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Monday, March 4, 2024

White House Refuses To Call Pro-Hamas Protesters ‘Extremists’

'We have to make sure that we speak against it very loud and be very clear about that...'

(Headline USA) White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to say this week whether pro-Hamas protesters on U.S. college campuses are “extremists,” the Daily Mail reported.

During a press briefing on Monday, Fox News’s Peter Doocy asked Jean–Pierre to clarify how President Joe Biden views the radical college students who have used anti-Israel rhetoric, including chants such as “From the river to the sea.”

“What I can say is—what we’ve been very clear about this when it comes to anti-Semitism, there is no place,” Jean-Pierre claimed. “We have to make sure that we speak against it very loud and be very clear about that.”

The press secretary went on to compare college students’ embrace of Hamas to the Charlottesville riot in 2017—an event about which Biden other Democrat officials have frequently spread disinformation.

“He saw neo-Nazis marching down the streets of Charlottesville with vile, anti-Semitic, just hatred,” Jean-Pierre said of the event, which far-right groups organized in part with the foreknowledge—if not under the immediate direction—of the FBI.

“And he was very clear then, and he’s very clear now,” Jean-Pierre continued. “He’s taken actions against this over the past two years. And he’s continued to be clear: There is no place, no place for this type of vile — and this kind of rhetoric.”

Doocy continued to press Jean-Pierre on whether the White House would classify pro-Hamas protests as extremism.

“We hear you guys talk about extremists all the time. It is usually about MAGA extremists. So what about these protesters who are making Jewish students feel unsafe on college campuses?” Doocy asked.

Jean-Pierre again refused to classify the protesters as “extremists” and even made reference to recent criticism of Hamas and backlash against the anti-Israeli protesters by labeling it “Islamophobia” to paint a false equivalence.

“I have been very, very clear.  We are calling out any form of hate, any form of hate,” she claimed, while failing to specifically call out anti-Semitism.

“It is not acceptable. It should not be acceptable here. And we are going to continue to call that out,” she added.

The anti-Israel protests that have taken over college campuses in the past few weeks have led to what Jewish students say is a sharp uptick in threats against them.

At Columbia University, for example, students reported being spat at for speaking Hebrew and said there were Nazi swastikas drawn on the walls of at least one university restroom.

“I have to walk around and go to my class and see someone and think they might want me to not exist or not want my people to exist,” psychology student Jessica Brenner told a local news outlet.

“I don’t take a step without thinking about that,” she continued. “When I’m asked ‘do you feel safe at Columbia University?’, I say ‘no. I don’t feel safe.'”

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