Vice President Kamala Harris faced backlash Wednesday evening after announcing that the administration — in the wake of skyrocketing rates of anti-Semitic incidents and attacks worldwide following last month’s Islamic terrorist attack — is focused on combating Islamophobia.
Her remarks came after images of anti-Semitic demonstrations on college campuses nationwide, people tearing down photos of Israeli children that Hamas kidnapped, and people making threats against Jews have gone viral for weeks.
“Taking on hate is a national priority,” she declared in a post on X that included a video of the announcement. “Today, @POTUS and I are announcing the country’s first National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia. This action is the latest step forward in our work to combat a surge of hate in America.”
“For years, Muslims in America and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks,” she said in the video. “As a result of the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we have seen an uptick in anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, anti-Semitic, and Islamophobic incidents across America, including the brutal attack of a Palestinian-American woman, who is Muslim, and the killing of her 6-year-old son.”
Harris was widely mocked and criticized online over the announcement.
“On one hand, the administration is responding to the immediate physical danger of its Jewish citizenry with a task force to combat … Islamophobia,” wrote author Abigail Shrier. “On the other, it assigned the least competent member of the entire federal government to head the effort. Unclear which side should take greater offense.”
Professor Gad Saad posted: “According to the @FBI director, Jews make up 2.4% of the US population but are the targets of 60% of hate crimes. This is why it is apparently important to fight Islamophobia according to the White House.”
According to the @FBI director, Jews make up 2.4% of the US population but are the targets of 60% of hate crimes. This is why it is apparently important to fight Islamophobia according to the White House. https://t.co/fxtto7ROwb
— Gad Saad (@GadSaad) November 2, 2023
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman posted: “Can you guys do anything that isn’t driven solely by naked political strategy?”
Former U.S. Senate candidate Adam Laxalt called attention to an anti-Semitic hate crime that happened in Las Vegas.
“Today, a wall in a large Jewish community in Las Vegas was tagged with ‘Death 2 Jews,'” he wrote. “This is just one example of many hateful acts of antisemitism we’ve seen across the country. Our VP should be prioritizing stopping the hate against the Jewish community right now.”
Today, a wall in a large Jewish community in Las Vegas was tagged with “Death 2 Jews”
This is just one example of many hateful acts of antisemitism we’ve seen across the country.
— Adam Paul Laxalt (@AdamLaxalt) November 1, 2023
“Anti-semitism is at the highest level since NAZI Germany and the Biden admin decides to launch an anti-Islamophobia effort,” said Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-WI). “I have absolutely no idea how anyone who cares about the survival of Jewish people could vote for any member of the Democratic Party.”