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American Universities, Emotions Ignite with Israel–Hamas War Protests

Pro-Palestinian protestors criticize U.S. military and diplomatic support to Israel and Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip and its war conduct, which many are calling genocide. These protests included Jewish groups and some U.S. administration staffers.

New York, N.Y. Not since the protest movement against the Vietnam War have we seen such ferment on the campuses of U.S. academic institutions. With more 100,000 killed or injured in Gaza, emotions around the world have reached the breaking point.

In the first ten days of the war, pro-Israeli demonstrations in support of Israel in the wake of the Hamas-led attack and focusing on the Israeli hostage crisis were most common, but they have since been outnumbered by pro-Palestinian anti-war protests demanding a ceasefire and an end to the Israeli occupation.

On 17 April, the ongoing campus occupation by student protestors at Columbia University began, with protestors establishing the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment,” which was dismantled by the New York Police Department but later set up again on another part of campus. Protests later spread to several other campuses, including M.I.T., Yale and N.Y.U. In late April 2024, pro-Palestinian students set up protest encampments on the grounds of Swarthmore and Haverford College.

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