Chelsea Clinton confronted by college students at vigil for New Zealand victims: '49 people died because of the rhetoric you put out there'

A New York University student said her rhetoric "stoked" the violence.

March 16, 2019, 6:31 PM

Chelsea Clinton was confronted on Friday night by college students at a vigil for the victims of the mass shootings in New Zealand, who claimed that she was part of a group of people who "stoked" the violence that led to the massacre.

"This right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words you put out there, said Leen Dweik, an international relations and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies student at New York University (NYU), in the video. "I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deep inside. Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there."

Dweik told ABC News that she was referring to comments Clinton made on Twitter criticizing Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the first Muslim women in Congress, who in February suggested on Twitter that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, and other members of Congress support Israel because they get campaign donations from pro-Israel groups and individuals.

Many leaders from both sides of the aisle viewed the comment as anti-semitic because it evoked stereotypes linking Jews to money.

"When we saw Chelsea Clinton at the vigil...we saw an opportunity to access someone who has a huge public platform and who used that platform to attack Rep. Ilhan Omar," Dweik told ABC News in a statement on Saturday. "We took our chance to speak truth to power.”

"Clinton used her vast platform to weaponize antisemitism and to silence criticism of Israel...and in doing so fanned the flames of racism and Islamophobia," she continued. "We know that our only safety is through solidarity. The fight against Islamophobia is the fight against antisemitism is the fight against racism is the fight against white supremacy. When someone attacks one of us, they attack all of us.”

Clinton was invited to the vigil Friday night because of her role in founding NYU’s Of Many Institute, a multi-faith organization on campus, sources close to Clinton said, adding that the daughter of former President Bill Clinton has a history of being outspoken against all forms of hate including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

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