Kamala Harris: Singling out Israel over hatred of Jews is antisemitism

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Kamala Harris: Singling out Israel over hatred of Jews is antisemitism

US Vice President says it is important to prosecute after hate crimes reached record levels last year

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

US Vice President Kamala Harris used a conference speech on Sunday to make clear she believes it is antisemitic to single out Israel for criticism when it is motivated by anti-Jewish hatred.

She told the Never is Now event organised by the Anti-Defamation League that it was important to prosecute after more hate crimes were reported in a single year in the country than in the past two decades.

Harris’s remarks came after she was criticised by Republican and some Jewish groups last month for not responding more forcefully to a student who told her Israel was committing ethnic genocide.

She told the conference: “In two days, we will mark 83 years since Kristallnacht, the night of unthinkable evil that foreshadowed more evil to come.

“Sadly, we know that antisemitism is not a relic of the past. In fact, in recent years, the Jewish American community has faced an alarming rise in hate crime.”

“Last year, more hate crimes were reported in our nation than in the past 20 years. And as we know, these crimes are not confined to the United States. antisemitism persists around the world.

“And I want to be very clear about this, when Jews are targeted because of their beliefs or their identity, when Israel is singled out because of anti-Jewish hatred, that is antisemitism and that is unacceptable.”

This year’s ADL conference is the second in a row to be held virtually because of the pandemic, and will feature speakers including Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid.

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