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Jerry Seinfeld: University students stage walkout over comedian’s Israel support

Dozens of students walked out of Jerry Seinfeld at Duke University on Sunday as he prepared to deliver the commencement speech.

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

Some students could be heard booing while waving Palestinian flags while others cheered: “Jerry! Jerry! »

Dozens of students came out Sunday as Jerry Seinfeld delivered the commencement speech at Duke University. (P.A.)

Seinfeld publicly supported Israel after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack and visited a kibbutz in December to meet with the families of the hostages. He “unusually” expressed support during press calls for his new film, Unfrosted, The New York Times reported.

The comedian, who was receiving an honorary degree from Duke, largely stayed away from the topic at the center of the protests during his speech. At one point, he mentioned his Jewish heritage, which was met with applause from the crowd.

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

Outside Duke Stadium on the Durham campus, pro-Gaza students chanted: “Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest.”

Small pro-Palestinian protests took place 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 splashed red paint on the steps of a building hours before the school’s commencement ceremony and chanted on campus as students wearing light blue gowns posed for photos, the News and Observer reported.

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An estimated 100 students and family members left the Virginia Commonwealth University ceremony during Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s speech in a show of support for the Palestinians, while others waved signs signaling their opposition to his education policies, according to WRIC-TV.

Gov. Youngkin, who received an honorary doctorate at commencement, did not appear to address the students who left the event.

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

Virginia Commonwealth University students walk out of graduation as Republican governor speaks Saturday (National Students for Justice in Palestine)

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a small group of protesters staged what appeared to be a silent demonstration during the opening at Camp Randall Stadium. A photo, published by the Wisconsin State Journal, showed about six people walking behind the stadium, two of whom carried a Palestinian flag.

Marc Lovicott, a campus police spokesman, said the group, believed to be students because they were wearing caps and gowns, “was sort of guided toward the exit, but they left of themselves.” No arrests have been made.

The demonstration took place after pro-Palestinian demonstrators on that campus agreed Friday to permanently dismantle their two-week-old encampment and not disrupt graduation ceremonies in exchange for the opportunity to make contact with the “decision makers” who control university investments between now and July 1. The university has agreed to increase its support for academics and students affected by the wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

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

UC Berkeley Law School graduates wear T-shirts reading “UC DIVEST” in protest at the UC Berkeley Law School Commencement at the Berkeley Greek Theater on Friday . (ONLINE_YES)

And at the University of California, Berkeley, a small group of pro-Palestinian protesters began waving flags and chanting slogans during the opening ceremony and were escorted to the back of the stadium, where they were joined by others, according to the University of California, Berkeley. Chronicle of San Francisco. There were no major counter-protests, but some participants expressed frustration.

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

Saturday’s events were less dramatic than what happened on other campuses Friday, when police made dozens of arrests as pro-Gaza protest encampments were dismantled at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The actions came hours after police fired tear gas at protesters and destroyed a similar camp at the University of Arizona.

The Associated Press has recorded at least 75 cases of arrests since April 18 during demonstrations on American campuses. Nearly 2,900 people were arrested at 57 colleges and universities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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