Democrats Split Over Campus Pro-Palestinian Protests Amid Antisemitism Concerns

Pro-Palestinian protests at dozens of college campuses are causing concern among Democrats. The demonstrations, which have included support for Gaza and threats against Jews, have sparked debate and division among elected officials.

Some Democrats visited Columbia University, a school at the center of controversy. They condemned antisemitism, which has emerged both outside the school and within the leadership of the protests. However, other Democrats have expressed solidarity with the pro-Palestinian demonstrations. 


This division within the Democratic Party reflects a larger problem for President Joe Biden, who has been grappling with the issue for months. The split may impact how voters view the party’s ability to govern.

The House is expected to vote on the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which has bipartisan support. Nevertheless, some Democrats are hesitant to embrace the bill’s definition of antisemitism, which includes denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination and drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman visited Columbia University and stated they did not witness the reported antisemitism. Similarly, Rep. Jared Moskowitz expressed concerns about downplaying antisemitism on campuses, suggesting that some on the Left deny its existence.

Moskowitz also noted a lack of outrage from the Democratic Party compared to previous instances of antisemitism. He criticized the party, describing the response to the current situation as “politically inconvenient.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar, whose daughter was suspended from Barnard College, visited Columbia University and called for the rejection of antisemitism among Jewish students, regardless of their views on genocide. However, her remarks received backlash from Jewish leaders, who argued she should focus on positive change.

The Democratic Party’s lack of unity on this issue has led to criticism of Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war. A CNN poll indicated that only 73% of Democrats view Biden’s presidency as a success, a lower figure compared to the view of former President Donald Trump’s presidency among Republicans.

Rep. Summer Lee, who represents a district affected by a deadly antisemitic mass shooting in 2018, visited pro-Palestinian protests at the University of Pittsburgh. She expressed concern that young voters are not enthusiastic about voting for Biden due to his handling of the war.

Overall, the protests and the party’s responses have highlighted the deep divisions and challenges faced by Democrats in addressing the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Written by Staff Reports

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