Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and ex-adviser to former President Trump, suggested Sunday Saudi Arabia is “safer” for American Jews than college campuses following a flurry of protests over the Israel-Hamas war across the nation.
“One of the ironies is that, as an American Jew, you’re safer in Saudi Arabia right now than you are on a college campus like Columbia University,” Kushner said on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “I spoke at the conference. They allowed me to speak freely.”
The ongoing debate over Israel’s war with militant group Hamas has reared its head in several protests and rallies from students on college campuses.
Hundreds of students held rallies at Columbia University in New York, with supporters of both sides coming out to protest one another earlier this month. Columbia University’s campus was closed as a safety measure earlier this month as a result.
Kushner said he recently returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia, where he sensed a “very big disgust” with the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas.
Several college administrations came under fire this month over their responses to the Israel-Hamas conflict, with students on both sides arguing their schools did not go far enough in condemning the violence.
In Boston, Harvard University came under fire after a student organization issued a statement that placed the blame on Israel for Hamas’s bloody Oct. 7 massacre against hundreds of civilians. Students and past administrators alike criticized the school’s initial response for not addressing the controversial letter.
In Washington, D.C., this week, the Students for Justice in Palestine, a student organization at the George Washington University (GW), projected messages on the school’s German Library before they were shut down by police. The messages ranged from criticizing Israel to condemning the school and its president, Ellen Granberg.
The projections drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, who called the protest antisemitic. A group of GW alumni in Congress penned a letter condemning the projections and called for further action from the school.
Other schools have received backlash for defending professors’ right to free speech after making statements amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.
A Yale University professor came under fire for calling for an open dialogue and community of respect on campus, with more than 40,000 people signing a petition to have the professor fired.
The fighting in Israel and Gaza has raged on for more than three weeks since Hamas carried out a bloody incursion into Israel that killed more than 1,400 Israelis at their homes, at a bus stop and at a music festival. Israeli forces claimed Hamas also captured more than 200 individuals since its initial Oct. 7 attacks.
Responding to the attacks, Israel launched a major counteroffensive into Gaza that included hundreds of airstrikes, several bombings and a siege on basic necessities like food, water, fuel and medical supplies.
More than 8,000 Palestinians have died so far in the conflict, with more than 20,200 others wounded, the Gaza Health Ministry reported Sunday.
More than 1 million Palestinians have been ordered to evacuate their neighborhoods and move south ahead of the expected ground invasion. However, Hamas reportedly has told residents not to leave their homes while many civilians lack the resources to move south.