College Democrats Refuse to Condemn Antisemitism at Campus Protests

College Democrats of America refused to support a statement condemning antisemitism at anti-Israel protests on college campuses. The group's final statement described student protests as "heroic" and did not mention Jewish caucus support.

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Rizwan Shah
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College Democrats Refuse to Condemn Antisemitism at Campus Protests

College Democrats Refuse to Condemn Antisemitism at Campus Protests

TheCollege Democrats of America(CDA), the official collegiate arm of the Democratic National Committee, has refused to support a draft statement condemning antisemitism at anti-Israel protests on college campuses. The CDA's national leadership asked the group's Jewish and Muslim caucuses to draft a statement in response to the protests, but ultimately rejected two drafts that included a standalone condemnation of antisemitism.

Why this matters: The College Democrats' refusal to condemn antisemitism at anti-Israel protests on college campuses highlights the growing divide between the national party and its youth wing on the issue of Israel and Palestine, which could have significant implications for the Democratic Party's stance on the Middle East conflict. This development may also contribute to a broader perception of increasing antisemitism on college campuses, potentially affecting Jewish students' sense of safety and inclusion.

The final statement released by the CDA on Tuesday described the actions of students protesting Israel's war against Hamas as "heroic" and used language that the CDA's Jewish caucus chair, Allyson Bell, had never seen before, including calling Israel's war "destructive, genocidal, and unjust." The statement did not mention the Jewish caucus's support, despite the caucus's chair and the Muslim caucus chair working together on the draft.

The CDA's national communications chair, Sohali Vaddula, stated that the group opposes President Biden's support for Israel in terms of providing military aid, which they believe would "further the genocide that's ongoing." Hasan Pyarali, the Muslim caucus chair, expressed his appreciation for the collaboration, saying, "It's been really tough for people to work together on this issue, so I'm so glad that we've been able to work together."

However, the College Democrats Jewish caucus commented on Instagram, "This should not have ever been released without Jewish students' support. Protect Jewish students, do better." Allyson Bell, the CDA's Jewish caucus chair, expressed her disappointment, stating, "It's a hurtful thing not only to not feel heard but also to know that the organization you're in doesn't believe that the antisemitism is happening and doesn't care enough about it to even include the factual things that we've seen on video."

The protests on college campuses began in response to the war between Israel and Hamas, which started on October 7, 2023. The College Democrats did not issue a statement on the violence in the Middle East until December, two months after the Hamas attack. President Joe Biden has supported Israel in its war against Hamas, while also seeking humanitarian protections for Palestinian civilians. The White House slammed the violent tactics and antisemitism exhibited by some anti-Israel protesters at U.S. college campuses on Tuesday morning.

The Democratic Party has faced criticism from young activists for President Biden's support for Israel in its war against Hamas. TheCollege Democratshave drifted far to the left of the national party in recent years and have served as a crucial tool for reaching young people in an election year. The CDA's refusal to condemn antisemitism at anti-Israel protests on college campuses highlights the growing divide between the national party and its youth wing on the issue of Israel and Palestine.

Key Takeaways

  • College Democrats of America (CDA) refused to condemn antisemitism at anti-Israel protests on college campuses.
  • CDA's statement called Israel's war "destructive, genocidal, and unjust" but didn't mention Jewish caucus's support.
  • Jewish caucus chair expressed disappointment, saying CDA doesn't believe antisemitism is happening.
  • CDA's stance highlights growing divide between national party and youth wing on Israel and Palestine.
  • White House slammed violent tactics and antisemitism exhibited by some anti-Israel protesters on college campuses.