Recent events have brought attention to instances of antisemitic reactions following the conflict between Israel and Hamas, which led to more than 1,400 casualties. Demonstrations and rallies expressing support for Hamas and calling for Israel’s elimination have occurred in various locations, including New York City.
One particular incident that drew considerable scrutiny involved a Norwegian medical student named Marie Andersen. She was photographed holding a sign with the message “Keep the world clean” alongside an image of a Star of David inside a trash can. The image was widely criticized for its apparent insensitivity and antisemitic connotations.
In response to the controversy, Andersen granted an interview to Nexta, during which she attempted to clarify her intentions. She claimed to harbor no ill will toward any group of people but expressed strong opposition to the Israeli government. She referred to the conflict as “resistance” to occupation, citing the notion that the United Nations had recognized the right to resist in such situations.
Marie Andersen, a student at the Warsaw Medical University, has faced consequences for her actions. She was suspended from her medical school following the incident.
In her response to the uproar, as reported by our sister site Townhall, Andersen asserted that her sign was not directed at Jews but rather at the Israeli government, which she characterized as “dirty.” When questioned about the design of the placard, she explained that the inclusion of the Israeli flag in a trash bin symbolized her perception of the Israeli government’s actions during the conflict and its longstanding policies, which she described as running an apartheid state.
Andersen claimed that her message had been misinterpreted and expressed sorrow for any negative impact it may have had on individuals during the demonstration. She also condemned antisemitism and hatred directed at any religion. She concluded her remarks by apologizing for how her actions may have undermined the pro-Palestinian movement.
❗️ Norwegian student Marie Andersen suspended by the Medical University of Warsaw
The fifth-year student, whose husband is Jordanian, sparked international outrage when she was photographed and interviewed by NEXTA journalists at a demonstration in the Polish capital on… pic.twitter.com/G9LW3K4vnS
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) October 31, 2023