Jerry Seinfeld: University students walk out to protest comedian’s support for Israel

Dozens of students walked out on Jerry Seinfeld as he was set to deliver the commencement address at Duke University on Sunday.

Videos posted on social media showed students leaving the field in North Carolina to protest Israel’s war in Gaza as Duke President Vincent Price introduced the comedian.

Some students could be heard waving Palestinian flags and shouting: “Jerry! Jerry!”

Dozens of students walked out Sunday as Jerry Seinfeld delivered the commencement speech at Duke University. (AP)

Seinfeld publicly supported Israel following the October 7 Hamas attack, and visited a kibbutz in December to meet with the families of hostages. He was “uncharacteristically vocal” about his support for his new film, Unfrosted, during press calls. The New York Times reported.

The comedian, who received an honorary degree from Duke, steered clear of the issue at the center of the protests during his speech. At one point, he mentioned his Jewish heritage, which drew applause from the crowd.

“I grew up a Jewish boy from New York,” he said. “It’s a privilege if you want to be a comedian.”

Outside Duke’s stadium on the Durham campus, pro-Gaza students chanted: “Leave, withdraw, we will not stop, we will not rest.”

Smaller pro-Palestinian protests erupted across the country this weekend as colleges and universities from North Carolina to California held commencement ceremonies.

At Duke’s rival school, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, pro-Gaza protesters sprayed red paint on the steps of a building hours before the school’s commencement ceremony and chanted on campus as students posed for photographs in pale blue graduation gowns. News & Spectator reported.

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About 100 students and family members walked out at a Virginia Commonwealth University ceremony during Republican Gov. Glenn Young’s speech in support of the Palestinians, while others held signs protesting his policies on education. WRIC-TV.

Gov. Youngin, who initially received an honorary doctorate, did not appear to address the students leaving the event.

“The world needs your music,” he said during his speech. “You, all of you, will be the symphony. Make it a masterpiece.”

Virginia Commonwealth University students walked out after graduation as the Republican governor spoke Saturday (National Students for Justice in Palestine)

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a small group of demonstrators staged a silent protest during commencement at Camp Randall Stadium. A photo, posted Wisconsin State Journal, It showed about six people walking through the back of the stadium, two carrying a Palestinian flag.

Campus police spokesman Mark Lovicott said the group, believed to be students because they were wearing caps and gowns, “were somewhat guided, but they left on their own.” Not arrested.

Pro-Palestinian protesters on the campus had a chance to communicate with “decision-makers” controlling university investments by July 1 after they agreed Friday to permanently dismantle their two-week-old encampment and not disrupt graduation ceremonies. The university agreed to increase support for scholars and students affected by the wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

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At the University of Texas at Austin, a student carried a Palestinian flag during a commencement ceremony and briefly refused to leave the stage before being led away by security.

UC Berkeley Law School graduates wore T-shirts that read ‘UC DIVEST’ as a form of protest during the UC Berkeley Law School Commencement at the Greek Theater in Berkeley on Friday. (ONLINE_YES)

At the University of California, Berkeley, a small group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators waved flags and began chanting and were led to the back of the stadium, where they joined others. San Francisco Chronicle. There were no major protests, but some participants expressed frustration.

“I feel like they’re ruining it for us who paid for the tickets and came to show our pride to the graduates,” said Annie Ramos, whose daughter is a student. “There is a time and a place, and it is not.”

Saturday’s events were less dramatic than Friday’s on other campuses, when pro-Gaza protest camps at the University of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Institute of Technology were dismantled and police arrested dozens. The actions came hours after police fired tear gas at a similar encampment at the University of Arizona.

Associated Press Since April 18, 75 cases of arrests have been registered in US campus protests. Nearly 2,900 people have been arrested in 57 colleges and universities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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