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White House rips 'dangerous, appalling statements' from Columbia protest leader

The White House heavily criticized comments that resurfaced this week from a student leader of the pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University.

“These dangerous, appalling statements turn the stomach and should serve as a wakeup call. It is hideous to advocate for the murder of Jews,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement Friday.

“President Biden has been clear that violent rhetoric, hate speech, and Antisemitic remarks have no place in America whatsoever, and he will always stand against them,” he added.

In a video from January, student Khymani James said “Zionists don’t deserve to live,” and could also be heard saying people should “be grateful that I’m not just going out and murdering Zionists.” 

James’ comments came around the same time he had a meeting with school officials over a social media post about fighting a Zionist.

“I don’t fight to injure or for there to be a winner or a loser, I fight to kill,” he said at the time.

The student apologized Friday in a post on social media, acknowledging that his comments were “wrong.”

A spokesperson for Columbia declined to comment on James’s case.

“Calls of violence and statements targeted at individuals based on their religious, ethnic, or national identity are unacceptable and violate university policy,” the spokersperson said.

The White House also condemned calls for “violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students” last week, as protests by students focused on the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas have risen on college campuses across the nation.

“While every American has the right to peaceful protest, calls for violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly Antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous — they have absolutely no place on any college campus, or anywhere in the United States of America,” Bates said Sunday.

Columbia officials said in a statement Friday that the student has been banned from campus.

Source: The Hill

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