Hundreds of Yale Graduates Stage Walkout During Graduation Ceremony

Hundreds of Yale graduates staged a walkout from the university’s graduation ceremony on Monday, waving Palestinian flags and banners demanding that the college “disclose and divest.” This demonstration is part of a wave of anti-Israel protests that have disrupted campuses across the country, forcing some universities to cancel their end-of-year ceremonies.

The student protesters at Yale walked out as diplomas were being handed out and chanted “Free Palestine” as Yale President Peter Salovey delivered his address.

“It is not enough to retreat into silos alongside those who are already inclined to agree with us. Nor is it effective to ostracize, call out, or shame or silence well-meaning others who do not,” Salovey said in his speech.

Palestinian flags were prominently displayed throughout the ceremony, adding to the atmosphere of dissent.

Yale’s campus has been a focal point for anti-Israel protests for several weeks. Police have made dozens of arrests in operations aimed at clearing out encampments.

The protest at Yale mirrored similar disruptions at graduation and commencement ceremonies nationwide. Drexel University in Philadelphia was forced into lockdown on Monday due to a resurgence of protests. The University of Southern California canceled its graduation ceremony altogether. Columbia University, an early center of the protests, also canceled its school-wide graduation ceremony.

“Canceling the traditional commencement ceremony was one of the toughest calls in a year of many tough calls,” Columbia University President Minouche Shafik wrote in a statement to students. “I recognize the toll the past few months have taken on your university experience, and I want you to know that I am deeply sorry for the disappointment that many of you may be feeling as a result.”

“The conflict between the rights of pro-Palestinian protesters and the impact that their protests have had on some members of our Jewish community is what makes this moment singularly fraught,” Shafik added.