide is just nuts. So having Harris mumble about sharing “your truth” seems pretty tone deaf. This is, after all, a view so extreme that even AOC couldn’t bring herself to go along with it.

Put it this way, if a student had said that vaccine mandates were “hurting her heart” and tantamount to the death penalty, would Harris have given the same generic answer? It’s hard to believe she would have but who knows. Harris often seems unprepared to answer any question like this with specifics when she doesn’t have her staff notes in front of her.

Here’s the main part of the exchange. If you’re wondering what got left out of this brief clip, the full visit, including Harris’ full speech and the Q&A after can be viewed here. I watched her response and she never said anything beyond the idea that we still have debates over foreign policy issues like this one. That’s true in general but there really isn’t much of a debate over this particular issue (funding for Iron Dome). It’s too bad Harris couldn’t manage to say something, anything to show that she knows more about this than a random college student.

Here are a few of the notable reactions to it, starting with this one from the former US ambassador to Israel.

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