Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Trump tries to paint college campus anti-Israel protests as a Biden political liability

By 37ci3 May2,2024



WASHINGTONJoe Biden’s advisers believe that tensions over America’s support for Israel in the Gaza war, which have spread on college campuses, will soon flare up, and that there is neither a need nor a positive side for him to engage more directly.

For now, Biden has played down the riots and has no intention of increasing his involvement in an increase in clashes between police and protesters, which White House and campaign advisers say even Donald Trump is trying to capitalize on.

According to advisers, according to Biden, university leaders must decide how to deal with campus demonstrations that have emerged as the latest flashpoint in the presidential race. In keeping with this approach, he did not intervene or protest publicly as the police swept in Columbia University campus On Tuesday night, it arrested about 230 protesters, including about 40 protesters who took over a building and set up a camp that highlighted demands for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Advisers to Biden’s re-election bid seem hopeful that the protests will not detract from his message that the economy is improving and that Biden is providing more competent and stable leadership than Trump did as president.

The academic calendar can play a role as classes end for the summer. Moreover, the White House official said the total number of protesters was relatively small and that the war between Israel and Hamas was far from the main concern of young voters, a key part of Biden’s 2020 electoral coalition.

Survey last month The official noted that voters aged 18-29 found the Gaza conflict to be 15th in the list of important issues.

However, Trump’s political operation sees an opening. Corey Lewandowski, a consultant to the Republican National Committee who previously worked for Trump, said in an interview: “It’s not good for young people to vote for Biden. Historically, Democrats have outperformed Republicans among young voters. If it is perceived that Joe Biden is soft, that is, he does not stand up to people who protest, it will hurt him.”

Speaking at a campaign event in Wisconsin on Wednesday, Trump mocked the protesters as “angry lunatics and Hamas supporters” and urged Biden to “speak up,” accusing him of being “absolutely anti-Israel.”

Trump also took aim at Columbia’s president, Minouche Shafik, one of the university leaders who Biden brushed off during campus protests.

Referring to the school, Trump said: “The person who ran it — a woman — she waited too long. He was very weak. He was very afraid. He was very bad.”

“Donald Trump has repeatedly fanned the flames and encouraged civil unrest as a political strategy, and it has repeatedly failed to be effective,” said one Biden adviser.

The campus protests pose a dilemma for Biden as the general election campaign gathers pace. Trump’s position is simple enough for a bumper sticker: “People must respect law and order in this country,” he wrote Tuesday. on social media.

Biden’s position is more nuanced and harder to explain to a mass audience. He says he supports peaceful First Amendment protests, but protests that result in vandalism, trespassing and other crimes.

Like the protesters, Biden says he believes Israel is committing excessive carnage in Gaza. Unlike some, he defends Israel’s sovereignty and retreats from the concept The loss of the Jewish homeland.

Democratic fundraiser Alan Kessler, who is Jewish, said Biden spoke for Israel at a speech he attended in recent months. When they talked later, and as Kessler praised the address, Biden told him, “It wasn’t a speech; it came from the heart. I really believe that,” he recalled, adding, “He didn’t smile about it. He looked at me fiercely.’

Biden seems very comfortable criticizing anti-Semitism on campus. He is set to perform on Tuesday at 12:00 AM Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony.

Senior White House officials are reinforcing his message. Douglas Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, said at an event in New York on Wednesday: “We support the right to protest. But when it turns into violence — when it turns into calls for genocide, calls for Jews to be killed — that’s totally unacceptable and it has to stop.”

Critics in both parties insist that the Biden administration has not been proactive enough to create a safe environment for students on campus. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., sent a letter last week, Biden called on Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to be more aggressive in investigating complaints of campus anti-Semitism.

After a meeting with Jewish students in Columbia last week, House Speaker Mike Johnson told NBC News that Biden “hasn’t taken decisive action.”

“He’s the president of the United States,” Johnson said, “and he has the biggest megaphone in our country, and he should use it. He must tell what is wrong and what is dangerous. I think that if he doesn’t do it, he violates his duty.”

The campus protests of 2024 form another set of protests engulfing Trump in his final year in office. In 2020, Trump was outraged by the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

Trump believed that the protests created the United States to look “weak”, and he wanted to call in the army to crush the demonstrators, former appointees said.

Biden, then a candidate, used the moment to both rally black voters and demonstrate his differences in temperament and governance with Trump.

Four days after Floyd’s murder, Biden spoke live from his home and then gave a series of television interviews to condemn his death and discuss systemic discrimination against African-Americans.

“Now is not the time for inflammatory tweets. This is not the time to promote violence. This is a national crisis. “Right now we need real leadership, leadership that will bring everyone to the table so that we can take action to eradicate systemic racism,” he said.

A day later, Biden left his home in Wilmington, Delaware for the second time after beginning to visit the Wilmington area, which has seen some unrest during the Covid pandemic lockdown Floyd demonstrations.



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