Israel Heritage Foundation demands Vice President Kamala Harris issue apology

Her remarks are "misleading" and send the "wrong message to the world," says foundation director Rabbi David Katz.

Israelis protest against Hamas. Credit: Photo by Bruce Emmerling/Pixabay
Israelis protest against Hamas. Credit: Photo by Bruce Emmerling/Pixabay

In what is yet the harshest condemnation of the State of Israel by a member of the Biden administration, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has demanded an “immediate ceasefire” and insisted Israel “must open new border crossings and not impose any unnecessary restrictions on the delivery of aid” to residents of Gaza.

Speaking in front of the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., on Sunday, she blamed Israel for the “inhumane” conditions in Gaza, saying, “The Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid. No excuses.” While the vice president did call for the release of the Israeli hostages by Hamas, she held Israel responsible for the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza.

In a condemnation of its own, the Israel Heritage Foundation strongly denounces Harris’s remarks. They are not only false and misleading but dangerous for American Jews, who live in an environment of rising violent antisemitism, and equally dangerous for all Americans. 

Harris’ comments are shocking because Israel has been left with no choice after it was attacked by thousands of Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7. An attack that resulted in 1,200 killed, thousands injured, and as many as 250 hostages taken by Hamas. With Hamas vowing to kill more Jews if given the opportunity, Israel must eradicate the terrorist organization and protect its citizens.

The vice president also omitted any mention of Iran and its terror proxies, which continue to terrorize Israel and the entire Middle East region and are responsible for the death of American soldiers.

Hamas has refused to return the more than 100 remaining hostages, and Israel is forced to attempt to militarily rescue them. The evidence is clear from the released hostages that those who remain are being tortured, many raped, all malnourished and without proper medical care. 

Harris’s call for a ceasefire has actually increased the chances that no ceasefire will happen because it is Hamas that has rejected a ceasefire due to what they properly see as a weakening of American support for Israel. Initially, the United States supported Israel’s goal to wipe out Hamas, which remains strong in the city of Rafah. It is where the remaining hostages are likely being held and where Israel already militarily rescued two hostages. However, Harris appears to be signaling that the United States no longer supports the military elimination of Hamas, without which there can be no peace.

Importantly, Hamas claims that 30,000 Gazans have died since Oct. 7. Israel believes 12,000 of those are Hamas combatants. Another 8,000 Gazans included in the Hamas number can be attributed to those who usually die of natural causes during the same five-month period. Israel further believes around 2,000 more Gazans were killed by Hamas, either by their own misfired missiles or by Hamas terrorists during their confiscation of 70% of all humanitarian aid. Accordingly, about 8,000 Gazans were killed inadvertently by Israel, which is an unparalleled low count of civilians killed in the history of urban military conflict.

In her remarks, Harris made another specious claim against the IDF, which has been painstakingly meticulous about safeguarding Gaza civilians to their detriment. She asserted that the dozens of Palestinians who were killed last week as they approached an aid truck in Gaza were “met with gunfire and chaos” by Israeli soldiers. In its initial review of the incident, Israel found that most of the victims were trampled by fellow Gazans in the stampede. Israeli military spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that Israeli troops fired warning shots at looters, who approached their forces and “posed an immediate threat.”

Rabbi David Katz, executive director of the Israel Heritage Foundation, condemned Harris for her words. “I give credit where credit is due and criticize where it’s warranted. I commended President Biden when he initially came out strongly in favor of Israel after Oct. 7. When he visited Israel for the first time as president back in 2022 and knelt down to speak with Holocaust survivors, I wrote him a letter praising him. But what Harris is doing now is a disgrace. Her deceitful words are misleading and give the wrong message to the world.”

However, Katz says that his faith gives him confidence. “Our sages teach us, Sheker ein lo raglayim, ‘Falsehood has no legs to stand on.’ The truth will always prevail. Harris’s words were untruthful and unfair, and it’s shameful that a vice president of the United States of America should be able to say what she said.”

Israel Heritage Foundation, a fierce advocate for the Jewish state and the Jewish people, demands an apology from Harris for vilifying Israel and deceiving the American public and the world about the real threat facing Israel from Hamas. It also demands an apology for using words that threaten the security of America’s greatest ally, the American Jewish community and American citizens, the vast majority of whom support Israel in its time of need.

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The Israel Heritage Foundation wishes to keep the hopes and dreams of those Holocaust survivors alive. Its main objectives is to support sovereignty throughout Israel, including Judea and Samaria, strengthen Israel’s security, encourage worldwide aliyah, combat bigotry and antisemitism by showing Israel authentically and establish genuine peace through Israel’s good deeds and innovation.
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