Hundreds Arrested: Students Across U.S. Protest for Palestine as Campus Crackdown Intensifies

Campuscrackdowncredit reuters

Student protests calling for university divestment from Israel and the U.S. arms industry have rocked campuses from coast to coast. The nonviolent protests, which have been characterized as “antisemitic” for their criticism of Israel, have been met with an intensifying police crackdown as university administrators threaten academic discipline and arrests. On Wednesday, local and state troopers violently arrested dozens at the University of Texas at Austin. Meanwhile, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson visited Columbia University in New York City, the site of a high-profile student encampment and one of the first to be met with police action, where he called on university president Minouche Shafik to resign. We hear from two Jewish students involved in protests at their schools. Joshua Sklar, a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin and an organizer with Jewish Voice of Peace Austin, says concern over campus antisemitism is insincere, and that, in fact, “The people who are being targeted are Muslim students, Arab students, and especially Palestinian students.” Sklar and Sarah King, a member of Columbia University Apartheid Divest who was arrested at the campus’s Gaza Solidarity Encampment, also point out that a large percentage of protesters are Jewish anti-Zionists concerned about their safety from state repression. “The threat is really coming from Columbia University, which has set the police on hundreds of its students who are entrusted to its care,” says King.

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