Duke University Students Walk Out on Jerry Seinfeld, Chant “Free Palestine”

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Duke University Students Walk Out on Jerry Seinfeld, Chant “Free Palestine”

A group of Duke University students staged a walk out and chanted “free Palestine” as comedian Jerry Seinfeld was introduced to speak during the school’s commencement ceremony on Sunday. Videos circulating on social media show them unfurling Palestinian flags.

The students got up from their seats and exited the football field at the North Carolina school. One person seen in the stands was wearing a keffiyeh in show of support for Gaza.

Audience members shouted back “Jerry, Jerry!” to drown out the Palestine chants. “A lot of you are thinking, ‘I can’t believe they invited this guy.’ Too late,” he said. He added he would be “defending” the concept of privilege in his speech.

“I say, use your privilege. I grew up a Jewish boy from New York. That is a privilege if you want to be a comedian,” he joked.

Seinfeld, who is known for his support of Israel and his distaste for cancel culture, received an honorary degree from the university. In his speech, he said that Harvard is no longer a good school, joking it is now “Duke.”

In a show of solidarity, Jerry Seinfeld and other American comics visited Israel in January to perform at the annual Comedy for Koby show. Seinfeld is also known for having blasted political correctness on a number of occasions, recently blaming it for killing comedy.

“We understand the depth of feeling in our community, and as we have all year, we respect the right of everyone at Duke to express their views peacefully, without preventing graduates and their families from celebrating their achievement,” Duke spokesperson Frank Tramble said in a statement.

Students also disrupted graduation remarks from the president of Boston College in the name of Palestine, holding Palestinian flags and chanting. Columbia University, the epicenter of the student Palestine protests, decided to cancel their main graduation ceremony for the year.

It has been reported that many of the activists at the college protestors are not university students, nor are they college-aged. One significant example is James Carlson, the wealthy heir of a $20 million advert exec fortune who owns a $3.4 million mansion, who was one of the most violent organizers of the Columbia riots; going by the alias Cody Tarlow, the man is a “longtime anarchist” with arrests dating back to 2005.