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Examining Misrepresentations Of The Green Party Candidate’s Stance On A Jewish Homeland

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ASSERTION: A video snippet alleges that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein declared “the Jewish people have a homeland in Poland” during a discussion outside Columbia University.

VERIFICATION: This claim is inaccurate. Stein’s actual statement was “the Jewish people have homeland,” devoid of any mention of Poland. A spokesperson for Stein confirmed that an autogenerated caption erroneously inserted “Poland” instead of the correct wording. Stein promptly rectified the error by sharing another version of the video with the accurate caption. She also provided additional clarification during a subsequent event in Columbia, Missouri.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND: Against the backdrop of escalating tensions related to the Israel-Hamas conflict, misconstrued interpretations of Stein’s remarks at Columbia University have proliferated on social media platforms.

The video clip captures Stein, herself Jewish, expressing her views outside a Columbia University entrance, criticizing Israel’s actions in Gaza. In response to a man, also Jewish, affirming that “the Jewish people have no homeland but Israel,” Stein’s rejoinder, captioned as “Jewish people have Poland,” is misconstrued. However, her actual response didn’t attribute a specific location to the Jewish homeland.

Historically, Poland harbored the largest Jewish population in Europe prior to World War II, with over 3 million Jews residing there. Their settlement in the region dates back over a millennium, as Jews sought refuge from persecution in Western and Central Europe. Tragically, approximately 85% of Poland’s Jewish population perished during the Holocaust, with survivors encountering sustained antisemitism upon their return.

While periods of tolerance toward Polish Jewry existed, they were also marked by significant persecution. Throughout history, Eastern Europe, including Poland, witnessed numerous pogroms resulting in the brutal massacre, rape, and looting of Jewish communities.

The viral video snippet originates from a longer footage shared by Stein on her social media platforms, where an erroneous caption was initially included. Following its circulation, Stein promptly issued a corrected version of the clip.

During a community gathering in Columbia, Missouri, Stein reiterated her stance, seeking to elucidate any lingering misinterpretations. Notably, she was arrested the day prior while participating in a protest alongside students at Washington University in St. Louis.

Across various campuses, including Columbia University, the University of Southern California, Harvard University, and others, student-led protests have emerged, advocating for institutional disassociation from entities supporting Israel’s military activities in Gaza.

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