Biden’s $26 Million Fundraiser Disrupted by Pro-Palestine Activists

Selcuk Acar/Andalou via Getty
Selcuk Acar/Andalou via Getty

A New York City fundraiser for President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign was interrupted several times on Thursday night by protesters critical of his support for Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

Biden, who appeared onstage at Radio City Music Hall with former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, was heckled at least four times by activists inside the auditorium, reports say. Hundreds more protesters had joined crowds outside the venue denouncing the war.

The Trump-Biden Race Turns Into a Big-Dollar Cash Scramble

The Democratic leaders’ discussion at the event, attended by about 5,000 supporters, was moderated by Stephen Colbert, while people paying between $225 and $500,000 for a ticket were also treated to performances from the likes of Lizzo, Queen Latifah, and others. The evening raised more than $26 million for Biden’s campaign—a record total for a political event, according to the Associated Press—boosting his already substantial cash advantage over Donald Trump in the 2024 race.

Despite the runaway financial success, the evening gave Biden another reminder of the mounting discontent among Democrats and others who have been enraged with his support for Israel in recent months.

“Shame on you, Joe Biden!” one protester shouted during Biden’s event in Manhattan, according to Reuters. Another reportedly received a response from Obama, who said: “You can’t just talk and not listen... That’s what the other side does.”

“That’s all right. Let them go. There’s a lot of people who are very, very—there are too many innocent victims, Israeli and Palestinian,” Biden said after one of the interruptions, according to CNN. “We’ve got to get more food and medicine, supplies into the Palestinians. But we can’t forget, Israel is in a position where its very existence is at stake. You have to have all those people. They weren’t killed. They were massacred. They were massacred.”

Israel began its massive military operations in Gaza after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks which left 1,200 people dead, according to Israeli estimates, while another 250 were kidnapped. More than 32,600 people have been killed in Gaza during the ensuing war, according to Palestinian health officials.

At another point in the fundraiser event, Biden made a joke about Boeing’s recent safety issues, according to the New York Post. Asked by Colbert if Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had tightened the bolts on Air Force One before the Boeing 747 flew Biden and Obama to New York, Biden said: “I don’t sit by the door.” “I’m only kidding,” he added, “I shouldn’t joke about that.”

The event also ended with Biden, Obama, and Clinton putting on Biden’s signature aviator sunglasses, with the president declaring: “Dark Brandon is real.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.