October 17, 2023 / Modified oct 17, 2023 9:22 p.m.

NAU Students Question VP Harris on Israel-Palestine

The Vice President stopped at NAU as part of her nationwide tour to connect to young voters.

harris nau oct 17 Kamala Harris speaks to students at NAU in Flagstaff, AZ, on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. The conversation was moderated by the President of the Voto Latino Foundation María Teresa Kumar and actor Jay Ellis.

Emotions ran high during Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to the Northern Arizona University campus in Flagstaff on Tuesday.

The student audience demanded the Vice President respond to the growing casualties in the Israel-Palestine conflict, she said both sides deserve a peaceful agreement.

“I believe that Israelis and Palestinians both deserve peace, deserve self-determination, and deserve safety…It is important to recognize also the distinction between a terrorist organization Hamas and the Palestinian people and civilians and they should not be conflated,” Harris said.

Her response caused a few seconds of strong emotions from the crowd.

One audience member shouted, “Stop talking, do something.”

The Vice President’s remarks took place the same day reports broke a hospital in Gaza was bombed. There were conflicting reports about whether it was bombed by Israel or a misfired rocket launched by Islamic Jihad. The Associated Press reported that at least 500 people had been killed by a blast.

President Biden left the U.S. on Tuesday for a trip to Israel.

The conversation at NAU was part of Harris’ nationwide effort to reach young voters. She has visited 18 college campuses so far this year to hear directly from young people and the issues they care about.

Students on the Flagstaff campus questioned Harris about a number of topics including gun violence in schools, LGBTQ+ rights, and voter suppression.

“In 2020, we had a record number of young voter turnout, and here's the byproduct of that; it scared some people,” she said. “It is important to remember that there are some people who are purposely trying to make it more difficult for you to vote so that you won't vote. And so I'm here to say let's never let anybody silence us.”

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