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Kim Atienza defends daughter's involvement in pro-Palestine protests

By Melanie Uson Published May 24, 2024 9:29 pm

Kim Atienza has clarified reports about his daughter, Eliana Atienza who got suspended for joining pro-Palestine protests at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Eliana has always been vocal about what she believes in. In this instance she’s part of the organization that is anti-genocide and anti-war,” the TV host said in his interview with ABS-CBN News. He clarified that his 19-year-old daughter does not support the militant Palestinian group Hamas. 

He added that his whole family supports their daughter’s stance on the issue. 

International media outlets including The New York Post and Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Eliana, who is a sophomore student at UPenn was among the six students who got suspended for joining a pro-Palestinian encampment at the university. 

She also mentioned to the Philadelphia Inquirer that she became homeless after she was barred access to her university dorm. 

Media outlets, however, criticized her and her family’s “lavish lifestyle” with Fox’s late-night talk show host Greg Gutfeld saying that she “pretended to be a victim for attention.” 

Kim defended his daughter, saying that her statement was “taken out of context.” 

“She was technically homeless because she was removed from her dorm. Unfortunately, that message was taken out of context. She never said she was poor,” the TikToClock host said, adding that his daughter was not expelled. 

“She had some academic sanctions, but she will be back in the next semester as they are on summer break right now,” he said.

According to The New York Post report, Eliana was among those who tried to negotiate with school administrators to keep the university out of any investments connected to Israel. She is also a part of the Fossil Free Penn organization which co-signed a letter in support of “Palestinians who are fighting to liberate their lands from the Israeli Occupation,” published just days after Oct. 7 when the Israel-Hamas conflict started.