Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday if President Joe Biden believes pro-Palestine protesters are “extremists.”
Anti-Israeli protests have soared across the U.S. since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel launched by Hamas, an Islamic terrorist group. A handful of protestors have chanted antisemitic slurs, held up swastikas and blamed Israel for the deadly attack.
“Does President Biden think the anti-Israel protesters in this country are extremists?” Doocy asked.
“What I can say, is we’ve been very clear on this. When it comes to antisemitism, there is no place,” Jean-Pierre said. “We have to make sure that we speak against it very loud, and be very clear about that. Remember, when the president decided to run for president, is what he saw in Charlottesville in 2017. He saw neo-Nazis marching down the streets of Charlottesville with vile antisemitic … just hatred, and he was very clear then, and he’s very clear now. He’s taken actions against this over the past two years, and he’s continued be clear: There is no place, no place for this type of vile and this kind of rhetoric.”
“We hear you guys, though, talk about extremists all the time, and it’s usually about MAGA extremists. So what about these protesters who are making Jewish students feel unsafe on college campuses. Are they extremists?” Doocy asked.
“I’ve been very clear. We are calling out any form of hate, any form of hate,” the press secretary responded. “It is not acceptable, it should not be acceptable here and we are gonna continue to call that out.” (RELATED: KJP Responds To Question On Antisemitism By Talking Entirely About ‘Hate-Fueled Attacks’ Against Muslims)
Jean-Pierre then touted how Biden repealed former President Donald Trump’s ban on Muslims from certain countries in the Middle East to help protect against the threat of terrorism, saying the lifting of the ban exemplifies the president’s condemnation of religious discrimination. She then pointed to the inter-policy committee aimed at addressing Islamophobia and antisemitism.
Doocy then wondered if the president views the pro-Palestine youths’ political involvement in a positive light.
“Does President Biden look at these anti-Israel protests on college campuses and think, ‘It’s nice to see that the country’s youth are so involved, or does he think the next generation is doomed?” Doocy asked.
“Here’s the thing. There’s no place for hate in America,” Jean-Pierre said.
“But I’m curious what he thinks,” Doocy interjected.
“No, no, no, I’m telling you. There’s no place for hate in America, and we condemn any antisemitic threat or incident in the strongest terms,” she said.
She added the White House is tracking antisemitic threats against Jewish-American students closely and said the White House has a duty to “condemn” these threats.
College students have organized pro-Palestine protests on elite campuses across the U.S. Over thirty student groups at Harvard University wrote a joint letter to notify the school’s administration they blame Israel for the attack and stand in solidarity with Palestine.
Harvard University President Claudine Gay said the groups’ positions on Palestine is not reflective of the university. Over 70 members of the university’s faculty called on Gay to condemn the “intimidation” arising from the pro-Palestinian groups in an Oct. 19 letter.