NYU Students Accuse Chelsea Clinton of Stoking Hatred That Caused New Zealand Mosque Massacre

While attending vigil for 49 victims of massacre, former first daughter was confronted by student who said people died because of 'rhetoric you put out there' when criticizing anti-Semitic tweet by Rep. Ilhan Omar

Chelsea Clinton with Imam Khalid Latif during a vigil for the victims of the mosque attacks in New Zealand, New York, U.S. March 15, 2019.
\ RASHID UMAR ABBASI/ REUTERS

Chelsea Clinton was confronted by students at a New York University vigil Friday night when they accused her of stoking the hatred that led to a mass shooting earlier that day at two New Zealand mosques

The accusation was believed to refer to Clinton’s condemnation last month of a tweet perceived as being anti-Semitic by Rep. Ilhan Omar, for which the freshman congresswoman later apologized after being criticized by senior Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

Leen Dweik, a senior student at the university, was heard telling Clinton: “This right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you put out into the world. 

“The 49 people died because of the rhetoric you put out there,” added Dweik.

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When Clinton responded, “I’m so sorry you feel that way,” another student shouted out: “What does ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’ mean? What does that mean?”

The video subsequently went viral on social media, becoming the most discussed topic in the United States on Twitter Saturday morning.

Last month, Omar was widely criticized for tweeting that U.S. support for Israel is "all about the Benjamins," referring to $100 bills, and suggested that AIPAC money is behind U.S.-Israel relations. 

Clinton’s February 11 tweet criticized Omar’s comments, noting: “We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.”

Omar later issued an apology for her tweets, and was herself the target of Islamophobic flyers posted in the West Virginia Capitol earlier this month.

Footage from Saturday's exchange led to a deluge of comments, including a tweet from Donald Trump Jr., saying “It’s sickening to see people blame @ChelseaClinton for the NZ attacks because she spoke out against anti-Semitism. We should all be condemning anti-Semitism & all forms of hate. Chelsea should be praised for speaking up. Anyone who doesn’t understand this is part of the problem.”

Conservative activist Candace Owens, whose name appeared in the Christchurch shooter’s 74-page manifesto, responded to Trump Jr.: “Agreed. It should go without saying but neither myself, @ChelseaClinton or Spyro the Dragon had anything to do with the tragedy in New Zealand. Please stop the nonsense.”

Former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile tweeted her support of Clinton, calling her "a woman of valor and grace. I love her civility and respect during a confrontation with a few angry souls."

Some noted that Dweeb was wearing a Bernie Sanders T-shirt during her confrontation with the former first daughter. “The woman who confronted pregnant Chelsea Clinton and blamed her for the New Zealand massacre was wearing a Bernie Sanders t-shirt. This is how Bernie Sanders' supporters behaved in 2016 and 2020 will be no different,” wrote Christopher Bouzy.

LA Times columnist Jonah Goldberg, meanwhile, ridiculed the notion that Clinton's admonishment somehow inspired the attack.

“According to the children swarming Chelsea Clinton, a liberal American condemning Muslim anti-Semitism (or even “insensitivity”) by a progressive US politician invites white supremacist terrorism in ... New Zealand. This. Is. Insane,” he wrote.