Biden says campus protests haven't led him to reconsider his stance on Israel

  • Biden said that protests against the war in Israel haven't led him to reconsider policies.

  • He made the comment at the end of a surprise press conference on Thursday regarding campus unrest.

  • Local police have shut down protests and encampments on select campuses in recent weeks.

President Joe Biden said Thursday morning that the widespread college protests against the war in Gaza haven't led him to reconsider his policies in the region.

Biden held an unscheduled press conference at the White House to address the growing number of protests and university encampments across the nation in opposition to Israel's military operations in the Gaza Strip.

Biden spoke for just under four minutes, explaining the protesters' rights to free speech and assembly while emphasizing what he said were the limitations of those rights.

"Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduations. None of this is a peaceful protest," he said.

"Dissent is essential to democracy, but dissent must never lead to disorder or to denying the rights of others," Biden added.

Just before Biden walked away from the podium, a reporter asked if any of the protests had forced him to reconsider his policies relating to the conflict. "No," Biden quickly replied.

He also said he didn't think the National Guard should be called in.

Members of the House of Representatives addressed the rising campus unrest on Wednesday with the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which passed in a bipartisan landslide vote.

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