In an interview with the New York Times, Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris said she believes Israel meets international human rights standards “overall.” The declaration comes less than a week after Israel wounded ninety-two Palestinian civilians during a weekly protest at the Gaza border, including twenty-eight children and four medics.
Harris made the comments about Israel during a New York Times feature, in which the paper asked a number of the candidates twenty-one questions. One of those questions was, “Do you think Israel meets international standards of human rights?”
Harris: I think that Israel as a country is dedicated to being a democracy, and is one of our closest friends in that region and that we should understand the shared values and priorities that we have as a democracy, and conduct foreign policy in a way that is consistent with understanding the alignment between the American people and the people of Israel.
New York Times: Does Israel meet human rights standards to your personal satisfaction?
Harris: Well, talk in more detail, what specifically are your referring to?
New York Times: As a country overall in terms of how they–
Harris: Overall, yes.
Among Democratic presidential hopefuls, Harris has charted one of the least-critical stances toward Israel, rarely criticizing the country and hewing close to the AIPAC line.
On June 14, Israeli forces wounded 92 Palestinian civilians, including twenty-eight children and four paramedics during a protest at the Gaza border. Palestinians have been protesting every Friday for the last sixty-one weeks, demanding displaced refugees be allowed to return their homeland. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 207 Palestinian civilians have been killed and 12,707 have been wounded since the protests began last March. The deaths include 44 children, 4 paramedics, and 9 disabled people. On one day in May 2018, when the US opened its new embassy in Jerusalem, Israel killed over 60 protesters.