Hamas and Iran celebrate anti-Gaza war protests taking US colleges by storm

Hamas and Iran celebrate anti-Gaza war protests taking US colleges by storm

Palestinian militant group Hamas and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei publicly applauded the growing number of anti-Gaza war protests and encampments that have sprung up on college campuses from California to Massachusetts and have become a flashpoint in the U.S.

Izzat Al-Risheq, a member of the militant group’s Political Bureau, said on Wednesday that President Joe Biden’s administration is violating the rights of students and faculty members and arresting them, “because of their rejection of the genocide that our Palestinian people are the subjected in the Gaza Strip at the hands of the neo-Nazi Zionists.”

The statement claimed: “Today’s students are the leaders of the future.”

The U.S. designated Hamas a terrorist organization in the late 1990s. Several other countries have labeled it a terrorist group.

Khamenei also put out a statement on X, formerly Twitter, where he celebrated the flying of a Hezbollah’s flag in the streets of the U.S. “The people of the world are supporting the Resistance Front because they are resisting & because they are against oppression,” the post read.

Plaudits from Iran and Hamas − the group that carried out the Oct. 7 attack prompting the deadliest single assault on Jews since the Holocaust, slaughtering thousands and dragging hundreds back to Gaza as hostages − come at a boiling point. Protests have embroiled college presidents, students, political leaders from both parties and even President Biden himself as thousands of Jewish students denounce growing antisemitism on U.S. college campuses.

It should be noted that Iran and Hamas have come under fire for cracking down on their own protest movements. Human Rights Watch, an international watchdog group, documented the “excessive and lethal force” Iranian security forces used to repress widespread protests that erupted in 2022.

In Gaza, beatings and arrests of human rights defenders, journalists and demonstrators by Hamas in recent years, reflect a systematic practice, a report by the watchdog organization found.

Some of the protests on American universities have prompted arrests and police intervention in recent days, showing a deepening dissatisfaction with the U.S.’ ironclad support for Israel− it’s most important ally in the Middle East− as it wages a war against Hamas.

Biden has faced increased scrutiny from both the American public and members of his own party over his stance on the Israel-Hamas war. Nearly half of American voters, 45%, believe Biden should pressure Israel to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, an exclusive USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll found in March.

Over the last few months, Biden has taken a more strident tone against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, criticizing Israel’s failure to protect civilians amid the growing death toll of Palestinians.

At the same time, the U.S. has been working with Egypt and Qatar for months to broker a second temporary cease-fire between Hamas and Israel that would involve a six-week cease-fire in exchange for the release of 40 militant-held hostages and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

But progress has stalled.

More than 100 were released last November during a truce. More than 130 hostages remain in held in Gaza. In recent weeks, fears have risen that hostages have perished in captivity. And, that Hamas would fail to bring forth the 40 women, elderly and wounded hostages as part of the deal, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Since the group’s founding in 1987, Hamas has called for the establishment of an Islamic Palestinian state that would replace the current state of Israel. Hamas has said it believes in the use of violence to bring about the eradication of Israel.

Source » usatoday.com