Democrat US presidential candidate Joe Biden has picked former rival Kamala Harris as his running mate for the election on 3 November. Harris is the first woman of colour to be nominated for the position by a major political party.
The California senator is known as the "Top Cop in the era of Black Lives Matter" and has a record of fighting for civil rights, freedom and equality in America. Her mixed Indian and Jamaican heritage and the fact that she married her Jewish husband, Douglas Emhoff, in an interfaith ceremony, has also enabled her to appeal to multiple audiences and voting blocs.
However, some critics argue that her endorsement of such causes is not consistent when it comes to foreign policy, in particular on the subject of the Israel-Palestine conflict. She has been described as a "staunch supporter" of Israel, having delivered a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in 2017, not long after being sworn into the Senate. She has also met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to Kyle Kulinski, a left-wing commentator and founder of the progressive political action committee Justice Democrats, by brushing aside Israel's human rights record Harris is demonstrating that her moral and ethical concerns are non-existent. "She's playing the political game that people play in the United States of America to try to get ahead."
When asked by the New York Times last year whether she thinks Israel meets international human rights standards, Harris replied, "Overall, yes."
As a senator, Harris also co-sponsored a bill in 2018 rejecting a UN Security Council resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. A year later, she faced criticism from fellow Democrats after releasing photographs with AIPAC leaders in her Capitol Hill office having discretely attended an "off-the-record session", reported Haaretz.
National opinion polls put Biden, the Vice President in the Obama administration, ahead of Republican President Donald Trump. If elected, at 77 he would be the oldest US President in history, surpassing incumbent Trump who entered the White House aged 70.