Tue 11-June-2024

Gaza revives student movement in the US

Monday 6-May-2024

The American student movement in solidarity with Gaza revives, these days, the great role played by other movements in confronting the Vietnam War (1955 to 1975), which many consider an important factor in the ending of imperialist military aggression against the Asian country.

The university camps that are spreading throughout the United States are of exceptional importance at this moment in which the US supports and provides weapons for “Israel” to carry out a massacre of a magnitude that history has never witnessed, due to the intensity, its size and the number of dead and wounded.

It is a remarkable paradox that the United States brings together the most corrupt, socially unjust and destructive political system in the world, which expresses injustice, domination and interference in the destinies of peoples and nations, on the one hand and, on the other, has a student movement with a history of revolutionary consciousness in addressing humanitarian and political issues, within and beyond American borders.

The relationship between the two issues is perhaps more causal than paradoxical, since the imperialist policy adopted by the United States for almost a century, especially after they dominated the West alone after World War II, forces its students to be on the front lines and gives their movement more importance than others, anywhere in the world.

Student protests are spreading rapidly throughout the United States and reaching other places in the world, except in Brazil, where student leaders remain apathetic to what has been happening in Gaza for more than six months, unfortunately with their eyes focused almost exclusively on identity and institutional issues.

It may seem unusual to many that the leading movement for human rights and justice for Palestinians is taking place at US universities, as the universities that are now at the forefront of this struggle, such as Columbia and Yale, are known as the “Houses of Higher Studies” of the American elite, with Columbia graduates, include American staff figures such as President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Yale includes National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, as well as Special Adviser on Climate Affairs John Kerry and USAID Administrator Samantha Power.

But, in the 1960s, it was the student movement that led the fight for “freedom of expression” on college campuses, defending the rights of students of African descent and demanding that college curricula include content related to the history and culture of African-Americans.

The Palestinian issue is recognized by the movement as a global cause, and the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation is the watershed in this historical moment we are living through. The revolutionary avalanche of Palestinian Resistance has provided the resurgence of the student movement in the United States, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and has resulted in local transformations that may affect regimes that have come to their knees for the Zionists, especially the Arabs.

Even as Washington-oriented police forces overly repress the camps and many rectories are imposing huge sanctions on the participants, the students demonstrate through their means that their universities will be the showcases of Western civilization against Zionist barbarism in Gaza, a genocide strongly supported by the United States.

The battered accusations of anti-Semitism are no longer accepted around the world because their political and ideological fragility has been exposed. The charge of anti-Semitism has been used to intimidate critics of the crimes of “Israel” or to sterilize the discussion and divert attention from real problems, when it is known that Palestinians and solidarity movements strongly reject religious or sectarian narratives of the struggle against the occupation, condemning any form of persecution or denial of rights, whether of Jews, Arabs – Christians and Muslims, or any other person and group.

Many protesters at American Universities are Jewish. And they know that the State of Israel is the enemy of the Jews. Jews, worldwide, are under pressure from the Zionists and are oppressed because of their religious beliefs and for not supporting apartheid and Zionist genocide in Gaza, which use Judaism as a shield for their criminal practices against humanity.

The heroic journey “Al-Aqsa Flood” that began on 7 October, is the most important revolutionary event of this historic season that we are experiencing. It is helping the world cleanse itself of the authoritarian stain of “Israel” that has contaminated many nations of the world, which have always supported the US dictate for the benefit of the Zionist regime.

In this sense, the resurgence of the revolutionary and anti-Zionist student movement in the United States and other regions of the globe is a blessing to Gaza’s selfless and resilient Resistance. Whether the American student movement will help change the course of the war in Gaza is a question history will answer. The concrete fact is that this youthful rebellion represents the spearhead of Palestinian rights, which is changing the reality in universities in the United States and many countries around the world.

-Sayid Marcos Tenório is a historian and specialist in international relations. He is vice president of the Brazil-Palestine Institute (Ibraspal) and author of the book Palestina: do mito da terra prometida à terra da resistência (Palestine: the myth of the promised land to the land of resistance). His article appeared in MEMO.

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