Updates on the Pro-Palestinian Protests

Pro-Palestinian protesters. Image credit: The Jefferson Independent.

More coverage of last week’s pro-Hamas demonstration at the University of Virginia comes from The Jefferson Independent and The Cavalier Daily. The Independent’s Peter McHugh provides a vivid  description of events, such as dueling flags — Israel’s versus Palestinian — on the steps of the Rotunda. Crying, “This is our space!” the pro-Palestinian demonstrators scuffled with the Jewish students in an unsuccessful bid to remove their banner.

McHugh also takes note of a communication from the Provost’s office to faculty members that stated, “While the university is aware that a number of student organizations are planning a walkout at 12:30 tomorrow, we are not canceling classes and expect that instruction will continue as scheduled.”

At least one professor, Mack Gregg of the English department, ended class at 12:30 and urged students to attend the walkout demonstration, two students told McHugh. The Independent tried to contact Gregg for a response but got no reply.

Kudos to the administration for insisting that classes continue as scheduled. Will there be any repercussions for defying the order? Stay tuned…

According to the Cavalier Daily account, the pro-Palestinians described Israel’s actions — retaliatory strikes that have resulted in unintended civilian casualties — as “genocide.”

The lead organizers of the event, Students for Justice in Palestine, were joined by Young Democratic Socialists of America and Dissenters and 12 other student organizations.

— JAB

1.8 5 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

6 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
walter smith
walter smith
5 months ago

How much funding do these organizations receive from Student Council?
Do students have the right to object to their Student Activities Fees being used for such organizations? Do any of these organizations participate in the Lawn selection process?

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
5 months ago
Reply to  walter smith

Excellent questions, Walter. Perhaps the BOV should ask President Ryan if it’s “great and good” for him to fund student organizations that support genocide and the eradication of Israel?

Jack Cann
Jack Cann
5 months ago

Do any of these students understand the Laws of War, or do they care? Hamas is engaging in impermissible deception in using civilians as a shield, and this practice is prohibited under war-conduct law. Supposedly, civilians are protected under the principle of noncombatant immunity; however, Hamas has blatantly violated this. Do these students and agitators know that they are supporting a criminal organization? I guess that it does not matter to them. Morality is not apparently a strong suit in some parts of UVA.

Walter smith
Walter smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Jack Cann

The answer is “no.” They don’t. They get news on their phones. That means Google. When Mike Johnson was elected Speaker, I searched him and the first thing that came up was the Bill Kristol so called GOP Responsibility website. Not exactly accurate, much less positive! Before the Dobbs decision last year, both of my daughters believed a woman could not have a dead baby removed. Currently, the youngest one, at UVA, asked wasn’t Israel killing innocent people? Wasn’t Israel bad?

taruva76
taruva76
5 months ago

Mr. Jefferson is weeping in his grave. The administration should be ashamed of itself for not unequivocally, adamantly and repeatedly condemning support of Hamas, an organization recognized throughout the civilized world as a terrorist organization. To profess even tangential support with code words and innuendo (decolonization, Zionists, etc.) is still support of a terrorist organization. There is no moral equivalency between what is happening in Gaza and what happened in Israel on Oct 7. Goebbels would be proud of the Hamas propaganda machine, and gleeful at much of the media reaction.

There is no issue of free speech. These supporters of Hamas are absolutely free to support whatever causes they choose, I wore this country’s uniform to protect the rights of these idiots. But if they violate the law, they need to be punished. The white supremacists in 2017 expressed their despicable viewpoint and UVa wasted no time in condemning them and, I suspect, investigating any student involvement whatsoever, and prosecuting any lawbreakers. That was the right thing to do. They should be doing the same thing for the equally heinous expression of support for an organization that wants nothing short of the total annihilation of the Jews and the Jewish State.

To publicly condemn such a viewpoint and prosecute unlawful behavior is not political. It is an expression of civilized humanity. Anything short of a statement of absolute condemnation for Hamas, its stated goals and it’s behaviors, speaks volumes. Support of a white supremacist organization which chants “the Jews will not replace us” is despicable, punishable behavior, and UVa was aggressive (rightfully so) in its condemnation and rooting out of anyone who professed support. It was also very solicitous in offering “safe” places and counseling for the student population who felt unsafe or threatened.

Will UVa be equally aggressive in its condemnation and rooting out of anyone who professes support of an organization “by any means necessary” who’s members actually butchered, raped and kidnapped who knows exactly how many, and willfully PUBLICIZED the death of babies and the public desecration of dead bodies? Will UVa be equally solicitous of the Jewish students who actually fear for their safety due to direct threats and physical intimidation, as opposed to chants in candlelight on The Lawn.

The hypocrisy is stunning. I wonder who is teaching History these days on The Grounds? The evident lack of knowledge surrounding the true history of Israel and Palestine (ancient and modern) the UN involvement, and the repeated efforts to achieve peace is equally stunning. Either the curriculum is seriously flawed, or facts are being willfully ignored.

Very troubling on so many fronts.

Peter LeQuire College '65
Peter LeQuire College '65
5 months ago

Information readily available on the www. about the “Dissenters” describes its focus and current activities as “protesting”. I find it curious that it places the names of its Staff and Advisory Team in a password protected part of its web site.

Whatever it is, it is but another advocacy group making not so subtle attempts to destroy the unique American culture, government and society that protect individual freedoms Our founding documents assert (boldly) that those have a divine origin ; those documents assert the sanctity of life and the premise that government doesn’t dole out rights and privileges, Russel Kirk, in Eliot and His Age: .”…the world stood in need of religious and moral principle upon which to renew the civil social order.” (1984) This thought certainly resonates today, as ii did in the 18th. Century: “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Morality and virtue are the foundation of our republic and necessary for a society to be free. There are reasons to question how moral and religious this nation is.

Genocide. It’s a huge topic: suffice it to say that the horror which was the mass extermination of a Europe’s Jewish population (and other “undesirables”) is an historic fact; The USSR’s killing of 7 million Ukranians (Holodomor) and 1.5 million Arnemians; communist China’s “Great Leap Forward – 27 million killed. Israel’s war with Hamas and other organizations committed to the extermination of Jews and elimination of Israel as a political entity certainly cannot be called “genocide”. If any entity is responsible for the deaths of hostages in Gaza and the West Bank, it is the entity holding as hostages non combatants. Israel is not calling for extermination of Palestinians (or of any other group).

I agree with TARUVA76. But I would reinforce the idea that the University needs to unequivocally condemn any organization that supports – tacitly or otherwise – the taking of hostages and using them as human shields. It should condemn the advocacy – blatant or implied – of support for the Hamas and other anti-Semitic organizations, There may be reason to allow organization’s to protest and to speak about their beliefs: but the University should do its damnedest to not make possible the conclusion that in allowing them to do so is not supporting them.

(Random thought – the Rotunda makes a wonderful backdrop for demonstrations that besmirch the University. Well played.)

(Another random thought – while Palestinians, and others, claim the land of Israel by prior occupancy,. does not the Jewish claim. dating from the 18th. Century BC, precede it? Just curious.)