Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, present tonight at a re-election fundraiser in Los Angeles, addressed protests against the Israel-Gaza war that have highlighted a divide on the left.
About two dozen pro-Palestine protesters were outside the event, held at the home of entertainment lawyers Cliff Gilbert-Lurie and Leslie Lurie, and some of the protesters chanted “Free Palestine” and held a banner that said “There is no pride in genocide ”. according to a pool report. Protesters also threw fake blood in front of houses and placed red handprints on the ground, as they have done in other protests.
Inside, with about 140 people in attendance, Leslie Gilbert-Lurie introduced Emhoff and told the crowd: “In this heartbreaking moment, when anti-Semitism is rapidly gaining strength along with Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia, it is So comforting to know that the Second Gentleman understands what so many of us are experiencing.”
According to the pool report, Emhoff, who is the first Jewish wife of a president or vice president, spoke about the conversations she has been having amid the rise in anti-Semitism and hate speech.
“You saw it out there coming in here today,” he said, a reference to protesters. “This is the moment we are living in right now.”
As she prepared to speak, Harris was interrupted by someone at the event calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, according to the pool. The vice president paused briefly and said: “We live in a democracy. This is a very difficult time and it is important that we all agree that people should have the freedom to make their voices heard.”
The event raised almost US$500,000, according to organizers. In addition to the Gilbert-Luries, co-hosts included Skip Brittenham and Heather Thomas, John Emerson and Kimberly Marteau Emerson, Sam Fischer and Leah Fischer, Reginald Hudlin and Chrisette Hudlin, Allan Mutchnik and Nicole Mutchnik, and Michael Rotenberg and Shannon Mabrey Rotenberg.
Tickets for the event started at $500 per person for young professionals and rose to $1,000 per person for the “fan” level. Those who wrote or raised $10,000 were co-hosts and had access to the photo line. The co-presidents were those who wrote or raised US$25,000, also with access to a photo lineup, as per the invitation.
The fundraiser raised money for the Biden Victory Fund, with money split between the Biden campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state committees.
The president is expected to travel to Southern California by the end of the year for a fundraising campaign.