published : 2023-11-04

VP Harris Faces Backlash for Timing of Anti-Islamophobia Announcement Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict

Surge in Hate Crimes Against Jewish People Ignites Criticism

Vice President Kamala Harris delivering a speech about the National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia, taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Vice President Kamala Harris faced heavy criticism on social media after posting a video announcing the country's first National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia, with many users taking issue with the timing of the post amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

The announcement came just weeks after a terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel, and users argued that it was insensitive to focus on Islamophobia while tensions were high.

Harris stated, 'Taking on hate is a national priority' as she rolled out the White House plan to combat a surge of hate in America.

However, the timing of the post immediately drew backlash, especially as hate crimes against Jewish people have seen a significant increase.

Stephen L. Miller, editor of The Spectator, took to social media, pointing out that 'On the same day Hamas leadership goes on international TV and declares their goal is to erase Jews and Israel off the planet,' Harris made the anti-Islamophobia announcement.

He labeled the timing 'just stunning.'

A crowd protesting against hate crimes and showing solidarity with the Jewish community, taken with a Nikon D850

Political commentator Gad Saad further emphasized the rise in hate crimes against Jewish people, stating that Jews make up only 2.4% of the US population but are targeted in 60% of hate crimes.

He questioned the prioritization of fighting Islamophobia when anti-Semitism is at its highest level since Nazi Germany.

Republican Representative Derrick Van Orden expressed his disbelief that anyone concerned about the survival of Jewish people could support members of the Democratic Party who launched an anti-Islamophobia effort amidst the crisis.

Tammy Bruce, a Fox News contributor, commented that the timing of the announcement spoke volumes about the moral depravity and corruption of the Democratic Party and those in the White House, as Jews are facing threats and attacks worldwide.

Senator Tom Cotton further criticized the White House for launching an anti-Islamophobia program following the recent Hamas attack and the surge of pro-Hamas activism on college campuses.

He highlighted that this comes after the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, suggesting a misplacement of priorities.

Senator Tom Cotton addressing the press regarding the prioritization of fighting anti-Semitism, taken with a Sony Alpha A7 III

The FBI's hate crimes data for 2022, released on October 16, showed a sharp rise in reported hate crime incidents, with anti-Jewish hate crimes increasing by more than 37% compared to the previous year.

These incidents now reach the highest number recorded in almost three decades.

In response to criticism, the White House pointed out several actions taken in the past month to combat anti-Semitism, including engagement with college campus law enforcement and the expedited update of the discrimination complaint process.

The White House also mentioned its first-ever national strategy to combat anti-Semitism, launched in May.

As the conversation on hate crimes and the Israel-Hamas conflict continues, the timing and priorities of initiatives combating Islamophobia are under scrutiny.