Home » White House Blasts ‘Antisemitic’ and ‘Dangerous’ College Protests

White House Blasts ‘Antisemitic’ and ‘Dangerous’ College Protests

The White House on Sunday addressed the growing chaos surrounding dueling pro-Israel and pro-Palestine demonstrations at colleges across the U.S.–including Columbia University–with a spokesperson saying calls of violence against Jewish students is “blatantly antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous.”

That statement, shared with The Daily Beast by White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates, emphasized that every American has the right to peacefully protest, but has no right to call for “violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students.”

Those actions, Bates added, have “absolutely no place on any college campus, or anywhere in the United States of America.”

He concluded: “And echoing the rhetoric of terrorist organizations, especially in the wake of the worst massacre committed against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, is despicable. We condemn these statements in the strongest terms.”

The matter reached fever pitch on Friday when the university—with assistance from the NYPD—shut down an on-campus tent city that was erected to protest Israel’s military action in the Gaza strip.

In the fallout of the encampment being destroyed, the university suspended students that included Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) 20-year-old daughter, Isra Hirsi, who has since been removed from her on-campus dorm.

The demonstrations have caused a headache for the university’s administration and city officials, both of which have condemned reports that pro-Palestinian protesters have allegedly called for violence against Jews. There have been no reports of serious injuries stemming from a clash at the university.

Despite this, a prominent rabbi at the university, Elie Buechler, reportedly messaged an eerie warning to the school’s Jewish students on Sunday, telling them to “return home as soon as possible” and stay there until pro-Palestine demonstrations simmer down.

“It deeply pains me to say that I would strongly recommend you return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved,” he said, according to the New York Post, adding that the campus had spiraled into “anarchy.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams issued a statement similar to the White House Sunday, writing that he’s “horrified and disgusted with the antisemitism being spewed at and around the Columbia University campus.”

“Hate has no place in our city, and I have instructed the NYPD to investigate any violation of law they receive a report about and will arrest anyone found to be breaking the law,” the mayor added.

Biden hasn’t personally addressed the situation at Columbia by name, but alluded to it in a statement ahead of Passover on Sunday.

“Even in recent days, we’ve seen harassment and calls for violence against Jews,” he said. “This blatant Antisemitism is reprehensible and dangerous—and it has absolutely no place on college campuses, or anywhere in our country.”

Biden added he plans to push “aggressively implement” a federal entity that will root out antisemitism in the states by “putting the full force of the federal government behind protecting the Jewish community.”