Jessica Seinfeld: Don’t Blame Me for UCLA Counterprotest Violence

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Just before pro-Israel comedian Jerry Seinfeld spoke at Duke University’s commencement Sunday morning, dozens of students walked out, chanting “free Palestine” and waving the Palestinian black, white, green, and red flag.

The student-led revolt was part of nationwide protests against Israel’s war on Gaza in the form of university encampments and disruptions at graduation ceremonies.

That afternoon, Seinfeld’s wife Jessica took to Instagram to address the pro-Palestine detractors—words that made her a darling of Fox News—writing: “Despite their efforts, it had no impact on the ceremony. In fact, they were boo'd and it inspired the crowd of 7,000 to chant ‘Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!’”

Jessica then shared a second post tackling another hot-button issue: Her bankrolling of a pro-Israel counterprotest at UCLA that occurred before a violent mob targeted a pro-Palestinian encampment on April 30. During that disturbing episode, campus security looked on and police didn’t respond for hours as pro-Israel assailants attacked protesters.

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None of the aggressors were arrested, but cops later dismantled the antiwar camp using flares and rubber bullets and arrested 200 people.

Jessica claimed her money went toward an earlier, “peaceful” demonstration at UCLA and not the events of April 30, referencing a New York Times article in which the outlet reported finding “no clear signs that one group coordinated the attack.”

“The Times reporting says that these were uncoordinated fringe individuals who engaged in spontaneous violence,” Jessica wrote in an Instagram post that disables any public comments. “This stands in complete contrast to the peaceful rally that I and others supported two days earlier, on April 28. These two demonstrations, which occurred two days apart, had nothing to do with each other.”

She continued: “I support the right of all people to protest lawfully and peacefully. That is what the rally I supported did on April 28. I do not support, did not contribute to, and condemn in the strongest terms the violent actions by fringe individuals that took place two days later.”

As The Daily Beast reported, Jessica funded and promoted the rally—organized by an anonymous group, “The Bear Jews of Truth,” on GoFundMe, originally under the title “UCLA Counter protest”—telling her Instagram followers, “More cities are being planned so please give what you can. Donations are annonymous [sic]. We will continue to share our light and love, as proud American Jews.”

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While the Bear Jews claim they weren’t involved in the UCLA violence, their Instagram stories from April 30 show they were present for at least the aftermath that night. Their footage from the scene showed marching men in black masks, people taunting the encampment, and a crowd cheering on Los Angeles police while chanting “USA!”

Soon after Jessica donated $5,000 under her name to the group’s GoFundMe, which has raised $98,000 and counting, the page made her gift anonymous.

She has not returned messages left by The Daily Beast, nor have rally organizers.

In a recent statement on Instagram, the Bear Jews claim they “had no connection with any of the clashes that took place on the night of April 30th.” Instead, the group says it simply erected a giant video screen across from the pro-Palestine encampment that showed footage of the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel.

“We had hoped that the police would show up sooner that night but despite the many calls for help law enforcement did not show up until hours later,” they added. “We took our screen down the morning of May 2nd following the closure of the encampment on campus.”

The Bear Jews’ original GoFundMe page said they were “planning something very big for the ucla encampment” and “working to bring a huge screen and big loud speakers right next to them and just play nonstop clips and interviews from Oct 7.”

“This is a big production and will require the help of our community in order to do it right and make a statement not just to these braindead uneducated sheep sleeping in tents, but to all the other anti-Israel protesters occupying campuses around the world,” the GoFundMe stated. “In order to do this right we need lots of equipment, logistics, staff and security. If we all pitch in a bit then we can make this a legendary counter move and drown out their chants with the screams and cries of October 7th.”

“All extra funds will be donated to charity.”

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Although the Bear Jews group has not been linked to the swarm that attacked pro-Palestinian demonstrators with fireworks and metal poles, activists still view the fundraiser and UCLA violence as interconnected—and Jessica continues to face a backlash online for boosting the pro-Israel display.

“Disgusted by the Pro-Israel thugs who caused damage, harm and endangered Pro-Palestinian protesters,” Jessica wrote in another Instagram post. “That is not who we are or what we do.”

She isn’t the only celebrity caught in the social-media crossfire.

Billionaire hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman supported a similar pro-Israel video display at George Washington University, donating $10,000 before his handout was made anonymous on a GoFundMe page.

He also shelled out another $10,000 to a GoFundMe supporting a “rager” for a North Carolina fraternity that ripped down a Palestinian flag on campus and replaced it with an American flag.

“I supported the frat boys because I was inspired by their patriotism in protecting our flag,” Ackman wrote on X. “I supported the presentation of the Hamas GoPro footage so student protesters who support Hamas have a better understanding of the terrorists that they are cheering for.

“I have never funded a protest nor do I support violent acts by protesters on any side of any issue.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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