Democrat Kamala Harris, who was traveling through Israel to visit troops in the military, commented on a Palestinian student’s allegation that her school funded Jewish settlements built on land they claim belongs to Palestinians. The student at Tariq Ali Arabic Higher Institute for Humanitarian Studies in Jenin was taking part in a group tour when the boy, Ghanem Awad, said he was told the school was funded by Jewish organizations and he should return to his dorm room to wait.
Awad is a Palestinian native, and his mother is a Palestinian-American citizen of the United States.
Harris said that Israel had an “arbitrary treatment” of Palestinians, but also defended the school, saying that the management there was not to blame and that it was other elements of life in the West Bank that created such a situation.
“An institution of education should be above and beyond that kind of discourse,” she said. “It should be about education. And there’s nothing about the educational institutions in the West Bank that facilitate a type of situation that if we’re serious about our commitment to education across the world, if we’re serious about our concern about human rights and justice and making sure people have full access to education, as an institution of education, that you deal with these kinds of issues.”
Awad tweeted soon after Harris’ comment: “NIGHTMARE INJURY TO A BRAIN -I don’t need to go to prison to get justice, girl, You will get it because you deserve it. What’s your problem?” He was then told to leave the area by U.S. troops. His mother later said that their homes had been bulldozed after they had been a target of violence in the area.