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Kamala Harris: VP's office attempts to contain backlash following interaction with student on Israel
There has been some debate on the situation between Israel and Palestine among lawmakers, and US Vice President Kamala Harris appeared to get caught in the center of the debate following her interaction with a student about Israel. Harris’s office is now scrambling to contain the backlash from this interaction which might have left pro-Israel advocates and companies with a bad impression of Harris.
In a statement regarding the latest issue, Harris’s spokesperson Symone Sanders said that the vice president does not agree with the student’s opinion on Israel. Sanders explained that Harris remains supportive of Israel and her record on that policy remains consistent. This comes as Harris visited a political science class at George Mason University to talk about national voter registration day last week when a student asked about the US funding of Israel.
The student cited the previous protests in support of Palestine, yet the US remains to financially back Israel, whom the student described as committing “ethnic genocide” of Palestinians. The student added that they believe that the issue is not addressed enough, to which Harris’s husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff -- who is Jewish, said that he is glad they did.
While Harris did not push back on the student’s criticism of Israel, progressives and other activists have been pushing Democratic lawmakers to become more critical of Israel. Following the interaction, Harris’s office began to reach out to the leadership of some pro-Israel organizations, according to people familiar with the matter. Those leaders expressed concerns regarding Harris’s response to the student.
In other news, Harris previously placed another significant figure in US politics in her ceremonial office as the vice president added the bust of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court Justice. The bust is on loan from Harris’s alma mater, Howard University, according to Harris’s office. The bust was made by Dr. Randolph Craig, who worked with the University of Maryland Art Department.
“Vice President Harris has pointed to Justice Thurgood Marshall as an inspiration for her professional career as a lawyer,” Harris’s office said in a statement.
During her inauguration, Harris swore on two bibles, one of which belonged to Marshall.