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Although the American politicians, with the connivance of pliant university authorities and Zionist controlled media, are trying to portray this as “blatant anti-Semitism attacks on vulnerable Jewish students” on American campus, there has been no evidence to this date that students of Jewish origins have been specifically targeted and threatened by these protesters. The fact of the matter is that an increasing number of Jewish students are also involved and leading in these anti-war protests as the Gen Z of America are openly voicing their opposition to American duplicity, hypocrisy and double standards in supporting the ongoing genocide committed by Israel in the Gaza and West Bank.

Mind you, these are no ordinary universities and no ordinary students protesters. These are Ivy league universities such as Brown University, Columbia University and Yale University. As one American commentator remarked, these are sons and daughters of privileged Americans the cream of American youth and future leaders of the US. Joe Biden’s government is slowly waking up to the realization that this can lead to something serious unless this issue is nipped in the bud.

Lets take a case in point Columbia University situated in the city of New York. It proudly declares itself as the “Finest liberal arts college in the US” no less. On April the 17th, Students at the university established a Gaza Solidarity Encampment sit-in on the campus to demand that the university divests its considerable funds from companies that “profit or participate in Israel’s apartheid, genocide and occupation in Palestine.” Columbia University by the way, prides itself in that it was the first Ivy League university to divest its funds from companies supporting apartheid in South Africa. The students, representing over 100 groups from various institutions, were part of the Columbia University Apartheid Divestment campaign unit.

Columbia University President Dr Nemat “Minouche” Shafik (An Egyptian born academician who, when she was appointed University President in 2023, proclaimed herself to be a strong supporter of free speech and freedom of expression) claimed that the students were “a threat to peace and security” and responded by calling the NYPD unto the campus premises to eject and arrest the protesters. This despite the Senate overwhelming rejection of her intention to do so citing their objection to this action and in defence of the right of free speech and freedom of expression. Riot cops then came unto the campus (for the first time since 1968) and 108 students were arrested and charged with trespassing.These students are now suspended. Undeterred, other students then came and took their place and continued their sit down on campus. Some faculty members came out to show their support to the students in defiance of the embattled Dr Shafik.

Motaiz Azaiza the famous Gazan PhotoJournalists recently who was nominated by Time Magazine last week as one of the 100 most influential people of 2024 appeared to meet the students at UC and gave a tremendous boost to the morale of these students. Many broke down in tears to see him in person after following his daily updates of the harrowing scene of slaughter and mayhem during Israel’s invasion of Gaza. Despite the warnings of campus authorities, the students showed no sign of backing down. Instead other students elsewhere are following their actions.

Protests have also been reported in California State Polytechnic University, Humbolt, Yale, The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Swarthmore College, University of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, University of Rochester in New York, MIT, Tufts University, Emerson College in Massachusetts and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. As it stands, this appears to be a snowballing event that will see more and more students joining it nationwide.

Mike Johnson the speaker of the House of Congress came in uninvited unto the UC campus to show his support for Israel and the Jews. Playing up to the gallery, he declared that President Shafik should resign for “her weak and inept leadership”. Saying that he represented the whole House, he could not remain silent “whilst Jewish students are running for their lives and staying in their homes in fear for their lives” (Sic). The ironic thing this ignorant Speaker forgot to mention in this pompous speech was the fact that out of 108 students arrested in UC, 15 of them were Jewish students from the group Jewish Voices for Peace which also opposed Israel’s invasion of Gaza and calling for a ceasefire.

Ever the opportunist, even the Prime Minister of Israel Bibi Netanyahu waded in to address the American public claiming the situation in these campuses were reminiscent of German universities before WWII where anti Jewish feelings were whipped up into a frenzy by Nazi leading to the Holocaust. This shameless person who is directly responsible for the extermination of more than thirty thousand innocent Palestinian men, women and children since Oct the 7th 2023 called for urgent action to prevent the “annihilation of Israel, Jews and US” by these extremists now occupying Columbia University. How sick.

The budding anti-Israel protests brings to mind the student’s activism of the 1960s following the Vietnam war. Student’s activism that began eventually spread like wildfire until it engulfed the whole nation. In this next section I will present the background of the movement, how it began, its effect and influence in changing public opinion.

American student movement’s protest against the Vietnam war.

The student movement began at the University of California at Berkeley in 1964, when civil rights students activists protested at the university’s attempt to prevent them from speaking out against the Vietnam war and in particular, against the military draft which required Americans of military age to enlist in the army and then be sent to Vietnam to fight. The Free Speech Movement arose to challenge the university’s restrictions on political speech and assembly. Soon, other student groups were springing up across the nation with similar demands.

As the US involvement in the Vietnam War intensified exponentially, so did antiwar sentiment among students. Especially after 1965, when then US President Lyndon Johnson sent 500, 000 American troops and conducted heavy bombing campaigns in Vietnam, the war became the focal point for student political activism. The students protests got so bad, police were unable to control them and the authorities in a determined show of strength, had to call in the national guard. On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of Kent State University demonstrators, killing four and wounding nine Kent State students. This event resulted in a nationwide student strike that forced hundreds of colleges and universities to close and horrified US public opinion began to turn against the war.

Students protesting the Vietnam War in 1965. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Domino Theory Narrative

The US was determined not to let the Vietnamese communists win the war. The domino theory was used as a narrative to justify the war. According to this now discredited theory, if South Vietnam fell, other South East Asian countries (including Malaysia) will also eventually fall. No money was spared to support the war effort. It costs the US government then about 170 billion USD to fund the war. (At current day estimates, this amounted to one trillion USD). Financing the war contributed to massive financial deficits and seriously damaged the US economy, which in turn turned more segments of the American public besides the students, including religious groups, civil rights organizations, and eventually even many Vietnam veterans, against the war.

Of course the mainstream media then was widely pro-establishment and displayed open hostility towards antiwar activists. These students and activists were labelled communist supporters, hippies and social outcasts and treated accordingly. Social media was unheard of in those days and the technology did not exist well until 5 decades later. Hence newspapers and television was the main medium of conveying information to influence public opinion.

However a few journalists then dared to go against the mainstream tide and conducted important and game changing investigative reporting. Images of dead American troops (50 000 in all) being brought home in black body bags began to fill the media, breaking news of wide spread use of chemical defoliants in the infamous Agent Orange Scandal with its effect on civilian populations and troops alike, the My Lai Massacre, the illegal and undeclared war in Cambodia and Laos, and the infamous Gulf of Tonkin incident that the US used as a pretext to involve itself fully in the Vietnam War was exposed to be a lie, the Pentagon Papers (1971) exposing systematic lies by successive US governments about US involvement in the Vietnam war and finally Watergate served to undermine the trust of the people in their president and government. The established media could not support the lies and propaganda issued by successive administrations at the risk of losing all their credibility. Support for the war in Vietnam collapsed totally in America.

The war against the North Vietnamese and Vietcong was not going well either. Faced with defeat politically at home and on the battlefield in Vietnam against the determined and resolute AK47 and RPG toting Vietcong guerrillas clad in black pyjamas, flip-flops and straw hats, Despite pouring all its advanced military resources against these inferiorily equipped forces, America could not prop up the South Vietnamese regime nor its army. America finally had to call it a day although it was by far the most technologically and militarily superior force. In 1973, Henry Kissinger negotiated on behalf of the US government and the Paris peace accords were signed and most American troops left Vietnam to return home many of them disillusioned with the war and their government who sent them there. In 1975, the corrupt South Vietnamese government finally fell and the last Americans fled Vietnam from the American Embassy in Saigon clinging desperately to helicopters. A humiliating retreat for a super power. A lesson they didn’t learn and fated to repeat in disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in later years.

Many American historians ascribe as very important the role of US universities and students played in the anti-war movement that led to the end of the Vietnam war.


When we look at what is happening in American campuses today as students protest at Israeli Apartheid, Settler Colonialism and genocidal policies, one can see many similarities between now 2024 and 1964 exactly six decades apart. Idealistic students embracing ideals and willing to sacrifice all to achieve their dreams of peace and justice prevail in this world. At the same time we see the so-called liberal university establishment eschewing the very ideals they claim to hold, blatantly employing force and suppression to douse the flames of protests by any means possible in order to save their faces and their jobs.
Corrupted US Politicians on both sides of the political divide, on the payroll of foreign governments, aloof from the very constituencies they claim to serve, blithely ignoring clear evidences of war crimes and massacres, talking about protecting US interests and its allies, deifying their allies and dehumanizing those they consider their enemies in order to justify the oppression and crimes against humanity. Using their veto powers in the UN to block resolutions against their interests and those of their allies regardless of the rule of law. Coming up with resolutions as and when it suits their purposes.

We see big business conglomerates working hand in glove in an unholy alliance with Military establishment building yet even more sophisticated, more expensive and destructive weapons of war using these conflicts as testing grounds for their weapons and advertisement for marketing purposes. Yes, War in the 60s and now 60 years later are still big business for these merchants of death. The stock market values of big military related firms shoot skywards every time there are wars. Thanks to Ukraine and Gaza.
We also see similarities in the role of Media- mainstream and social media. Mainstream media being controlled by state actors, big business, lobbyists and interest groups expousing freedom of expression yet clearly one-sided and unbalanced in their reporting and analyses. The only difference perhaps the most significant and possibly the most game changing difference is in the power of social media which now resides in the palm of every hand through the smart phones. Try as they might, they have not been able to control the narrative. As millions witness the horrific crimes against humanity being committed on line and in real time, the power of social media is multiplying the effectiveness of protests and shifting of public opinion.

It is our hope that what is currently happening in the American Universities will, like their precursors six decades ago, symbolizes a reawakening in the American youth moral consciousness. A renaissance if you like. It took a decade for America to change course about the Vietnam war. Their politicians were useless but it was their youth who shifted the tide. We are optimistic that the gen Z of America’s youngest and brightest will succeed where their elders failed miserably in leading change to the world. Will American youth manage to decouple America from the tenuous tentacles of Israel where other aspirants and tried and failed miserably before? Time will tell whether what is happening is “Its Yesterday Once More” or just a brief flash in the pan.

The End

Source: By Abu Umair

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