By: Nikolaj Kristensen
November 2 2023
The students were chanting, “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide,” a common refrain at anti-Israel rallies.
Videos of American college students participating in pro-Palestine rallies are circulating on TikTok with claims that the students are chanting, “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide, we want Jewish genocide.” One such video, purportedly showing students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is captioned, “This is not 1930s Germany, this is in Los Angeles today.”
Another, showing students of the University of Pennsylvania, is captioned, “They are cheering for my death & the death of all Jews.”
However, the chants heard in the videos are being misrepresented. The students did not call for a Jewish genocide. The chant actually said, “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.”
A pro-Palestine rally at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) took place on October 16, 2023. After the claim went viral that rally participants had called for Jewish genocide, Penn Against the Occupation (PAO), the student organization that arranged the demonstration, posted a statement on Instagram clarifying that the chant was “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.” The Daily Pennsylvanian, a student-run media organization of the University of Pennsylvania, released a statement saying that multiple of its staffers who attended the event could corroborate this.
The rally at UCLA took place on October 25, 2023. Following the claims on social media, UCLA released a statement that staff members present at the event could testify that the protesters were chanting, “We charge you with genocide.”
Hillel UCLA, a Jewish organization on the UCLA campus, noted in a post on Facebook that “While many social media posts misquoted the chant as ‘we want Jewish genocide,’ the actual rhetoric and language against Israel and Jews were equally unacceptable — ‘we charge you with genocide’.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization dedicated to fighting antisemitism, commented on its website that the chant “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide: We charge you with genocide” is “a not-uncommon refrain at anti-Israel rallies.”
Chants at pro-Palestine rallies at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Los Angeles were misrepresented. Protesters did not call for Jewish genocide. The chant at the rallies was, “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.” Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.