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Hillary Clinton's Assessment of Pro-Hamas Protesters Did Not Sit Well With Fellow Dem

AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie

Hillary Clinton’s recent criticism of some of the pro-Hamas protesters demonstrating on college campuses across the U.S. did not sit well with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).


Last Thursday, Clinton said the students who have been demonstrating on college and university campuses “don’t know very much at all about the history of the Middle East, or frankly about history in many areas of the world, including in our own country.” 

The Maryland Democrat, who has been critical of how the Biden administration has handled Israel’s war against Hamas, disagreed with Clinton’s assessment.

“I thought, Margaret, that Secretary Clinton’s comments, in that regard, were quite dismissive of students’ concerns about the awful humanitarian crisis and high civilian death toll in Gaza,” he said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“I believe that the great majority of the students are protesting, are following very closely what’s happening in Gaza,” Van Hollen said. “They see what’s a very high civilian death toll.”

“We can certainly revisit history and past negotiations, but I believe that the overwhelming majority of the students — not all, and there are some, there are some very bad elements that are involved, as well as on the counterprotests side — but I believe that the students do understand what’s happening in Gaza with respect to the civilian casualties,” he added.

Clinton highlighted actions taken during her husband's administration when “an offer was made to the Palestinians for a state on 96 percent of the existing territory occupied by the Palestinians with 4 percent of Israel to be given to reach 100 percent of the amount of territory that was hoped for."


She noted that if then-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had accepted it, "there would have been a Palestinian state now for about 24 years." 

“This is a very important piece of history to understand if you’re going to take any kind of position with respect to what’s going on right now,” she added.

"We have to do a better job… with young people in trying to help them understand how to filter and interpret the information they’re getting. We also need to do a better job in our classrooms, particularly at the college or university level, not to fall into easy absolutes — you’re either for or against. Life is too complicated, history certainly is,” Clinton concluded.


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