The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

Video footage reveals ‘Kill the Jews’ remark used to explain police intervention made by pro-Israel counter protester in provocation

Jessica Xing
A counter-protester holds up an Israeli flag in front of pro-Palestine protesters. The statement, “kill the Jews,” was used by Northeastern as a part of the reason for clearing out the “Gaza solidarity encampment” in Centennial Common, which resulted in the detainment of over 100 individuals.

Footage taken late Friday night of a tense confrontation between pro-Palestine demonstrators and pro-Israel counter-protesters at the encampment revealed it was a pro-Israel student demonstrator who said “Kill the Jews,” asking the pro-Palestine demonstrators “anybody on board; anybody on board?”

Hours later, the utterance of the statement was used by Northeastern as a part of the reason for clearing out the “Gaza solidarity encampment” in Centennial Common, which resulted in the detainment of roughly 100 individuals.

“The use of virulent antisemitic slurs, including ‘Kill the Jews,’ crossed the line,” the university’s statement said. “We cannot tolerate this kind of hate on our campus.”

“Earlier this morning the Northeastern University Police Department (NUPD) — in cooperation with local law enforcement partners — began clearing an unauthorized encampment on the university’s Boston campus,” the rest of the statement reads. “What began as a student demonstration two days ago, was infiltrated by professional organizers with no affiliation to Northeastern.

Multiple media personnel, including two Huntington News editors, were present during the verbal altercation and confirmed they heard someone say “Kill the Jews,” but could not confirm who. Huntington News reporters, who covered nearly the entire duration of the encampment, did not hear the statement repeated at any other point during the demonstration.

Soon after the university published its response, HFP posted in a statement on Instagram saying “counter protestors expressing Zionist and hate speech sentiments tried to instigate people to engage in confrontation and spread further hate speech.” 

The video footage, originally posted on X by Working Mass, a Democratic Socialists of America media outlet covering Massachusetts, reveals two Jewish students holding an Israeli flag shouted the “Kill the Jews” after pro-Palestine demonstrators conducted a “mic check” — a call and response technique used to focus attention on an organizer. 

The two pro-Israel counter protesters then asked the pro-Palestinian demonstrators if they agreed, saying “anybody on board; anybody for that?” The crowd of pro-Palestine protesters immediately started shouting and booing over them. 

“You just chanted for it,” the pro-Israel counter protesters can be heard saying.

Pro-Palestine protesters then conducted a call and response, encouraging demonstrators not to engage with the counter protesters.

A pro-Israel protester holds and Israeli flag during a confrontation with pro-Palestinian encampment protesters. Huskies for a Free Palestine said in a statement that the pro-Israel counter-protesters “tried to instigate people to engage in confrontation and spread further hate speech.” (Annika Sunkara)

The video shows part of a tense, 30-minute standoff, where pro-Israel counter protesters entered the encampment and eventually verbally clashed with pro-Palestine demonstrators. Pro-Palestine demonstrators had earlier chanted “Globalize the Intifada” and “Free Palestine,” while the pro-Israel counter protesters called for the release of Israeli hostages.

Northeastern police eventually escorted the counter protesters out of the encampment, but told them they would not be arrested if they returned. The two counter-protesters immediately returned to the encampment. 

Tori Bedford, a GBH reporter who was on campus during the altercation, said on X she heard the statement “said by a counter-protester holding an Israeli flag, seemingly as a provocative joke in response to the group’s pro-Palestine chants.”

Two local organizations, Jewish Voice for Peace Boston and IfNotNow Boston, condemned Northeastern’s decision to clear the encampment and said university administration “owed pro-Palestine student organizers an apology.”

“By using this event to slander their own students, the Northeastern University administration is acting in incredible bad faith,” a statement from the two organization reads.

In response to questions regarding the video footage and reports that pro-Israel counter protesters said the statement, Vice President for Communications Renata Nyul said the “fact that the phrase ‘Kill the Jews’ was shouted on our campus is not in dispute.”

“The Boston Globe, a trusted news organization, reported it as fact. There is also substantial video evidence. Any suggestion that repulsive antisemitic comments are sometimes acceptable depending on the context is reprehensible. That language has no place on any university campus,” Nyul said.

But the Globe’s reporting on Friday night did not clearly identify who said “Kill the jews” during the verbal altercation. 

“At one point, a person called out, ‘Kill the Jews,’ while others yelled, ‘No right to exist,’ at the two counter protesters holding the Israeli flag,” the Globe’s article reads.

A Huntington News reporter who observed the altercation confirmed that pro-Palestine demonstrators said “no right to exist,” likely referring to the belief that Israel does not have a right to exist.

The two individuals who can be seen chanting “Kill the Jews” and asking if pro-Palestine demonstrators agreed did not appear to be in the encampment Saturday morning when it was swept by police.

Editor’s Note: The Globe has updated its reporting on the incident. For more details, check our live blog.

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About the Contributors
Eli Curwin
Eli Curwin, Senior Reporter
Eli Curwin is a third-year journalism and political science combined major and a senior reporter for The News covering campus life and university administration. He has previously served as editor-in-chief and projects editor and is excited to continue bringing thoughtful and insightful reporting to The News. Follow him on X @elicurwin for updates.
Annika Sunkara
Annika Sunkara, Social Media Editor
Annika Sunkara is a second-year journalism major and audiovisual editor of The News. She aspires to continue producing accessible and engaging multimedia content. You can follow her @annika_sunkara on X/Twitter.
Jessica Xing
Jessica Xing, Photo Editor
Jessica Xing is a third-year graphic design major with a minor in journalism. She has previously served as deputy photo editor and design editor and is excited to continue working with photographers for The News this semester.