Biden condemns ‘antisemitic protests’ and ‘those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians’

Biden condemns ‘antisemitic protests’ and ‘those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians’

President Biden said Monday he condemns antisemitic protests amid escalating pro-Palestine demonstrations at Columbia University and on other U.S. college campuses.

“I condemn the antisemitic protests, that’s why I set up a program to deal with that. I also condemn those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians and their, how they’re being —,” the president said before getting cut off.

He was then asked if the Columbia University president should resign and replied, “I don’t know that.”

Just before taking questions from reporters, Biden was talking with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who has been an outspoken voice during the Israel-Hamas war and last month claimed that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

Biden and Ocasio-Cortez were together in Virginia for a climate change event to mark Earth Day.

The president’s comments come as hundreds of students at Columbia are occupying the center of campus in protest, students are being arrested, and school President Minouche Shafik faces calls to resign. The protesters, who including Jewish students, are calling for a cease-fire and for the Biden administration to halt military aid to Israel.

Demonstrations have spread to other campuses, including New York University, Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Biden administration denounced the protests Sunday, calling them “blatantly antisemitic” and saying they were encouraging “calls for violence.”

“While every American has the right to peaceful protest, calls for violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly Antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous — they have absolutely no place on any college campus, or anywhere in the United States of America,” the White House said in a statement.

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