Vice President Kamala Harris lauded a college student during an even in Virginia on Tuesday, after the student accused Israel of "ethnic genocide".
Harris was speaking at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, to commemorate National Voter Registration Day. She intended to encourage voter registration and discuss voting rights.
In a question-and-answer segment, a female student raised questions about the money the U.S. is providing to Israel and Saudi Arabia.
What Did the Student Say?
"I see that over the summer there have been, like, protests and demonstrations in astronomical numbers standing with Palestine," the student said. "But then, just a few days ago, there were funds allocated to continue backing Israel, which hurts my heart, because it is an ethnic genocide and the displacement of people, the same that happened in America, and I'm sure that you're aware of this."
"Americans are struggling because of lack of health care, public health care, and affordable housing, and all this money ends up going to inflaming Israel and backing Saudi Arabia and whatnot. I think that the people have spoken very often in what they do need, and I feel like there is a lack of listening."
VP Nodded as the Student Accused Israel of Ethnic Genocide
Nodding as the student spoke, Harris then said she was "glad" the student raised the issue, and praised her for voicing "her truth".
"This is about the fact that your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth should not be suppressed and it must be heard, right? And one of the things we're fighting for in a democracy, right?"
"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 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."
The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to give $1 billion to Israel for its Iron Dome missile-defense system, a measure that was bitterly opposed by some left-wing Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Social Media Reactions
Harris has angered supporters of Israel with come calling her an antisemite. Some Twitter user said, "Hypocritical when you look at the way Democrats silence and censor Conservatives." Another wrote, "Thanks @KamalaHarris, you win the Antisemite of the week award. #StopAntisemitism."
One comment read, "Careful Madam Vice President, you can't play both sides of the street here especially since your husband is a Jew." Another comment read, "Kamala Harris showing her true anti-Israel colors."
"Key words - "your truth". Just because someone says something & believes it doesn't make it true," tweeted one user. "Opinionated truth is not truth it's an opinion. Opinion and truth are opposites," shared another.