Meena Harris, a 36-year-old lawyer and businesswoman, on Wednesday night shared her opinions, re-posting a widely-shared image discussing the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Harris has, in the four months since her mother’s sister became vice president, managed several times to ruffle feathers in the
‘One cannot advocate for racial equality, LGBT & women’s rights, condemn corrupt and abusive regimes and other injustices yet choose to ignore the Palestinian oppression,’ she posted.
‘It does not add up. You cannot pick and choose whose human rights matter more.’
Meena Harris, 36, is the daughter of Vice President Kamala Harris’s sister
The post had previously been shared by Palestinian-Dutch model Gigi Hadid, among others.
Harris commented alongside the post: ‘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.’
Harris’s activism did not sit well with many.
It ignored the fact that Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian rulers of Gaza, maintain a law criminalizing homosexuality – a crime which is punishable by 10 years in prison.
In the West Bank, which is ruled by Fatah, a rival, secular opposition to Hamas, being gay is not a crime, but it is widely disapproved of.
Israeli artillery in action as the escalation continued Wednesday. At least 70 people have died
A fire rages at sunrise in the southern Gaza strip early on Wednesday morning
Another multi-storey building was destroyed in Gaza on Wednesday by an Israeli air strike
Parliamentary and presidential elections – the first since 2006 – were scheduled to take place in May and July, but in April were postponed indefinitely by Mahmoud Abbas, the 85-year-old Palestinian leader.
Amnesty International has accused the Palestinian rules of attempting to ‘crack down on dissent’, accusing them in
Amnesty wrote: ‘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.
‘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.
‘In the West Bank, authorities made widespread use of administrative detention without charge or trial. In Gaza, civilians continued to be tried before military courts. Courts in Gaza handed down death sentences.’
Vice President Harris with Meena, whose business interests and activism sparked concern
Harris turned off comments on her post, in anticipation of criticism.
One woman remarked: ‘What’s hilarious cause it’s so dumb is @Meena Harris posting about their support for “the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah” and turning off the comments under her photo/post.
‘What are you afraid of, people? The same with Gal Gadot. What R U afraid of people saying, things?’
Harris appears to be reveling in her new-found fame, appearing on The View and the Today show, and profiled this year in Vanity Fair and by The New York Times.
In mid February she was asked by White House lawyers to stop using her aunt to boost her new clothing brand.
After the election, White House lawyers told her she could not produce any products that used the vice president’s name or likeness, a White House official reportedly told
She also embarrassed her aunt by tweeting after the Boulder, Colorado supermarket shooting in March that ‘violent white men’ are the ‘greatest terrorist threat’ to the U.S.
After police revealed that the gunman was of Syrian descent, Meena deleted the tweet explaining that she had assumed the perpetrator was white since he was ‘taken into custody alive’ and that a majority of mass shootings in the country are ‘carried out by white men’.
Harris’ post came as Israel’s president warned of a civil war between the country’s Arabs and Jews on Wednesday as fury and fear over shelling exchanges with Palestinian militants in Gaza ignited violence in Israel’s streets.
Appeals by religious and political leaders for calm, and police reinforcements and mass-arrests, appeared to do little to stem riots in several ethnically mixed towns. Israeli TV showed what it described as ‘near-lynchings’ of Jewish and Arab motorists.
The strife was touched off by sometimes violent pro-Palestinian protests by members of the Arab minority incensed at an Israeli air barrage launched on Gaza on Monday after Islamist Hamas-led militants fired salvoes of rockets across the border.
A synagogue and cars were torched in the Tel Aviv suburb of Lod, motorists were stoned on some roads, and Palestinian flag-waving protesters scuffled with police in northern Haifa port.
By Wednesday, police said the assaults appeared to be more by Jews against Arabs – including one seen on live TV as he was dragged from his car and pummeled by a mob in coastal Bat Yam.
The broadcast on the top-rated Channel 12 cut to a phoned-in appeal by President Reuven Rivlin to ‘please stop this madness’.
‘We are endangered by rockets that are being launched at our citizens and streets, and we are busying ourselves with a senseless civil war among ourselves,’ said the president, whose role is largely ceremonial.
Israel’s leaders insist that they are responding to terror attacks launched by Hamas on their legitimate territory, and President Joe Biden has emphasized that Israel is entitled to defend itself from attack.