Antisemitic Protests Yield Over 2,000 Arrests

( – The conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas is having a far-reaching effect overseas. In the United States, thousands of college students are protesting the Jewish state’s actions against the Palestinian people. To date, more than 30,000 people have reportedly died, the majority of whom are women and children, and Israel’s offensive has continued despite repeated calls for a ceasefire. Those demonstrations have led to more than 2,000 arrests.

The first incident of mass arrests came at Columbia University on April 30, when its president, Minouche Shafik, requested the NYPD intervene. The incident seemed to have set off a firestorm of arrests as more pro-Palestinian protestors took to college campuses across the country. Police dressed in riot gear have had to use flash bangs and tactical vehicles to subdue crowds and have taken thousands into custody at nearly 50 schools.

While authorities consider Columbia University Ground Zero for pro-Palestine demonstrations, protests have taken place from coast to coast. Students are protesting despite threats of suspension, expulsion, and arrest.

Students have set up encampments at several colleges, including the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Rutgers, and Columbia, prompting the administrations to cancel classes or move them online while they call police reinforcements.

Despite the threats they face, students are unwilling to back down from calling for help for Palestine. While some incidents of anti-Semitism have occurred, protest organizers have clearly stated that wasn’t the message they were trying to send or the premise of the demonstrations. Arrests have occurred in California, New York, Florida, Texas, and several other states.

President Joe Biden, who remained quiet in the first few days of unrest, has since spoken out, saying he acknowledges the US is a country where people have the right to “peacefully assemble and make their voices heard,” but at the same time, “order must prevail.”

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