Biden Sees Very Fine People on Both Sides of Campus Antisemitism

US President Joe Biden speaks at Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Virginia, US, on
Haiyun Jiang / Bloomberg via

President Joe Biden condemned antisemitism on college campuses on Monday — but equivocated, saying that he also condemned those who did not understand the Palestinians’ point of view.

“I condemn the antisemitic protests, that’s why I set up a program to deal with that,” Biden told reporters in Virginia. “I also condemn those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians and their — how they’re doing.”

Biden appeared to be referring to his so-called “antisemitism strategy,” which was crafted with the help of antisemitic groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which the White House later was forced to disavow.

As Breitbart news has noted:

In 2007-8, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. That case, in turn, led the FBI to discontinue its work with the organization. In 2009, a federal judge ruled that the government “produced ample evidence to establish” the ties of CAIR with Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization. The United Arab Emirates labeled CAIR a terrorist organization in 2014 (a decision that the Obama administration opposed).

The wave of antisemitism has engulfed nearly a dozen campuses across the country, where anti-Israel students have tried to set up encampments. At Columbia, Jewish students were taunted and pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanted pro-terror and antisemitic slogans.

Columbia University anti-Israel (Leonardo Munoz / Joel Pollak)

Pro-Palestinian activists protest outside Columbia University in New York City on April 20, 2024. (Photo by Leonardo Munoz / AFP) (Photo by LEONARDO MUNOZ/AFP via Getty Images)

The situation at Columbia is so extreme that a Columbia rabbi told Jewish students to leave campus for their own safety, and the entire campus shifted to remote learning on Monday to minimize the risk to Jewish students.

The Biden administration has often struggled to condemn prejudice against Jews without also condemning prejudice against Muslims, as if one were a response to the other, or as if they were equivalent phenomena. On Monday, Biden took that a step further, seeming to justify the anti-Israel protests by portraying them as a legitimate expression of solidarity with the Palestinians rather than threatening displays of hatred for Israel and Jews who identify with it.

Biden’s response recalled the “fine people hoax,” in which then-President Donald Trump was falsely accused to have praised neo-Nazis who rioted in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. (Trump said they should be “condemned totally.”)

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) — who has been vocally pro-Israel — made the connection between Columbia and the  Charlottesville riot, saying: “Add some tiki torches and it’s Charlottesville for these Jewish students.”

Biden often claims that he was motivated to run for president in 2020 based on Trump’s supposed equivocation. Now, Biden has done exactly what he falsely accused Trump of doing: equivocating on antisemitism.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.