Democratic New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer said he had been “shocked” and “disappointed” by Vice President Kamala Harris’s failure to push back at a George Mason University student who accused Israel of ethnic genocide against the Palestinians.
He made his comments at The Jerusalem Post Conference in an interview by Senior Contributor Editor and veteran analyst Herb Keinon.
Gottheimer said that he and other pro-Israel Democrats hoped to sit down soon with her to discuss the incident, which took place in September.
The incident, however, must be put in context with Harris's strong support for Israel, Gottheimer said.
“The vice president has a very long track record of standing with Israel and strongly behind the US-Israel relationship. I have no doubt that when we speak with her, it will echo strongly what has been clear from the first day of the Biden administration, which is that the US stands strongly with Israel,” he said.
Overall, he explained, the Democratic Party has not abandoned the state of Israel. He blamed opposition to additional Iron Dome funding on a minority segment of his party.
A strong pro-Israel voice in the House of Representatives, Gottheimer said that opponents of Israel were limited to a small group of politicians known as the "Squad" who support the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement and who have attempted to limit military aid to Israel.
“You are talking about a very small group of eight to ten members... that tend to take actions that most of us, a super majority of us, just don’t agree with,” Gottheimer said.
That group has not stopped Congress from standing with Israel, Gottheimer said, adding that there are also a small number of anti-Israel legislators in the Republican Party as well.
“Congress swiftly acts and acts overwhelmingly to stand with our historic ally, the democracy in the region and our critical ally in the fight against terror, and I think everyone recognizes that,” he said.
In “vote after vote” and in “statement after statement” Congress has stood with Israel, he said.
Gottheimer explained that the House of Representatives has approved additional Iron Dome funding to protect Israel against Hamas rockets and that the matter has now moved to the Senate, where it has been held up by Republican Rand Paul (Kentucky).