- Comments come amid a spike in reports of anti-Semitism in the United States
The clip, shared by Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres, apparently shows a student addressing a crowd and urging them to remember the scenes in Israel a month ago today.
She describes the ‘joyful and powerful images which came from the glorious October 7’, adding she remembered ‘feeling so empowered and so happy’.
The speaker concludes her speech saying, ‘Hold that feeling in your hearts… channel it through every action you take… go down to the streets every day and don’t ever let them feel like you quietly accept this genocide.’
More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed since the conflict began, most of whom died during Hamas’ strike into Israel on October 7.
Civilians and military personnel were targeted in a series of attacks, and more than 200 were believed to have been taken back to Gaza as hostages.
Israel has responded with a brutal bombing campaign of the Gaza Strip, killing more than 10,000 Palestinians since October 7, per the Palestinian Health Ministry.
The one-minute video reportedly shows a Junior at UPenn giving a speech to a large group of people, some of whom are waving Palestinian flags.
Rallying the crowd, the speaker says: ‘Do you guys remember the photos of the kids and men laughing and smiling as they sat on top of the Israeli military jeep captured by our freedom fighters?
‘Do you remember that picture? How about the photos of the bulldozers breaking through the deadly border? Do you remember that picture?
‘And the several other joyful and powerful images which came from the glorious October 7?
‘I want you to picture those in your mind. I want you all to remember how you felt when you saw those images and heard the news.
‘I remember feeling so empowered and so happy, so confident that victory was near and so tangible.
‘I want all of you to hold that feeling in your hearts. Never let go of it. Channel it through every action you take. Bring it to the streets. Go down to the streets every day and don’t ever let them feel like you quietly accept this genocide.’
Social media users have responded with outrage, making their feelings known on X, formerly known as Twitter.
User Merrick Lackner wrote: ‘Joyful. Glorious. Exhilarating. I support Israel, but I don’t feel any of those adjectives when seeing Gazans die in airstrikes. Sick that anyone could recollect the 7th with such terms.’
Republicans Against Trump, a conservative group with an audience of 500,000, wrote: ‘Disgusting. What are you going to do about it @Penn?’
User Seth Koppel wrote: ‘Ashamed of my alma mater.’
Another user wrote: ‘She felt happy about an apartheid barrier being torn down. Nowhere did she say she felt happy about dead people.’
Yesterday, a number of UPenn staff received targeted anti-Semitic emails threatening violence against members of the university’s Jewish community.
At a trustees meeting on Friday, UPenn President Liz Magil noted a rise in anti-Semitic acts at the university, including ‘swastikas and hateful graffiti’ as well as ‘chants at rallies, captured on video and widely circulated, that glorify the terrorist atrocities of Hamas, that celebrate and praise the slaughter and kidnapping of innocent people, and that question Israel’s very right to exist.’
‘I condemn personally these hateful – hateful – antisemitic acts and words, which are nothing but inhumane.
‘And I assure you that Penn has and will investigate any act of hate on our campus and take full action in accordance with our policies and our laws.’
The University of Pennsylvania was last month accused of hypocrisy for trying to oust a controversial law professor who said ‘America would be better with fewer Asians‘ while claiming free speech means it cannot punish anti-Semitic students.
The Ivy League college has spent two years trying to discipline tenured professor Amy Wax over her remarks and other comments, which include arguing that some ethnicities have lower IQs than others.
But amid a backlash to the Palestine Writes festival last month that invited speakers who have made anti-Semitic remarks, Penn reaffirmed its commitment to upholding free speech.
DailyMail.com contacted the university for comment.
The conflict in the Middle East has prompted strong international reactions, ranging from peaceful protests to acts of violent anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
The Anti-Defamation League reported a nearly 400 percent spike in incidents in the US between October 7 and October 23.
What is Hamas?
Hamas is the standing authority in Gaza, an enclave on the Mediterranean coast.
The group has controlled the Strip since winning Gaza’s 2006 parliamentary elections and toppling rival party Fatah in a power struggle during the bloody Battle of Gaza in 2007.
The conflict brought an end to the ‘unity government’ administering Gaza and the West Bank, with the Palestinian National Authority overseeing the eastern territory independently.
Hamas – which means ‘Islamic Resistance Movement – has both a social service wing, Dawah, and a militant wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (IQB).
The IQB has been responsible for launching attacks in Israel against both combatants and civilians, drawing condemnation from world leaders and rights groups.
Writing in 1997, Professor Ilana Kass described the relationship between Hamas and its military brigades as being similar to the relationship between Sinn Fein and the military arm of the IRA.
A senior Hamas leader told Kass that the IQB ‘is a separate armed military wing, which has its own leaders who do not take their orders from [Hamas] and do not tell us of their plans in advance’.
In 2015, Al-Monitor warned that the military branch of Hamas was ‘gradually taking even stronger control of the movement’s institutions’ and dictating the movement’s policies.
Of the 312 incidents, ‘about 190’ were related to the conflict.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it received 774 complaints of incidents motivated by Islamophobia and bias against Palestinians and Arabs from October 7 to October 24.
The group said this was the highest level since 2015.
Hamas – the de facto governing authority of Gaza – launched its incursion into Israel on October 7, attacking Israelis and taking scores of civilians hostage.
The group has said it was motivated by longstanding anger towards Israeli policy.
In April, clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem led to a sustained bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets to evict worshippers who had locked the doors of the building, proclaiming their right to pray overnight.
Palestinians hurled stones and fireworks at officers. After a few hours of scuffles that left a trail of damage, police managed to drag everyone out of the compound.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a swift and resolute response, bombing the Gaza Strip as he faced mounting protests over plans to overhaul the judicial system – a move demonstrators claimed would lead the country toward authoritarianism.
Tensions boiled over, with foreign tourists becoming victims in a Palestinian attack in Tel Aviv.
The October 7 attacks also came as Israel made unprecedented moves to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia, a Middle East powerhouse and home to Islam’s two holiest shrines, gave its blessing to the UAE and Bahrain establishing relations with Israel in 2020 under the Trump administration.
Thousands of Palestinians have been displaced from their homes since the end of the Mandatory period in 1948.
In 1947, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution partitioning Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab, with Jerusalem under a UN administration. The Arabs rejected the proposal, deeming it unfair.
Jewish militias then launched attacks into Arab settlements, displacing thousands in what has become known as the Nakhba – or ‘Catastrophe’.
Israel continues to clash with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors. While efforts have been made to agree a two-state solution, deals have been rejected.
Civilians in the southern Levant have been subjected to brutal and terrifying acts of violence for decades.
This has included harrowing organized acts of terror on Israeli soil by Palestinian factions, and war crimes including rocket attacks on Israeli population centers.