White House criticizes Columbia student protest leader's comments

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale  - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

At a time when universities in the United States are being rocked by pro-Palestinian protests, the White House has strongly criticized “appalling and dangerous” comments made by a student leader of pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University. For the hill.

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“These dangerous, appalling statements cause a stomach ache and should serve as a warning. “Advocating the killing of Jews is disgusting,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement Friday.

“President Biden has made clear that violent rhetoric, hate speech and anti-Semitic comments have no place in America and he will always stand against them,” he said.

“Calls for violence and statements targeting individuals based on religious, ethnic or national identity are unacceptable and violate university policy,” the spokesperson said.

According to The Hill, student leader Khimani James was heard in a video in January this year saying that “Zionists don't deserve to live” and that people should “be thankful that I'm not just going out and killing Zionists am”.

James' comments coincide with a meeting he had with school administrators in which he wrote about fighting a Zionist over a social media post.

James said at the time, “I don't fight to hurt or to be a winner or a loser, I fight to kill.”

In a social media post on Friday, the student expressed regret and said his comments were “incorrect.”

According to CNN report, earlier on Thursday, House Speaker Mike Johnson had demanded the resignation of the president of Columbia University amid ongoing demonstrations due to pro-Palestine sentiments in major American universities.

However, protesters at Columbia University, where demonstrations erupted last week, are demanding the severance of ties with Israeli academic institutions and complete divestment from Israel-linked institutions amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

House Speaker Mike Johnson stressed the need for order on campus, saying that if the university president could not restore peace, he should resign. However, students' reactions to this call for resignation have varied, with some expressing a desire to continue working with him.

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