Jerry Seinfeld called out for supporting Israeli genocide in Gaza
05/21/2024 // Ethan Huff // Views

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld was booed off the stage by several dozen protesters at Duke University's commencement ceremony after students in support of Gaza learned that the Hollywood actor has supported Israel ever since the October 7 attack.

Reports indicate that some Duke students started chanting "free Palestine" in protest of Seinfeld as he was being introduced to the stage. A number of the protesters were seen waving Palestinian flags and wearing Palestinian garb wrapped around their cap and gown.

The below video, which was confirmed by Reuters as being real, depicts what it looked and sounded like inside Duke's football stadium the moment the booing started:

(Related: Did you hear that Trump doubled down in support of Israel this week, telling his followers that the Jewish state has a "right to win its war on terror?")

America the battleground

Seinfeld holds an honorary degree from Duke, which is one of the many college campuses across America where students and faculty, as well as some paid protesters, are voicing their opposition to Israel's war in Gaza.

Addressing this lightly, Seinfeld told the crowd that while he admires their determination to "create a more just and inclusive society," people in general need to be a lot less touchy and serious about things.

"What I need to tell you as a comedian: Do not lose your sense of humor," Seinfeld said. "You can have no idea at this point in your life how much you are going to need it to get through. Not enough of life makes sense for you to be able to survive without humor."

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Many protesters do not feel like laughing, though, as they watch scenes of people dying on the streets of Gaza or being bombed out of their homes by Israel Defense Forces (IDF). At the same time, people in general are way too easily offended these days, so perhaps Seinfeld has a bit of a point.

Seinfeld admitted that the world will remain "a pretty insane mess" no matter how much the current generation tries to improve it. This, he says, is why people need to have, or at least appreciate humor, which he called "the most survival-essential quality you will ever have or need to navigate through the human experience."

"I am 70," Seinfeld said. "I am done. You are just starting. I only want to help you."

All in all, some 7,000 students were present at Duke's commencement ceremony. Of these, about 30 walked out off the field before Seinfeld took the stage.

The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf wrote that he appreciated Seinfeld's speech, all things considered. He expressed frustration with the fact that most news reports about the walkout did not mention what Seinfeld actually said, only that some people there were bothered by his presence.

"Journalists often fail to distinguish between substantively newsworthy protests and mere deployment of the protest mode – a bias that activists have learned to exploit," he wrote. "Social media is optimized to signal-boost conflict more than attempts at distilling wisdom. And too many Americans revel in rather than resist conflicts."

"The result at Duke: Coverage of a newsworthy speech was informed, more than any other factor, by the subset of the audience that did not hear it. At least, in the midst of a tragic war abroad and a vexing culture war at home, we can shake our heads and laugh about that absurdity."

The latest news about the Israeli war in Gaza can be found at

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