Fri. May 24th, 2024

Why Biden decided to speak out about the campus protests after days of silence 

By 37ci3 May2,2024



WASHINGTON — After days of silence on President Joe Biden’s pro-Palestinian outburst protests on college campuses nationwidehis decision to speak Thursday acknowledged that a longer period of silence was inevitable, according to three people familiar with the decision, while Americans saw nonstop footage of students clashing with law enforcement.

Biden offered nothing new about the White House’s stance on the riots. He strongly condemned the violent behavior and urged the demonstrators to keep their actions peaceful and legal.

We’ve all seen the picturesBiden said, referring to the clashes at UCLA and Columbia University that had escalated in the previous 24 hours after police removed hundreds of protesters from encampments and arrested them.

“There is a right to protest, but no right to cause chaos,” Biden said. He made the remarks before leaving for a day trip to North Carolina, where he expected aides to answer questions about the protests.

Tuesday, then campaign event At the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, Biden asked his advisers to prepare comments he could make if he decides to speak, according to two sources familiar with the plan, and the president later reworked the draft.

A decision by the New York Police Department on Tuesday night Clear Hamilton Hall The arrest of about 100 people at Columbia University and violence between various protest groups were part of the calculation to get the voice out, the person added.

But it wasn’t until Thursday morning – hours after police officers arrested hundreds of protesters While cleaning camp at UCLA – he decided he wanted to make a statement.

Biden’s comments, which lasted nearly four minutes, came after several Democratic allies urged him to do so and former President Donald Trump. strengthened his criticism The Biden administration’s handling of the mess.

Citing outside pressure, one White House official described the president’s decision to speak Thursday as “We answered the letter.” Biden’s team is focused on his speech at the Holocaust Memorial next week. antisemitism– said the official.

“At times like this, there are always those who are out to score political points,” Biden said Thursday. “But this is not the time for politics. This is a moment for clarity.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on whether Trump’s comments prompted Biden’s statement: “It has nothing to do with following someone’s lead. The president was the leader in this matter.”

For much of the past week, the president has let his top aides and surrogates, like the second gentleman, lead the messaging on the growing protests. The White House issued several statements condemning any violence or anti-Semitic rhetoric, making it clear that any “forcible” takeover of any building was “wrong”.

Biden’s comments on Thursday were his first official statements about the tensions at about 40 schools across the country. So far, more than 2,100 arrests have been made in connection with the protests. According to NBC News.

Some Democrats are looking at what’s happening on campus, noting that with the Democratic National Convention in Chicago just months away, some of the energy and anger of those protests could continue to play out this summer.

Asked whether Thursday’s demonstrations would prompt him to reconsider any US policy in the Middle East, the president simply replied: No.

Some Democrats are looking at what’s happening on campuses right now, noting that with the Democratic National Convention in Chicago a few months away, some of the energy and anger of those protests could be a natural place to continue this summer.

Asked whether the demonstrations would prompt him to reconsider any US policy in the Middle East, the president simply replied: No.

For months, his national security team has been working on a ceasefire deal that would free up to 33 hostages still held by Hamas in exchange for a six-week pause in fighting. There are talks it reached a tipping point this week, the US and Israel are awaiting a response from Hamas on the latest proposal under consideration. One potential benefit of reaching a deal, according to Biden advisers, could be to quell some of the political backlash that has erupted on college campuses.

And some family members of the hostages say they worry that the campus protests could damage the prospect of a deal between Israel and Hamas. Several of them told NBC News that the protests cast a shadow over the plight of the hostages and their families and could influence Hamas’ decision to agree to a deal currently under consideration, given that the terror group has thrived amid chaos and unrest in the United States.

“It certainly doesn’t help,” Jonathan Dekel-Chen said of the campus protest. His son, Sagui Dekel-Chen, is one of the Israeli-American hostages still being held by Hamas more than 200 days later.

“We need consent,” said Liz Hirsh Naftali, the aunt of the four-year-old girl who freed American hostage Abigail Mor Edan.

Even Iran is paying attention to it. Tehran University professor Foad Izadi he said this week: “These are our people what we see on US college campuses.”

The National Security Council declined to comment.

Gillian Kaye, Sagui Dekel-Chen’s stepmother, found herself “intensely involved” in the Columbia shows. While a student activist at Barnard College in 1985, he himself participated in the nearly month-long occupation of Hamilton Hall to protest apartheid in South Africa.

“It was a life-changing experience for me as a young man to realize that with that kind of struggle, you can move mountains and move institutions,” Kaye said. Columbia would later become the first major American university to fully secede from South Africa, and many other schools followed suit.

Kaye says she understands the motivation of many young students in the movement who express their opinions but sometimes struggle to get their message across.

“I wish there was more research and thinking about what’s really going on here, what justice is for Palestinians and Jews, the work of coexistence and how we move forward.” “At the same time, I understand getting involved in something that feels completely black and white.”





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