Meena Harris, the niece of Vice President Kamal Harris, said on social media this week that people who support Israel’s right to sovereignty, or simply remain neutral amid the ongoing conflict in the country, are siding with “oppression.”
Harris, who was reportedly warned by White House attorneys recently to cease using her aunt’s name several months ago to sell books, took to Instagram Wednesday to comment on the ongoing military and social conflict between the Israeli government and Palestinians.
“One cannot advocate for racial equality, LGBT & women’s rights, condemn corrupt and abusive regimes & other injustices yet choose to ignore the Palestinian oppression,” read a text meme shared by Harris.
“It does not add up. You cannot pick & choose whose human rights matter more,” the post added.
In a comment on the meme, the vice president’s niece noted: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah.”
Sheikh Jarrah is a neighborhood in East Jerusalem that is mostly inhabited by Palestinians. Some residents in the area face evictions following a series of court rulings. Final determination with regard to evicting the families in the neighborhood will be made when tensions in the country east by the Supreme Court, The Times of Israel reported.
“In all, over 70 Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah are set to be evicted in the coming weeks, to be replaced by right-wing Jewish Israelis. The Palestinians live in houses built on land that courts have ruled were owned by Jewish religious associations before the establishment of Israel in 1948,” the outlet noted.
Harris, an attorney and author, is presumably in the dark with how members of the LGBT community are treated by Hamas militants in Gaza and the Fatah faction the West Bank — not mention by others across the Arab world.
Amnesty International, which is no ally to the Israeli government, outlined the state of oppression of members of the LGBT community and others by Hamas and other Arabs in the region in a 2020 report.
“The Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the Hamas de facto administration in the Gaza Strip continued to crack down on dissent, including by stifling freedoms of expression and assembly, attacking journalists and detaining opponents. Security forces in both areas used unnecessary and/or excessive force during law enforcement activities, including when imposing lockdown measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Amnesty International concluded in its State of Palestine 2020 reported.
“Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees were committed with impunity. Women faced discrimination and violence, including killings as a result of gender-based violence. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people continued to face discrimination and lacked protection,” the reported added. “In the West Bank, authorities made widespread use of administrative detention without charge or trial.”
The report noted that in Gaza, the current epicenter for Israel military action following now more than a week of indiscriminate rocket attacks against the country’s cities, “civilians [in Gaza] continued to be tried before military courts. Courts in Gaza handed down death sentences. Palestinian armed groups in Gaza occasionally fired rockets indiscriminately into Israel.”
The evictions to which Harris was referring have largely been relegated to back page news in recent days as the military conflict between Hamas militants and the Israeli Defense Forces heats up.
The IDF began responding last week to Hamas militants after barrages of rockets were fired blindly at civilians. The country’s so-called “Iron Dome” contains a majority of rockets, but Israeli citizens have been killed in recent days.
A photo of that defense system at work captivated many on Twitter this week:
A wow from @AFP of the Iron Dome, Gaza pic.twitter.com/L0dRBraffn
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) May 14, 2021
In recent days, the tense situation has escalated as Israel continues to respond to terror attacks with precision and force. Sadly, children have been killed on both sides of the conflict.
Hamas, which started the current hostilities, is known for using women and children as human shields.