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Reporter condemns antisemitism on college campuses, demands school administrators speak out

CNN's Bianna Golodryga criticized leaders at colleges and universities for allowing antisemitism to run rampant on their campuses and called their behavior unacceptable.

CNN senior global affairs analyst Bianna Golodryga called out leadership at colleges and universities on Tuesday for refusing to condemn antisemitism on college campuses, calling their behavior unacceptable. 

"Shame on these university heads and leadership at these schools from all over the country," Golodryga said on "CNN This Morning." Co-host Phil Mattingly asked her why school leaders were afraid to speak out "unequivocally" about antisemitism on college campuses.

"I don't know, there are plenty of other issues they felt they can address head on and yet when it comes to the issue of antisemitism, there’s always this veiled, well, it’s complicated. It’s Israel. It’s Zionism. No it’s unadulterated antisemitism. And when you’re speaking out about Hamas murdering not just Israelis, they murdered Jews. You have to just say that outright," she said.

"God bless the United States of America and I’m so happy to live in the U.S. as a Jew, but to have conversations with family members, with friends, with loved ones, what are you doing? Are you taking your mezuzah down? What are you talking to your college students about? It is unacceptable. Are we kidding ourselves? In 2023, there's no other issue, whether they are social justice movement, anything else that we have looked forward as progressive citizens of the world that we haven’t addressed head on and yet this is the one issue we keep coming back to that we have to be, you know, sort of equivocal about here," she said. 


The CNN analyst said it was unacceptable and added that it shouldn't be hard for university leadership to condemn this behavior. The Jewish community at Cornell faced online threats on Monday after a website published threats targeting the college's Center of Jewish Living. 

"There’s nothing to hold us back from standing up for the rights of Jews, the rights of Muslims, the rights of all minorities and say in this environment, in this day and age, it’s unacceptable to be saying death to Jews, death to Israelis, death to Zionism, whatever it is, but every morning there’s a pit in my stomach waking up and seeing these headlines," Golodryga said.

CNN's Poppy Harlow noted that October 7 was the biggest slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust. 

"There wasn't event a 24-hour period of mourning before it became victim blaming, two sides to this story. No, it is not difficult for college campus leadership to come out and say what happened on October 7th was a massacre. It was unacceptable. And we will do everything we can to protect our Jewish students and just as well as we will protect our Muslim students and every other minorities on our campuses," Golodryga said. 


The CNN hosts were also joined by former Democratic congressman Ted Deutch, who is also the CEO of the American Jewish Committee. 

"How is it that Jewish lives don’t seem to matter as much as others? Cornell is one example. Those threats are horrific to see. There’s a reason that Jewish students at Cornell were so worried. Look what’s happening every place else? Look at Jewish students being barricaded into a library at Cooper Union. Look at Columbia professors justifying what happened on October 7 as a military action, the slaughter of 1,400 people, men, women, children, women raped, bodies desecrated, children burned alive," Deutch said. 

He said college campuses had a problem because they were trying to figure out how to "thread the needle."

"You cannot thread a needle. You have to be as full throated defense of Jewish students as you are in defense of every other student on campus. But if I can just explain why this makes so much sense, why when campuses have people protesting, chanting from the river to the sea, which is a chant that envisions Israel without Jews in it, which is Hamas’ goal," he said. 

Deutch also called on college leadership and elected officials to condemn antisemitism. 

"The language, the rhetoric being used in support of Hamas is dangerous and must be called out everywhere by university presidents, by elected officials, by everyone who understands that we have an obligation not just to protect the Jewish community but to stand squarely against terrorism, the kind that we experienced in our own country not that long ago. And that we need to stand against wherever it occurs. Especially when there are Americans who were killed and Americans who are still being held hostage. We have to come together on this issue," he said. 

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