Dozens walk out of Jerry Seinfeld speech at Duke commencement in protest of his support for Israel

Dozens of students walked out of the Duke University commencement ceremony ahead of Jerry Seinfeld’s scheduled speech Sunday, apparently in protest of the Jewish comedian’s support for Israel, according to news reports and videos circulated on social media.

As Seinfeld received his honorary degree, before beginning his commencement speech, the graduating students rose from their seats and walked out, waving Palestinian flags and chanting, “Free, free Palestine.” Some in the audience joined in support, but many audience members booed at the protesters and chanted “Jerry” repeatedly.

After the Oct. 7 attack in Israel, Seinfeld publicly voiced his support for Israel and has spoken out against antisemitism. He also traveled to Tel Aviv in December to meet with family members of people being held hostage by Hamas.

In the commencement speech, Seinfeld avoided confronting the protesters, instead delivering a lighthearted speech with jokes and life advice for the graduating students.

The Duke walkout is just the latest example of protests on college campuses in response to the ongoing war in Gaza. Students on campuses throughout the country have expressed frustration with institutional support for Israel, with many calling for their schools to divest from groups that back Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

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