Kamala Harris’s pandering to anti-Semitism in a photo-op at George Mason University last week confirms that when it comes to the Democrats, the fish now rots from the head.
What should a vice president of the United States say when a foreign student ambushes her with boilerplate lies – in this case, lies which fit her State Department’s own definition of how the more fantastical forms of anti-Zionism are in fact anti-Semitism?
You don’t need to be a genius like Joe Biden to know the answer. Speak the truth. Push back against the corrosion of fake news and identity politics which is pulling American society apart.
The student, who described herself as part-Yemeni, part-Iranian, objects to last week’s subsidy of American arms manufacturers, which is what last week’s somehow controversial Iron Dome funding bill amounts to. The funding, she said, ‘hurts my heart, because it’s ethnic genocide and displacement of people, the same that happened in America, and I’m sure you’re aware of this’. Congress, she said, was ‘sending taxpayers money overseas’ while Americans were ‘struggling with healthcare’.
Harris didn’t just nod along. She praised the student. ‘I’m glad you said that,’ she said. ‘Your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth should not be suppressed, and it must be heard.’
There was nothing true in what the student said. Her perspective is poisoned by malignant fictions. The idea that Israel is drawing ‘taxpayers money’ away from domestic needs is upside down. By law, about 80 per cent of all aid to Israel must be spent in the US. In other words, the aid is an indirect subsidy to American workers.
The Iron Dome funding is a case in point: its interceptor rockets are American-made by American taxpayers. This interventionist, protectionist combination of domestic subsidy and Build-Back-Better export policy is enough to warm the heart of the most ardent central planner. It is American socialism, and you’d expect the Democrats in their current mood to be delighted. But it is Israel we’re talking about. It’s the Jews, so something nefarious and financial must be going on.
So nefarious, in fact, that no calumny is too absurd. If the Israelis are committing ‘ethnic genocide’ against the Palestinians, they’re not doing a very good job, are they? The very notion of a distinct Palestinian nation is a historical side-effect of Zionism. Meanwhile, as their supporters keep reminding us as they try to pressure the Israelis to give and jump into the sea, the Palestinian Arab population rises and rises.
This is not how genocide is supposed to work. Ask the Native Americans, whose appalling suffering this nincompoop had the neck to invoke – an insult to America’s most persecuted and impoverished citizens which Harris didn’t even address.
The technical term for gratuitously accusing the victims of the worst genocide in modern history of committing one is ‘Holocaust inversion’. It is one of the big lies about the Jews, long ensconced in the societies the student’s parents come from, that are now blooming in the US. The rise of anti-Semitism on campus has overwhelmingly been the work of some of the Democrats’ most avid supporters, the resentful intellectuals in the academy and left-wing media. The party leadership no longer bothers to disassociate itself.
What Harris could have said if she really wanted to speak her truth and – forgive the lapse into objective fact – everyone’s truth is this:
‘I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. Yes, everyone gets a voice in a democracy, but democracy and society aren’t served by untruths. In fact, they’re damaged by them. I’m sure you mean well, as young people often do, and that you’re worried about the state of this country and the world in general. But one of the problems we face, here in the US and elsewhere, is that there’s too much subjective truth-speaking and not enough acceptance of the objective facts.’
‘You don’t have to like Israel, but lying won’t help you. In fact, history suggests that when people exchange reality for fantasies about evil Jews, it’s a warning sign that something has gone wrong with their society. Look at Yemen, or Iran, or the left of my party, which is infected with a morbid obsession about Israel, and has exchanged reality for speak-my-truth madness.’
‘The fact is, about 80 percent of the aid we give to Israel is earmarked to be spent in the US. That’s right: it’s a subsidy for American industry and American workers. The fact is, Americans overwhelmingly favour Israel over the Palestinians. The fact is, we have enough problems with truth and hatred in this country already. So grow up.’
Of course Harris didn’t say any of this. She endorsed it. She praised it. The Democrats are sinking further into the cynicisms of identity politics and moral relativism. Harris is an embodiment and exponent of these styles. The vice president will say anything to get on and up. She is only one step from the top, and all it will take is for Joe Biden to take another flier down the steps of Air Force One.
In a way, Harris really did speak her truth – just inadvertently.