Sen. Fetterman Criticizes Pro-Palestinian College Protests, Cites Antisemitism

Sen. Fetterman criticizes pro-Palestinian campus protests, calling them "pup tents" for Hamas, amid concerns over antisemitic rhetoric and actions at these demonstrations.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Sen. Fetterman Criticizes Pro-Palestinian College Protests, Cites Antisemitism

Sen. Fetterman Criticizes Pro-Palestinian College Protests, Cites Antisemitism

Sen. John Fetterman, a Democratic senator from Pennsylvania, has strongly criticized the recent wave of pro-Palestinian student campus protests at U.S. colleges, describing them as "pup tents" for the Hamas terrorist organization. Fetterman's comments come amid growing concerns about antisemitic rhetoric and actions at these demonstrations.

The protests, which have occurred at more than 15 college campuses across the country, have seen students sleeping in tents and demanding that their universities cut financial ties to Israel and divest from companies they say enable the conflict in Gaza. In just over a week, about 600 protesters have been arrested as the protests grow in size and intensity.

Fetterman specifically cited the case of Khymani James, a student protest leader at Columbia University who was banned from campus after a video resurfaced showing them saying that "Zionists don't deserve to live." Columbia condemned the "vile videos" and "chants, signs, taunts, and social media posts from our own students that mock and threaten to 'kill' Jewish people" as "totally unacceptable."

Why this matters: The protests have raised concerns about the proliferation of antisemitic rhetoric on college campuses, especially in the wake of recent attacks by Hamas against Israel. The issue has also highlighted divisions within the Democratic Party on how to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and combat antisemitism.

University administrations have responded to the student demonstrators in unprecedented ways, enforcing rules and closing campuses. Harvard University locked most gates into its famous Harvard Yard and limited access to those with school identification. The White House has also condemned the "dangerous, appalling statements" as "hideous" and a "wakeup call."

Fetterman called on the president of Columbia University to address the ongoing unrest on campus, saying "The president of Columbia has to do her job or resign. Period. There's no excuse for it." The senator compared the protests to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, underscoring the gravity of the situation. As the protests continue to disrupt campus life and spark a national debate over free speech and antisemitism, the issue is expected to remain in the spotlight in the coming weeks.

Key Takeaways

  • Sen. Fetterman criticizes pro-Palestinian campus protests as "pup tents" for Hamas.
  • Protests at over 15 colleges demand universities cut ties with Israel and divest.
  • Protest leader at Columbia banned for saying "Zionists don't deserve to live".
  • Protests raise concerns about antisemitism on campuses and divisions in Democratic Party.
  • University administrations respond with unprecedented measures, White House condemns "dangerous" rhetoric.