Vice President Kamala Harris is doing “damage control” over an incident earlier this week in which she appeared to nod in agreement and praised a student who accused Israel of committing “ethnic genocide,” Politico reported on Thursday.
WATCH: Kamala Harris nods as student accuses Israel of "ethnic genocide": “your truth cannot be suppressed" pic.twitter.com/FcqCyT7Uo8
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 28, 2021
As Breitbart News reported, Harris was speaking to students at George Mason University when the incident happened:
“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, and I’m sure you’re aware of this,” the student said at the Q&A session following an event commemorating National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday.
Harris responded by saying she was “glad” that the student spoke up, saying “your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth, cannot be suppressed and it must be heard.”
Later, Harris was criticized roundly, including by some Democrats, who felt she should not have indulged the student’s false and defamatory view.
Now, Politico reported, Harris is working hard to reassure pro-Israel Democrats that she did not agree with the student:
Vice President Kamala Harris’ office is working behind the scenes to mend relationships with pro-Israel Democrats after not pushing back on a student who, in asking her a question, accused Israel of “ethnic genocide.”
On Thursday, Harris’ senior staff contacted the influential Democratic Majority for Israel to clean up remarks she made Wednesday at George Mason University where Harris was visiting a classroom of students. “We were pleased Vice President Harris’s senior staff reached out to us today to confirm what we already knew: Her ‘commitment to Israel’s security is unwavering,’” said Mark Mellman, the president of the group.
A senior adviser to Harris also reached out to Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fl.) the co-chair of the Bipartisan Anti‐Semitism Taskforce, a source familiar with the outreach told POLITICO.
Deutch and his office did not respond to a request for comment. But the source said it was “fair to say that the group of House Democrats that super care about this noticed it and talked about it.” Harris’ office also called Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, Thursday afternoon, the source said.
In 2019, Harris joined most other Democratic presidential candidates in avoiding the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel group. She later met AIPAC activists in private.
Harris’s chief of staff, who went on to become deputy press secretary at the White House, praised Democrats at the time for boycotting AIPAC, saying that supporting the pro-Israel group was the “antithesis” of being “progressive.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it). His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.