Van Hollen hits Clinton over ‘dismissive’ remarks about student protesters

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday over her remarks last week that most of the students participating in pro-Palestinian campus protests across the country are ignorant and ill-informed.

Clinton said Thursday that the students, who have taken over hundreds of college campuses in protest of the Israel-Hamas war, “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.”

Van Hollen dismissed Clinton’s comments in a CBS “Face the Nation” appearance Sunday with Margaret Brennan.

“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.

The Maryland Democrat has been one of the more vocal skeptics of the Biden administration’s response to the Israel-Hamas war in the Senate. He has urged the president to slow military aid shipments to Israel, citing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and pushed back on a State Department report that did not decisively say whether the Israeli military is committing war crimes in the war.

“I believe that the great majority of the students are protesting, are following very closely what’s happening in Gaza,” he said, directly countering Clinton’s comments. “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.

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