Israel’s Netanyahu says ‘more has to be done’ to stop pro-Palestinian protests on US campuses

By Thomson Reuters Apr 24, 2024 | 1:13 PM

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday “more has to be done” to stop pro-Palestinian protests that have spread across U.S. campuses in recent weeks.

“What’s happening in America’s college campuses is horrific,” he said in a recorded statement, accusing “antisemitic mobs” of taking over leading universities.

“It’s unconscionable. It has to be stopped. It has to be condemned and condemned unequivocally,” he said. “The response of several university presidents was shameful. Now, fortunately, state, local, federal officials, many of them have responded differently but there has to be more. More has to be done.”

Protests over Israel’s actions in Gaza have intensified across U.S. campuses in recent weeks with the Gaza war now in its seventh month.

Pro-Palestinian protesters have called for a ceasefire and for their universities to divest from companies with ties to Israel. Dozens of students have been doxxed, suspended by the university and arrested by police.

Some Jewish and Israeli students and faculty have said the protests have turned universities into a hostile environment where they feel threatened. Some have reported a rise in antisemitism on campus. Some Jews have also played a vocal role in the anti-war protests, including groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, which has led some demonstrations.

On Oct. 7, Hamas led an attack on southern Israeli communities in which 1,200 people were killed and 253 were taken as hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel has since killed more than 34,000 Palestinians in its ongoing assault on the blockaded Gaza Strip, with thousands feared buried under the rubble, according to Gaza authorities. The offensive has laid to waste much of the enclave, displacing most of its 2.3 million people and creating a humanitarian crisis.

(Reporting by Jerusalem bureau; Editing by Paul Simao)