Pro-Palestine seders planned in New York, elsewhere as US campuses simmer

Palestinian flags are seen around the encampment on the campus of Columbia University in New York City. (Photo/AFP)

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators plan to risk mass arrest by closing down the Brooklyn street where US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer resides, a coalition of Jewish groups opposing Israel's carnage in besieged Gaza have said.

The protest, planned on the second night of the week-long Jewish feast of Passover, is one of a dozen to be held in cities around the country, including Portland, Oregon, and Seattle.

There has been a spate of major demonstrations on college campuses from California to Massachusetts over the past week.

On many of the campuses, protesters have set up tent encampments to press their demands.

In Brooklyn on Tuesday, protesters will hold a Passover Sedar, a ritual holiday meal and service, while urging Schumer, the highest elected Jewish American, to support an end to providing US weapons for Israel's war in Gaza, organisers said in a statement.

"Hundreds will risk arrest while demanding Senator Schumer, who has recently spoken sharply against Netanyahu, take the next step and stop arming Israel," the statement said, referring to far-right Israeli Prime Minister.

Since Friday, hundreds of students and others were arrested at Columbia, Yale and New York University.

Protests in 'uncommitted' Minnesota

At the University of Minnesota, pro-Palestine protesters demonstrated on campus to demand an end to the Israeli carnage in Gaza and press the university to cut ties with companies and institutions that support Israel.

In a case that is not the first in which police responded with aggression against students, it was reported that nine of the students were arrested.

Dozens were previously arrested at Columbia and Yale universities.

Later, an emergency protest mobilised over a thousand students and staff members, and a community organiser said the Solidarity Encampment was being re-established.

Muslims in Minnesota announced months ago they would be voting uncommitted over President Joe Biden's support for Israel. Jewish activists also joined Minnesota's Muslims in the protest vote.

Tensions across campuses

At Columbia in New York City, the university cancelled in-person classes on Monday in a bid to defuse tensions on campus and out of concern that Jewish students faced possible harassment.

On Tuesday, the school said classes for the rest of the year were hybrid — with students able to attend either online or in person.

New York City police arrested more than 120 protesters on New York University's campus late on Monday, a police spokesperson said. Police said university authorities reached out for help, and protesters failed to clear by the deadline given by the university.

Israel has waged a brutal military invasion on the Palestinian territories since October last year following cross-fence raid by Hamas resistance fighters. The hours-long raid and the Israeli military's haphazard reaction resulted in the killings of more than 1,130 people, Israeli officials and local media have revised down from 1400.

Palestinian fighters took more than 250 hostages and presently 130 remain in Gaza, including 34 who the Israeli army says are dead, many of them killed in indiscriminate Israeli strikes and targeting by Israeli soldiers.

Hamas says its October 7 blitz on Israel that surprised its arch-enemy was orchestrated in response to Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque, illegal settler violence in occupied West Bank and to put Palestine question "back on the table."

Israel has since then killed at least 34,200 Palestinians — 70 percent of them babies, women and children — and wounded more than 77,000 others, while thousands are feared buried under debris of homes annihilated in Israeli bombardment.

The Israeli war, now in its 200th day, has pushed 85 percent of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 percent of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whichhas ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on the rights situation in the Palestinian territories, said recently there were reasonable grounds to believe Israel was committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.


Source: TRT