Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Thousands gather outside White House to protest war in Gaza

By 37ci3 Jun8,2024

WASHINGTON – Thousands of people from across the country rallied outside the White House on Saturday to protest the Biden administration’s policies on the Israel-Hamas war, many wearing keffiyehs and red clothes to symbolize Israel’s red line.

Hundreds of protesters hung a red banner around the White House and called on President Joe Biden to change his approach to the war in Gaza.

Protesters chanted, “Biden, Biden, you can’t hide, we are your red line.”

NBC News has reached out to the White House for comment.

“The goal is to draw a red line that Biden won’t draw when it comes to Israel’s genocide in Gaza, and to say that we as a nation have drawn a red line today to say enough is enough,” protester Nas Issa said. From the Palestinian Youth Movement. “It’s time for an arms embargo, and it’s time to end it.”

Some of the protesters took buses from cities including New York, Philadelphia and Boston, according to posts on social media site X by one of the organizing groups.

“Sometimes it feels a little desperate because everyone is talking about how it started on October 7th. Meanwhile, there are decades of oppression, illegal detentions, illegal occupations, illegal settlements,” Nashville, Tennessee to DC says Ibrahim Dabdub, who goes. .

Dabdoub joined the protest with his two sisters. Three Palestinian brothers traveled from Canada, Tennessee and North Carolina to protest.

Dabdoub and her sister Dania voted for Biden in 2020 — the third sister to protest is not an American citizen — but do not plan to endorse him this November.

“I regret everything,” Dania Dabdoub said of the 2020 vote, saying she would “never vote for him again.”

Similarly, Qais Musmar, who traveled from Springfield, Virginia, for the protest, said he voted for Biden in 2020, adding, “I kind of regret it right now.” He said he would probably vote for an independent candidate in November, though “there are a lot of things [Biden] could change his mind.

Ehab Abutavikh traveled with his cousin and aunt from near Paterson, New Jersey, to attend the first protest. He said that Abutavikh’s family is from Gaza and that a close family member was killed in the war.

He said his message to the White House was to “open their eyes” and “stop what’s going on.” Abutavix was not old enough to vote in 2020 and said they do not yet know how he plans to vote in November.

Organizers and politicians, including Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and Socialist Party candidate Claudia De la Cruz, lashed out at the Biden administration during speeches in a park outside the White House.

“Biden can stop the genocide going on in Gaza right now,” De la Cruz said. “He could stop it, but it’s against his best interests. So we are here to say that we are the red line.

Protesters’ messages ranged from calls for an end to the war and a change in US policy to calls against a two-state solution.

Some protesters chanted, “We don’t want two states, we’re taking back 48,” referring to the 1948 war that led to the establishment of the state of Israel.

A group of protesters also shouted: “Say it loud, say it openly, we don’t want Zionists here.”

Hundreds of signs loomed over the crowd with messages such as “Lift the siege on Gaza now” and “genocide is our red line”, but several had more controversial messages, including “f— Israel, stand with Hamas”. ” Another sign depicts a Star of David with red handprints around it.

A handful of protesters wore green hoods similar to those worn by members of Hamas.

One protester wearing a headband said it read “Hamas,” although the protester said he didn’t speak Arabic and wasn’t sure what it said. When asked whether he supported Hamas, the protester, who did not reveal his name, said, “I will not say supporter, maybe I will say sympathetic.”

The United States recognized Hamas as a terrorist organization and headed it October 7 attack According to Israeli officials, about 1,200 people were killed and about 240 people were taken hostage. According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, more than 36,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, and it is unclear how many were civilians and militants.

However, the vast majority of protesters did not support the pro-Hamas views.

Rob Stephens, who lives in DC, said he wanted to join the protest because his mother is a Holocaust survivor.

“I think he’ll be here too,” she said, adding that she would be “terrified.”

Stephens voted for Biden in 2020 and plans to vote for the president again this November because she “doesn’t want a fascist, reluctant Hitler,” apparently referring to former President Donald Trump.

During the protest, many statues in Lafayette Square in front of the White House were defaced with spray paint, graffiti and red handprints. The protestors shouted “Hands off Rafah!” Stop the genocide!” to the statues. The statues have some graffiti slogans such as “free Gaza”, “kill the pigs” and “f— pigs”.

Police said they tried to arrest a person who was climbing the statue, but members of the crowd intervened. Police fired pepper spray and the man fled.

Biden is currently in France, not the White House.

The President’s rhetoric against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become increasingly critical in recent months.

A few days ago, Biden said In an interview with Time magazine, he said he had “every reason” to believe Netanyahu was prolonging the war for political gain. There is Biden said before He said Netanyahu made a “mistake” in his handling of the war.

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By 37ci3

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