Biden Silent Amid Campus Clashes Over Gaza Conflict

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.02 - 2024 12:57 PM CET

As tensions simmer on college campuses across the United States in response to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, President Joe Biden remains silent.

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President Joe Biden has remained quiet amid escalating protests and police actions on college campuses, as Republicans use the unrest over Gaza to politically challenge the Democrats.

This information was reported by the Associated Press.

Campus Protests

Colleges and universities have seen growing tensions, with some protesters establishing encampments and refusing to dismantle them, prompting administrations to call in law enforcement. This move has resulted in clashes, capturing the attention of politicians and the media alike.

The President last addressed the issue over a week ago, condemning the "antisemitic protests" and “those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians.”

The White House has responded to frequent press inquiries, with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stating on Wednesday that Biden is "monitoring the situation closely" and that some protests have crossed the line from free speech to unlawful activities.

Specifically, she cited the forcible takeover of buildings, like the incident at Columbia University, as unacceptable.

Biden has never been much for protesting.

His career in elected office began as a county official when he was only 28 years old, and he’s always espoused the political importance of compromise over zealotry. As college campuses convulsed with anger over the Vietnam War in 1968, Biden was in law school at Syracuse University.

"I’m not big on flak jackets and tie-dyed shirts. You know, that’s not me."

Republican Critique

Despite the administration's stance and Biden's reluctance to cut U.S. support for Israel, Republicans have blamed the Democrats for the chaos and used it to fuel their press conferences.

House Speaker Mike Johnson criticized the lack of presidential leadership on this issue, emphasizing the need for Biden to address the situation.

Former President Donald Trump also weighed in, criticizing Biden's lack of response in an interview with Sean Hannity and at a campaign event, accusing him of failing to be the voice of the nation.

Kate Berner, former deputy communications director for Biden’s 2020 campaign, defended the administration's approach, suggesting that similar Republican tactics during the George Floyd protests were rejected by the public as mere fearmongering.

The White House has avoided direct engagement on the issue, with Jean-Pierre steering clear of definitive answers regarding disciplinary actions against protesters or the involvement of police, during a press briefing.

Biden is scheduled to visit Morehouse College in Atlanta on May 19 to deliver a commencement address, amid this ongoing controversy.

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