‘How Is That Okay?’: NewsNation Host, Guest Clash Over Pro-Palestine Campus Protests


Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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NewsNation guest host Brian Entin and former CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill clashed Tuesday over Hill’s support of the pro-Palestine protests at Columbia University.

Hill appeared on “Cuomo” to discuss his support of the ongoing pro-Palestine protests at Columbia University which began last week. Entin began by questioning the former CNN commentator on why he believes it is “okay” to “shut down an American institution” as some Jewish students have vocalized their concerns over the protests. (RELATED: Elite Universities Scale Back Operations To Cope With Surge In Pro-Palestinian Protests)

“I don’t accept that framing. You’re asked me why is it okay for Jewish people to be scared, which would presume to the viewer that I have said that it is and you just want me to explain why I feel that way. I’ve never said it is -” Hill began.

“No, but you support the protests – you think they should continue on the campus,” Entin jumped in.

“I support protests that doesn’t mean that I support the Jewish people should be afraid….I support the right to free speech, I support the right to protest, I support the right for all students to protest. We should never live in a campus environment where Jewish students, or any other students, feel unsafe,” Hill stated.

“I completely agree that that’s a problem, if that is indeed the case…I was at the protests, I witnessed all of this. Much of what I have seen today, in fact all of what I’ve seen today, has been peaceful protests. What I’ve seen earlier in the week, based on the video footage I’ve seen and talking to students in the protest, is that there were people who were antagonizing students. There were people who were, and I’m talking about pro-Palestinian students, a difficult time.”

“Does that mean that Jewish students were never harassed?…No, of course not. I’m sure some students did something wrong. That’s in every protest, that’s in every situation and those students should be held accountable for that. No Jewish student should be made to feel unsafe, but I will not accept the narrative that that’s the dominant – or that it comprises even a small part of what these protests are about,” Hill stated.

Hill continued to push back on a previous segment that allegedly conflated the support of Hamas with pro-Palestinian activists, stating that the two were not the same as he condemned the violence. Hill stated that the protests were to support a “ceasefire” between Israel and Palestine as he emphasized the “peaceful” aspects of the activists’ demands.


While Entin agreed that there were some peaceful aspects to the protests, he pushed back on Hill by pointing out that some video footage showed people holding signs with terrorists on them and chanting anti-semitic sayings.

“There’s also been video of folks holding up signs with terrorists on them and anti-semitic chants that I don’t even want to repeat. I mean, should this be allowed to continue on the campus, Mark?” Entin asked.

“Holding up signs with terrorists on them? What terrorists? I don’t know what you’re talking about. What terrorists?

“Why should they be allowed to [occupy] -” Entin attempted to ask.

“No, I’m asking you a question – what terrorist? I can’t answer a question if I don’t understand,” Hill jumped in.

“Walid Daqqah, Khader Adnan – there’s pictures of them. Why should they be allowed to occupy the campus like that? [It’s] intense. I mean it’s private property if they want to go out in the protests zone – fine. But why should this be allowed to continue right – I mean they’ve set up their own little city. They have their own little constitution. How is that okay?” Entin questioned.

“Again, you’ve conflated two things. If one were to hear what you just said, they would think that there’s a group of students who have camped out all promoting signs of terrorism. I asked you who, because in the examples you gave, again, based on what I’ve seen in all the footage and I’ve watched the footage pretty carefully, and I think you have too, there were a few students doing what you’ve described and the overwhelming majority are not doing what you describe,” Hill pushed back.

“Them camping out in the middle of the campus is intimidating to a large population of the students at Columbia. It is. So much that classes are cancelled Mark, they had to cancel classes. That’s just a fact,” Entin responded.

Students at Columbia University have been protesting in support of Palestine since April 17, sparking other activists across U.S. campuses to also demonstrate their support. As protests have continued, Columbia announced Tuesday that the remaining classes for students on campus would be shifting online due to the tensions.