Kamala Harris Praises Campus Anti-Israel Protesters Even as Intelligence Agency Warns That Iran Is Funding and Encouraging Them

The conflicting messages come as many of the charges are being dropped against students who set up illegal encampments on campuses during the school year.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Vice President Harris speaks during a Juneteenth concert on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The White House is sending mixed signals over the anti-Israel protests on American campuses. 

Just a day before the director of national intelligence warned that the Iranian government is providing the protestors with funding and support, Vice President Harris described the same protesters as “showing exactly what human emotion should be.” 

Ms. Harris pitched her empathy for the anti-Israel student protestors in an interview with The Nation published on Monday. 

While she noted that “there are things some of the protesters are saying that I absolutely reject, so I don’t mean to wholesale endorse their points,” Ms. Harris adds, “But we have to navigate it. I understand the emotion behind it.”

Soon after, the director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, released a statement suggesting that Iranian governmental actors are encouraging the anti-Israel campus protests in a bid to “to stoke discord and undermine confidence” in American democracy.  

Many of the Americans who are targeted by the foreign government’s campaign, Ms. Haines notes, are most likely unaware of Iran’s participation. 

The conflicting messages come as many of the charges have been dropped against the students who set up illegal encampments over the course of the school year. 

Such was the case for the majority of Columbia students arrested for occupying Hamilton Hall back in April who were let off after  Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg chose to dismiss 31 of the 46 cases. The decision was denounced by former governor Andrew Cumo as a “disgrace.” 

At Harvard, the administrative board recently reversed its decision to suspend five students who took part in the anti-Israel encampment following a faculty council appeal. 

The harshest punishment now includes a probation charge of just one semester, a far lighter sentence than the initial penalty which required at least one student to withdraw from the school for three semesters. Other students placed on probation back in May have reportedly had their probations reduced. 


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