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US College Campuses Witness Growing Protests Against Israel’s War on the Gaza Strip

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Students across several US universities have started their protests under the banner of ending Israel’s deadly bombardment of Gaza. The protests have taken root on the campuses of some of the country’s top academic institutions, including Columbia and Harvard. The students have issued a list of demands to their respective universities, including divesting from any companies that may be profiting from the Gaza war or providing the Israeli military with weapons and other support. They have urged an end to reprisals against students who have spoken out in support of Palestinians and for administrators to pledge not to send police or other law enforcement agencies onto the campuses to break up their protests.

The US government’s long-standing support for Israel has been the impetus for many American students to act. The Israeli military’s attacks on Palestinian students, teachers, and academic institutions across Gaza during the war have also acted as a catalyst for the university protests, the students said. Last week, a group of United Nations experts noted that 80 per cent of schools in the Palestinian enclave had been damaged or destroyed since the war began in early October.

The students at the heart of the movement say the reason they began their demonstrations, the pressing need to end Israel’s deadly bombardment of Gaza, risks being lost amid a cacophony of voices and distractions. They assert that the protests are part of a fight against genocide in the Gaza Strip. Rue, a student at The New School in New York City, said, “Gaza is why we’re here. Gaza is why we’re doing this.” She added “We’re a part of something that is bigger than us. We are part of a global movement right now, and we’re really inspired and strengthened by the incredible solidarity [we’re] seeing across the United States, across different college campuses, across the world.”

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