Fact Checking Claims About Jill Stein and the Jewish Homeland

Jill Stein poses in New York on April 15, 2024. (Photo by Thomas Urbain/AFP/Getty Images)

Jill Stein, the former and likely future Green Party presidential nominee, is facing widespread criticism after she posted a video on Thursday from Columbia University’s campus in which she supposedly claimed that Jewish people have a “homeland” in Poland. 

Near the end of the eight-minute video, a pro-Israel demonstrator can be seen behind Stein, saying “Israel is the only homeland of the Jewish people.” According to the video’s captions—which were included in versions posted by Stein’s team on Facebook and on X—the candidate responds that “the Jewish people have Poland.”

Listening to Stein’s comments (at the 6:36-minute mark), however, it is clear that she said “the Jewish people have homeland,” not “the Jewish people have Poland.” A representative of Stein’s campaign confirmed the candidate’s words and explained how the video ended up with incorrect captions.

“She absolutely did not say ‘Poland,’” the spokesperson told The Dispatch Fact Check via email. “It was auto captioned that way and our video editor did not change it before posting. She said ‘homeland.’”

The video sparked widespread condemnation of Stein, but many of those condemnations—including from prominent journalists like Yashar Ali and Caitlin Flanagan—were based on a word that Stein, who is herself Jewish, did not say. “Jill Stein comes to Columbia to share her genius take: ‘The Jewish people have Poland,’” tweeted Rikki Schlott, a journalist at the New York Post. The Daily Wire published an entire article about the kerfuffle titled, “Green Party’s Hard-Left Jill Stein: ‘The Jews Have Poland.’”

On Friday afternoon, Stein posted an updated version of her exchange with the pro-Israel demonstrator—this time with corrected captions. “Confronting a Zionist @Columbia U,” she said in a tweet accompanying the new video.  

Though Stein may not have said that Jews have a homeland in Poland, she did not clarify where the Jewish homeland should be if not Israel. She also made several other dubious claims in the video, including that only 0.1 percent of Israelis support the military operations in Gaza that she calls “genocide,” and that Israel is actively violating international law. Israeli actions in Gaza do not align with the formal definition of genocide, and public support within Israel for armed interventions in Gaza has been strong since the commencement of renewed military operations against Hamas in October.

A spokesperson for Stein did not immediately respond to a question from The Dispatch Fact Check about whether the candidate supports a Jewish homeland in Israel or elsewhere.

If you have a claim you would like to see us fact check, please send us an email at factcheck@thedispatch.com. If you would like to suggest a correction to this piece or any other Dispatch article, please email corrections@thedispatch.com.

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