Pro-Israel Agitator Shouts ‘Kill the Jews,’ Gets Everyone Else Arrested

Vincent Ricci/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Vincent Ricci/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Northeastern University had around 100 peaceful protesters arrested on Saturday at its Boston campus’ pro-Palestine encampment, claiming that there had been reports of protesters using antisemitic slurs; but according to witnesses, the protester who spewed hate speech was a pro-Israel counter protester.

On Saturday morning, Northeastern Vice President for Communications Renata Nyul released a statement, announcing that the protest on Centennial Common would be cleared by campus police and local law enforcement. In the statement, she explained that the reason they were clearing the encampment was because of the presence of hate speech at the site.

“What began as a student demonstration two days ago, was infiltrated by professional organizers with no affiliation to Northeastern. Last night, the use of virulent antisemitic slurs, including ‘Kill the Jews,’ crossed the line,” she said. “We cannot tolerate this kind of hate on our campus."

Across the country, university administrators and politicians alike have publicized reports of antisemitic speech at student-led protests, as part of their justification for arresting students, and disbanding protests urging them to divest from Israel. These accounts often vary from eye-witness accounts of the peaceful protests.

GBH’s Tori Bedford quickly confirmed that she had heard someone say “Kill the Jews,” but it wasn’t the peaceful pro-Palestine protesters. The chant came from a pro-Israel agitator who joined the crowd late Friday night.

In a video of the appalling incident, provided by an organizer from Huskies for a Free Palestine, and posted to X by Bedford, a protest leader prepared to lead a chant. “You repeat to me what I say to you. Got it?” they shout.

“Kill the Jews,” yelled one person, holding an Israeli flag. “Anybody on board? Anybody on board?” He was one of two counter-demonstrators who had affixed themselves at the center of the crowd, standing on lawn chairs as they berated the protesters around them.

The crowd of protesters immediately booed the young man. The protesters began chanting, “We’re gonna let them leave,” drowning out the shouts of the two counter-protesters.

After midnight, the two counter protesters had disengaged, according to reports.

The next morning, dozens of NUPD and Boston police arrested around 100 demonstrators, but not the one whose hate speech got everything shut down. After they loaded the arrested students into vans, students linked arms to prevent the vehicles from leaving campus for hours, according to The Huntington News.

Professor Matthew Noah Smith who took part in Northeastern’s protest on Thursday, observed a very different protest to the one the administration described. “I hope Northeastern is not weaponizing anti-semitism to justify arresting the protesting students,” he wrote in a post on X. “I spent all day Thursday with the students there and they were clear in standing against all forms of hate and violence.”

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