Barnard student arrested at Columbia won’t say if Israel has right to exist

A Barnard College student who was among the hundreds arrested during NYPD’s raid at Columbia University to rid the campus of student protesters refused to say whether or not she believes Israel has the right to exist.

Marie Adele Grosso, a 19-year-old studying sociology and human rights, has been arrested at Columbia twice in the past month for trespassing during the ongoing student protests demanding the school divest from Israel-associated companies, according to police sources.

In an interview with “Leading Britain’s Conversation” host Ben Kentish on Thursday, Grosso struggled several times to answer his direct question: “Do you think Israel has a right to exist?”

“I believe Palestinians have a right to equal rights. I believe Palestinians have a right to return to their homelands. Since 75 years ago, Palestinians have been systematically forced out of their homes,” she began to answer before Kentish repeated his question, video shows.

“I’m so sorry, I have a longer answer to this question,” she responded after Kentish said it sounded like she was not answering his inquiry, saying she was taking a while to reply because “it’s a more complicated question.”

Barnard College student Marie Adele Grosso wouldn’t say that Israel has a right to exist. LBC/X
“Leading Britain’s Conversation” host Ben Kentish pushed the student several times to answer. LBC/X

“There’s a difference between believing that Jewish individuals should be in, or have a right to be in Palestine and believing that Israel as a country should be allowed to continue what they’re doing. And I believe the land is Palestine,” Grosso said.

Kentish again pushed her, asking if she believed that “the world’s only Jewish country should exist.”

She argued that the existence of a Jewish state like Israel allows other countries to perpetuate antisemitism within their own borders.

“I want to note that there are Jewish Palestinians. There are Jewish Palestinians, and separatist states usually give other nations an excuse to be biased against Jewish individuals, because they can say, ‘You have this safe place, we can continue to be biased’ — and I do not believe that separatist states work.”

Kentish pointed out that the United States, the United Kingdom and other nations identify as Christian countries while more identify as Muslim nations.

Barnard College is the historically women-only sister school to Columbia University. @barnardcollege / Instagram

“So you believe Christian countries should exist and Muslim countries should exist but the world’s only Jewish country shouldn’t exist?” he asked.

“No. There’s a difference between a country having a predominant population and a country labeling themselves as a Jewish country,” she responded.

Grosso was first arrested on April 18 when the NYPD cleared out the encampment from Columbia’s campus and told Time Magazine that she had been suspended when she was allowed back to campus the following day for 15 minutes to retrieve some belongings.

She was barred from student housing and her meal plan was canceled, but she was determined to continue protesting, she told the outlet.

“The only moral thing is to do whatever we can,” she said.

The teenager was arrested again on Tuesday night when hundreds of police officers dramatically stormed the Morningside Heights campus and removed barricaded protesters from Hamilton Hall, leading to more than 100 arrests, police sources told The Post.

She was charged with trespassing.

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