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US Vice President Kamala Harris said in a new interview that young anti-Israel protesters are showing “exactly what the human emotion should be” as a response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

In the interview with The Nation for a profile in the progressive magazine, Harris was asked about her stance on Israel, the war in Gaza, and whether she is further left on the issues politically than US President Joe Biden.

The interview had particular importance in light of growing questions regarding Biden’s mental fitness for office, whether he will stay in the race after a poor debate performance, and what a Harris presidency may look like.

Harris initially called for an “immediate ceasefire” before Biden and has often used more pointed language when discussing the war, Israel, and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

However, “the difference is not in substance but probably in tone,” one of Harris’s advisers told The Nation.

Harris explained how she approaches the conflict.

“Listen, I strongly believe that our ability to evaluate a situation is connected to understanding the details of that situation … OK, the trucks are taking flour into Gaza. But here’s the thing, Joan [the interviewer]: I like to cook. So I said to my team: You can’t make s—t with flour if you don’t have clean water. So what’s going on with that? I ask questions like, What are people actually eating right now?”

“Similarly,” Harris added, “I was asking early on, what are women in Gaza doing about sanitary hygiene. Do they have pads? And these are the issues that made people feel uncomfortable, especially sanitary pads.”

The interviewer then noted that she believed the young people protesting against Israel were “unlikely to be mollified by these answers,” asking for Harris’s reply.

“They [young anti-Israel protesters] are showing exactly what the human emotion should be, as a response to Gaza,” Harris said. “There are things some of the protesters are saying that I absolutely reject, so I don’t mean to wholesale endorse their points. But we have to navigate it. I understand the emotion behind it.”

The protests Harris was referring to included demands for a ceasefire to end the war in Gaza. They also included calls for violence such as an “intifada revolution,” images glorifying Hamas and other US-designated terrorist organizations, and calls for “death to America” and “death to Israel.”

In many cases, the organizations behind the anti-Israel demonstrations that have erupted in major cities around the world in recent months have expressed support for Hamas’ violence and called for the destruction of the Jewish state, often drowning out the voices of protesters primarily concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

In April, The Algemeiner compiled a list of disturbing statements and chants made during the first week of Columbia University’s anti-Israel encampment. They included comments such as “We say justice, you say how? Burn Tel Aviv to the ground!” and “Let it be known that it was the Al-Aqsa Flood [Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel] that put the global intifada back on the table again. And it is the sacrificial spirit of the Palestinian freedom fighters that will guide every struggle on every corner of the earth to victory.”

The Algemeiner also compiled a non-comprehensive list of violence and explicit calls for violence that took place at the student encampments.

At Columbia, for example, students violently took over a campus building, held janitors against their will, and destroyed much of the inside of the building. Later, police found weapons and a “death to America” poster in the building. 

“Somebody is radicalizing our students,” New York City Police Department Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry said.

In some cases, anti-Israel protesters calling for an end to the war in Gaza have held demonstrations in front of Holocaust museums, leading Jewish leaders and other critics to express outrage.

Source of original article: World – (
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