Watch: Joe Biden speaks amid pressure to address college Gaza protests

Oliver Browning
Thursday 02 May 2024 16:25 BST

Watch as Joe Biden speaks from the White House on Thursday 2 May.

Escalating campus protests are forcing the US president to walk a careful line of denouncing antisemitism while supporting young Americans’ right to protest and trying to limit longer-term political damage.

As violent police crackdowns and counter-protests greet spreading demonstrations across campuses, Mr Biden faces sharp criticism of his Israel policy from both the left and right.

Students at dozens of schools have rallied or camped out in recent days to oppose Israel’s war in Gaza, demanding institutions stop doing business with companies that support the war.

Protests over the war, and Mr Biden’s strong support for Israel, have dogged the president since late last year and divided his Democratic Party.

On Wednesday, 57 Democrats in Congress asked the president to withhold aid to Israel in an attempt to stop a planned assault in Rafah.

Senior aides, meanwhile, privately dismiss the idea that the protests or their supporters could cost Mr Biden the White House at the presidential election in November.

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