Vice President Kamala Harris faced criticism on multiple fronts this week after failing to push back against ant-Israeli comments made by a student at George Mason University on Wednesday, spurring CNN to devote an entire segment on her office’s attempt at damage control.
While visiting GMU’s campus in Virginia, a student told Harris that Israel was committing “ethnic genocide” as part of a broader complaint by the student about U.S. foreign and domestic policies. The vice president appeared to offer her approval to the student, according to the New York Post, stating, “This is about the fact that your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth, should not be suppressed. And it must be heard, right?” (RELATED: Eight Months Into Being VP, And Kamala Harris Is Already Trying To Save Her Political Career)
Republicans lawmakers immediately took to social media to call out Harris’ lack of understanding on the issue. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley tweeted of the exchange, “Kamala Harris doesn’t have time to go the border, but she apparently has plenty of time to encourage anti-Israel, anti-Semitic falsehoods.” This sentiment was echoed by Republican Pennsylvania State Rep. Dan Meuser who added, “Kamala Harris owes all who support Israel an apology and explanation. Her foolish woke view is wrong, per usual. Go to Israel and learn something, Madame VP.”
David Friedman, the former US ambassador to Israel, also denounced Harris’ statements tweeting, “Shameful. There is truth and there 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.”
By failing to correct the student who falsely accused Israel of genocide, groups such as the Anti-Defamation league also voiced their concerns, stating that by “allowing smears of this kind to stand is dangerous and can incite violence against Jewish people all over the world,” CNN reported in a segment devoted to the issue on Friday, as seen here:
“Frantic damage control by Vice President Kamala Harris’ office that points to possibly deeper and more troubling problems for the Democratic Party,” CNN anchor Jake Tapper said, noting that Harris’ comments might only be part of the problem.
Tapper went on to suggest that the incident at GMU could indicate a lack of “political acumen” that could cause more problems if Harris decided to, as expected, run for president again in the future.
The Vice President’s office has been working behind the scenes with pro-Israel Democrats following the backlash against her, as reported by Politico. On Thursday, Harris’ office reached out to the Democratic Majority for Israel as well as Democratic Florida Rep. Ted Deutch the co-chair of the Bipartisan Anti‐Semitism Taskforce in an attempt to mend relationships affected by the Vice President’s statements.