At a lecture on sexual violence, Clinton was heckled over her record of fomenting conflict in the Middle East
Pro-Palestine demonstrators heckled Hillary Clinton at a lecture on Friday, calling the former US secretary of state a “war criminal” and telling her that she “will burn” for her actions in the Middle East.
Clinton was interrupted as she took the stage to deliver a lecture on conflict-related sexual violence at Columbia University in New York, where she is a professor of international and public affairs.
“Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, you are a war criminal!” one man shouted. “The people of Libya, the people of Iraq, the people of Syria, the people of Yemen, the people of Palestine as well as the people of America will never forgive you,” the protester continued, shouting “you will burn” as he was escorted from the theater.
The former presidential candidate began her speech, but was interrupted and shouted down by a second protester.
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“You’ve done this before… You exploited sexual violence in Libya so you could justify US militarization,” the protester exclaimed. “If you were enraged about sexual violence, you’d be talking about the sexual violence in Palestine and the sexual violence that they endure daily.”
“People are free to protest,” Clinton responded, “but they are not free to disrupt events or classes and that is going to be the standards that we follow here and going forward.”
Clinton served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 under then-President Barack Obama. As the US’ top diplomat, she lobbied Obama to “surge” more troops into Afghanistan, armed anti-government jihadists in Syria, and advocated for NATO intervention in Libya. After Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was deposed, sodomized, and executed by US-backed rebels, Clinton boasted to CBS News: “We came. We saw. He died.”
Clinton took a consistently pro-Israel stance during her tenure at the State Department, backing Israel’s bombing of Lebanon in 2006. She has criticized calls for a ceasefire in the current Israel-Hamas war, arguing that a pause in the fighting would give the Palestinian militants “a chance to re-arm and perpetuate the cycle of violence.”
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield spoke after Clinton at Friday’s event. She too was interrupted by protesters, who chanted “free, free Palestine” as they were escorted from the hall.
Hamas fighters attacked Israel on October 7, killing around 1,200 people. Israel responded by launching airstrikes on Gaza before sending tanks and troops into the enclave. In the months since, pro-Palestine protesters have heckled President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, vandalized the gates of the White House, and marched on Biden’s home in Delaware.