‘I Understand the Emotion Behind It’: Kamala Harris Defends Anti-Israel Campus Protesters

Kamala Harris (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
July 8, 2024

Vice President Kamala Harris defended anti-Israel campus agitators, telling the Nation in an exclusive interview she "understands the emotion behind it."

"They are showing exactly what the human emotion should be, as a response to Gaza," the vice president said in an excerpt of the interview released Monday. "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."

Those protesters have wreaked havoc on college campuses for months, calling for the elimination of Israel, defending Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, and assaulting Jewish students.

In April, pro-Palestinian protesters at Yale stabbed a Jewish student in the eye. Agitators at UCLA spewed death threats at Jewish students and a campus rabbi in June. And Columbia University has been rife with anti-Semitic vitriol for months, with students chanting, "There is only one solution, intifada revolution." The widespread violence and anti-Semitic rhetoric has led to a congressional investigation of multiple universities.

In early June, Harris mourned the "tragic" loss of "innocent" Gazans killed in a June 8 IDF raid that rescued four Israeli hostages taken on Oct. 7. Harris has slammed Israel for what she considers insufficient humanitarian efforts and "unnecessary restrictions" on aid delivery in Gaza. Harris called for an "immediate ceasefire" in March.

The Nation report spotlights Harris as a potential presidential candidate as Democrats scramble to find a backup for President Joe Biden after his disastrous debate performance and poor polling results.