Kamala nods as student mentions 'genocide' of Palestinians
US Vice-President Kamala Harris has appeared in a video where she looks to be nodding while a student spoke to her about Israel’s "ethnic genocide" of Palestinians.
Harris was taking questions after giving a talk about voting rights at George Mason University in Virginia.
A student asked her about continued US funding for Israel amid economic difficulties faced by US citizens.
The student mentioned "protests and demonstrations in astronomical numbers" in support of Palestine then noted that the US House of Representatives had recently approved $1 billion in funding to Israel’s Iron Dome missile system. Iron Dome was created to shoot down rockets fired by Palestinian factions from the besieged Gaza Strip.
“But then just a few days ago there were funds allocated to continue backing Israel, which hurts my heart because it's an ethnic genocide and a displacement of people - the same that happened in America - and I’m sure you're aware of this," the student said.
"I bring this up because of how Americans are struggling because of lack of healthcare - public healthcare - lack of affordable housing, and all this money ends up going to arming Israel and backing Saudi Arabia and what not."
Harris can be seen in the video nodding throughout the student’s question, although many have said it did not imply agreement with the student's views.
Others disagree. The news was widely reported in Israeli and pro-Israeli US media, with the right-wing Fox News network accusing Harris of "applauding" the student.
The video was also tweeted by an account linked to the Republican National Committee.
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
However, Harris, who has expressed support for Israel before, did not verbally indicate that she agreed with the student’s views.
After the student finished her question Harris said that she was "glad" the student expressed her point of view.
"This is about the fact that your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth should not be suppressed and it must be heard, right?" she asked.
"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," Harris added.
However, a pro-Israel Republican US Senator, Josh Hawley, accused Harris of encouraging "anti-Israel, anti-Semitic falsehoods", for not calling the student out on her views or stopping her while she was asking the question.
Israel continues to occupy the West Bank and build settlements in violation of international law, with its troops regularly engaging in deadly violence against Palestinians.