Pro-Palestinian protestors at Duke walk out on Jerry Seinfeld’s commencement speech

Pro-Palestine protesters at Duke University all but confirmed on Sunday that their movement is as much about Jew-hating as it is “humanitarian concerns.”

Dozens of students walked out during Duke’s annual commencement ceremony when comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who is Jewish, was about to begin his commencement speech.

The students chanted “Free Palestine!” as they walked out when Seinfeld was introduced. Some waved Palestinian flags. The media reported the political stunt was because Seinfeld has previously spoken in support of Israel.

Seinfeld was not political in his speech, though he did dunk on Harvard Univerity.

“On my staff in the 90s we had a lot of Harvard guys…I could never understand why these guys were so embarrassed about being from Harvard,” he said. “I’m not talking about Harvard now. I’m talking about the way it used to be. You’re never going to believe this, but Harvard used to be a great place to go to school. Now it’s Duke.”

Seinfeld and his wife are the parents of a Duke alumna and a current Duke student, and they serve as national chairs of Duke’s Parents Committee, according to WRAL.

The legendary comedian did have some good advice for grads.

“Whatever you’re doing, I don’t care if it’s your job, your hobby, a relationship, getting a reservation at M Sushi,” he said. “Make an effort. Just pure, stupid, no-real-idea-what-I’m-doing-here effort.”

“Effort always yields a positive value, even if the outcome of the effort is absolute failure of the desired result,” he would add. “This is a rule of life. Just swing the bat and pray is not a bad approach to a lot of things.”

As for the walkout, Israeli author and activist Hen Mazzig summed things up well when he tweeted, “Students walked out of Duke University’s commencement ceremony today to protest Jerry Seinfeld, who is a guest speaker. Let’s be clear, walking out on Jewish speakers will do nothing to help Palestinians or promote peace. It only incites further hostility against Jews.”

Of course, leave it to The Babylon Bee to find a little humor in an otherwise sad story on the troubling rise of antisemitism in America today:

Seinfeld’s full speech can be seen here — he does not acknowledge the students walking out:

Tom Tillison


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