Vice President Kamala Harris told a student who claimed Israel commits “ethnic genocide” Tuesday that their “truth should not be suppressed.”
While speaking at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, Harris took a question from an audience member.
“There have been protests and demonstrations in astronomical numbers 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 displacement of people, the same that happened in America, and I’m sure you’re aware of this,” a female student said, explaining how the U.S. could be funding like health care and housing rather than “inflaming Israel and backing Saudi Arabia and what-not.”
“Your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth, should not be suppressed,” Harris responded.
“It must be heard, right? And one of the things we’re fighting for in a democracy, right?” she added.
“Our goal should be unity, but not uniformity, right?” Harris continued. “Unity should never be at the expense of telling anyone personally that, for the sake of unity, ‘Oh, you be quiet about that thing. You suppress that thing. Let’s not deal with that thing.’ That’s not unity. True unity is everyone in that room has a voice.”
“The point that you are making about policy that relates to the 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.” (RELATED: In Just 9 Minutes, Kamala Harris Scolded The Unvaxxed, Vilified The Border Patrol And Dodged Questions On Afghanistan)
David Friedman, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel, called Harris’ comment “shameful” in a tweet.
“There is truth and their 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.”
While Harris sidestepped addressing the student’s claim about ethnic genocide, others have made similar claims.
Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib said during a recent House floor debate over funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system that funding enables and supports “war crimes, human rights abuses, and violence.”
“We can not only be talking about Israelis’ need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system and are dying from what Human Rights Watch said are war crimes,” Tlaib said. “The Israeli regime is an apartheid regime, not my words but from Human Rights Watch.”
Republican Tennessee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann then criticized Tlaib’s comments as being “anti-Israel” and “anti-Semitic.”
Democratic Florida Rep. Ted Deutch seconded Fleischmann’s statement.
“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 and apartheid state. I reject it.”
“To falsely characterize the state of Israel is consistent with those, let’s be clear, it’s consistent with those who advocate for the dismantling of the one Jewish state in the world.”
The House ultimately passed funding for the Iron Dome by a 420-9 vote.