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Kamala Harris condemns singling out of Israel spurred by ‘anti-Jewish hatred’

Speech at the Anti-Defamation League comes weeks after she was criticized for not rejecting a student’s claim that Israel committed ‘ethnic genocide’

Vice President Kamala Harris listens to a question during a news conference, June 7, 2021, at the National Palace in Guatemala City. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Vice President Kamala Harris listens to a question during a news conference, June 7, 2021, at the National Palace in Guatemala City. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

JTA — US Vice President Kamala Harris is set to denounce the singling out of Israel “because of anti-Jewish hatred” in a speech at the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Never Is Now conference.

“Three years ago, we suffered the most deadly attack on the American Jewish community in the history of our nation at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,” Harris will say, according to prepared remarks Harris’s office released ahead of her appearance at the virtual conference on Sunday evening.

“And I want to be very clear about this: When Jews are targeted because of their beliefs or their identity when Israel is singled out because of anti-Jewish hatred that is anti-Semitism. And that is unacceptable.”

The conference comes as the organizers of 2017 Unite the Right rally that left a woman dead in Charlottesville stand trial. Joe Biden has pointed to that rally, where a collection of extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi groups chanted slogans like “Jews will not replace us” as one of the events that motivated him to run for president against Donald Trump.

Harris’s emphasis on antisemitism expressed through singling out Israel comes just weeks after she drew criticism from Republicans and some Jewish leaders for not forcefully rejecting in the moment a student’s claim that Israel committed “ethnic genocide.”

The conference will be held virtually for the second time due to the pandemic and will feature a number of other high-profile speakers, including Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid, Olympic gold medalist Sue Bird, actor Daniel Dae Kim, and journalist Kara Swisher.

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