Students organize opposing protests on Israel, Palestine

In light of recent events in the Middle East that have taken the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians, students led on-campus demonstrations Friday. The two movements took place concurrently on Trousdale Parkway.

Activism · Rather than choosing a particular side, several students sit at the center of two on-campus demonstrations, advocating peace. – Joseph Chen | Daily Trojan

Last week, more than 400 rockets were fired at Israel with many hitting targets in the country and killing civilians. Israel has responded with attacks on Gaza, which have killed many Palestinian civilians. The escalated violence came after Israel killed Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari on Wednesday in a precision airstrike. On Friday, President Barack Obama spoke to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reiterating the United States’ support for Israel’s right to defend itself.

The protests were organized by students on Thursday and advertised to the student body on social networking sites, such as Facebook. Though not affiliated with any student organization on campus, the demonstrations included more than 20 people in support of each cause. Several more students passing by the center of campus offered their support for the demonstrators on either side. Demonstrators held flags and signs representing support for Israelis or Palestinians.

Student demonstrator Linda Fawaz, a senior majoring in international relations global business and a member of Students for Justice in Palestine, was among demonstrators trying to highlight the violence against Palestinian civilians.

“We felt like we needed to bear our signs,” Fawaz said. “This demonstration came out of necessity. We need to do something.”

Several demonstrators supported the idea of a cease-fire in the conflict. Fawaz said students involved in the demonstration also took part in a nonviolent protest at the Los Angeles Consulate on Thursday, an event that inspired students to hold a protest on campus.

“I don’t think a lot of [students] pay attention to world events, so by having this silent solidarity for the victims of Gaza who have been suffering for half a century it might prompt the international community to actually act,” Fawaz said.

Students who stood with Israel also held a peaceful demonstration near Tommy Trojan on Trousdale Parkway. On Friday morning, organizers released 500 balloons, which represented rockets fired toward Israel in the past year. The demonstrators hoped that their gathering could be used to inform the student body of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

Sarah Sax, a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism and president of Trojans for Israel, has been following the conflict closely. The past week’s increased attack has led her and other supporters of Israel to react more vocally on this particular issue.

“For years Israel has just been taking it,” Sax said. “We’ve come to a point where we’re not taking it anymore.”

Sax believes demonstrating is a means to drawing attention on the long-lasting conflict. The objective of the event was to educate and raise awareness of the necessity to support Israel and the people being victimized, according to Sax.

“All of this is happening and we just need to react,” Sax said. “We want people to recognize and understand the gravity of this situation and we want people to ask questions, be informed and continue dialogue.”

Another group of students responded to the tension in the demonstrations by sitting in the middle of Trousdale and playing “Why Can’t We Be Friends.”

All demonstrations stressed that they were not trying to conflict with the other one.

“I hope people are just aware,” Sax said. “If we engage students in educated dialogue I believe there will be some change.”

10 replies
  1. vince
    vince says:

    Israel is a racist apartheid society, in fact and in actions. They won’t be happy until all the Palestinians are dead.

    • The Buddha
      The Buddha says:

      ^ Islam is a racist apartheid ideology, in fact and in actions. Islamo-supremacists won’t be happy until all infidels are dead.

      [ahem… ftfy]

      there. that’s. better.

  2. Ganesha ackbar
    Ganesha ackbar says:

    In the interest of full disclosure, SJP is a well-known propaganda mouthpiece for Hamas terrorists.

    Recall also, in a 6 to 3 decision, the Supreme Court upheld a federal law that makes it a crime for Americans to provide “material support” of any kind (be it in the form of cash, weaponry, training, personnel, services, or “expert advice or assistance”) to a foreign terrorist organization, even if that support is for (ostensibly) peaceful purposes.

    Hamas would be one such example. It conducts terrorist attacks against Israel with one part of its organization while running charitable endeavors with another. Propagandizing for Hamas allows Hamas to use (alledgedly) “charitable” money elsewhere and allows Hamas to not have to spend propaganda funds for its terrorist activities.

    Upcoming Congressional hearings will undoubtedly focus the spotlight on SJP terrorism enablers. For those interested in a fuller disclosure of the SJP, read their dossier @

    So, thanks once again to SJP Hamas propagandists for making it easier for Obama’s NSA to track your activities and Holder’s Justice Department to prosecute your material support propaganda campaign.

    • William Buttrey
      William Buttrey says:

      By your definition, most of the US Congress is guilty of providing material support for terrorism. Until Israel actually defines its borders, the question of Palestinians using armed agression to repel invaders is less than clear cut. Though international law does not recognize annexing territory via conquest, that is exactly what Israel has been doing over the decades. These standards of human rights were established as a result of the crimes perpetrated against civilian populations after WWII, yet Israel acts as if (and is treated that way by their powerful allies) these standards do not apply to them.

      • North University Park
        North University Park says:

        Have you noticed that the D T allows some URLs to post but censors others?

        Is there a double standard?

      • Ganesha ackbar
        Ganesha ackbar says:

        Cluebat to Buttrey: Your argument is with SCOTUS definition, not me.

        Islamo-supremacists of Iran (through their Hamas and Hezbollah proxies) are using terrorism against innocent civilians (both Arab and Israeli) to conitinue global genocidal conquest.

        Moreover, Gaza was “annexed” by Hamas and rendered utterly Judenfrei by genocidal Islamo-supremacists. Try harder to avoid parroting silly Hamas propaganda lies.

        For those interested in a more scholarly discussion of the genocidal Islamo-supremacism phenomenon, try “The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic holy war and the fate of non-Muslims”
        [Doheny Bookstacks: BP182.L45 2005]

        • William Buttrey
          William Buttrey says:

          “Catch-22 means peope have the right to do to you anything which you cannot prevent them from doing to you.” ~ Joseph Heller

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