Gazans salute university students’ uprising for Palestine – Mondoweiss

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As Israel’s invasion of Rafah has begun, people in Gaza are holding out hope that international pressure will force Israel to refrain from going further in its genocidal campaign. A part of that hope is tied to the heroic actions of university students across the U.S. who are rising up for Gaza and for Palestine. 

A week before the most recent escalation of Israel’s military campaign, people in Gaza were writing messages on placards in their displacement camps, thanking the students for reminding the people of Gaza that they are not alone and that entire generations in the U.S., the largest supporter of the war machine eliminating Palestinian life in Gaza, are committed to putting a stop to the genocide.

In front of the displacement camps, children stand to deliver a message of thanks to the solidarity protests. In front of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, a group of doctors holds a conference thanking the students. Likewise, in markets and public places, activists participate on social media holding up signs also thanking the free students defending the rights of Palestinians.

The media spokesman for al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, Dr. Khalil Al-Dakran, expressed thanks on behalf of Palestinian doctors in a message he read at a vigil. 

“This systematic Israeli crime has urged free people of the world and motivated their spirit of humanity, which resulted in a global movement rejecting genocidal war,” he said, describing the uprising of university students as “a moral and humanitarian revolution” aimed at lifting the injustice and genocide against the Palestinian people.

“From beneath the rubble of homes, the tents of the displaced, the families of the wounded, and the shrouds of the martyrs, we extend our great thanks to these students and the teaching staff participating in defending Gaza against genocide,” he added.

Palestinian students participate in a solidarity conference saluting students in U.S. universities, al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, Deir al-Balah, May 5, 2024. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images)
Palestinian students participate in a solidarity conference saluting students in U.S. universities, al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, Deir al-Balah, May 5, 2024. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images)

Fatima Abu Bakr, 34, says from inside her tent in the city of Rafah that when she heard and saw pictures of American students setting up tents similar to theirs, they felt that they were not alone. 

“If these actions and protests could not stop our daily killing and extermination, and the bombing over our heads, then they were at least able to make us feel a little more human,” she told Mondoweiss. “They reminded us that we aren’t alone in this world, even if we die. We know there is someone who will raise our names and tell our story to the whole world.”

Fatima wishes that the whole world would follow the example of student activists to stem the flow of Gazans’ blood. 

“If the people of the world do nothing to stop a genocide, what is to stop another one from occurring in another region of the world?” she said.

In another tent sits Sami Darwish, 70, who has a different opinion about the protests. 

He says that they are similar to the family that discovered that their father took care of them throughout his life with illegal money. These students have woken up to the lies that their leader feeds them, which help the extermination of an entire people.

“The American administration, while it says it supports the rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of their state, uses its veto in the United Nations to grant Palestine full membership,” Darwish says. “This reveals that the American administration is selling its people lies and nothing more.” 

Palestinians salute U.S. students for their support for Gaza, Deir al-Balah, May 1, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
Palestinians in displacement camps salute U.S. students for their support for Gaza, Deir al-Balah, May 1, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)

It is apparent that the repression the university students have faced makes it clear that they are a threat to the system. 

“Have you seen what happens when you stand with the truth? With the oppressed?” Sami said. “ This is the clear policy of the United States. It does not want anyone to talk about the oppressed. It only wants to support killing and destruction throughout the world, and it does not want peace for anyone.”

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