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Since fighting reignited between Israel and Hamas, student demonstrators on college campuses across America have been a major voice in support of the Palestinian people. In recent weeks, a new protest strategy on campuses is heightening tensions with school faculties and leading to increased confrontations with police.

At many schools, protesters are constructing tent cities decorated with signs calling for a ceasefire and the recognition of Palestinian statehood. At many schools, protestors are also calling for the schools to divest from Israeli entities and corporations.

The face of the new protest strategy is Columbia University, where over 100 protesters were arrested this past week after the New York Police Department was sent to clear the encampment.

A writer in The Atlantic (Left bias) described the “Liberated Zone” where protesters are gathered at Columbia University as “intifada-meets-Woodstock,” determining that the demonstrators “seemed less likely to persuade than to give collective voice to righteous anger. A genuine sympathy for the suffering of Gazans mixed with a fervor and a politics that could border on the oppressive.” The writer concluded, “too many at this elite university, even as they hoped to ease the plight of imperiled civilians, had allowed the intoxicating language of liberation to blind them to an ugliness encoded within that struggle.”

Noah Rothman (Lean Right bias) pushed back on the notion that the student’s youth gives them an “untainted” perspective on the conflict and affords them heightened sympathy for the Palestinian people. Connecting the student protests to historic youth movements in America, Rothman concluded, “The woefully misled and vaguely menacing students glutting the quads of their formerly respected institutions fancy themselves the authors of a revolutionary power reversal, but that is self-deception. They’re merely acting out in service to the interests of the already powerful, whose primary goal is the acquisition of even more power. Of the many tragedies in this ongoing spectacle, the degree to which its participants have been tricked into tarnishing their personal and professional reputations is one of the saddest.”

Responding to Columbia's announcement that classes would be partially held online, a writer in the Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) called the decision "inexcusable," arguing, "A campus quarantine will not stop the spread of hatred coming from the university’s professors, DEI bureaucrats, or courses. Columbia’s hiring process, courses, and DEI agenda-setting all need to be examined and reformed, and Columbia isn’t showing the stomach to do so by going virtual and hoping the antisemitism on display just magically disappears."

A writer in the New York Times Opinion (Left bias) compared these protests to the anti-war youth movements seen during the Vietnam War, determining that the Biden Administration is wrong to believe they can "wait the protesters out." The writer concluded, "The protesters and many voters are upset about something more than a regular matter of foreign policy. Many believe that they are witnessing a genocide aided and abetted by an American president whom they supported. They feel personally implicated in a conflict in which the death toll continues to rise, with no end in sight. This is a moral issue for them, and their position won’t be easily altered."

An analysis in the Wall Street Journal (Center bias) predicted protests would continue through the summer, stating, "Organizers, law-enforcement officials and political leaders are now girding for a summer of protests, potentially culminating with July’s GOP convention in Milwaukee and August’s Democratic convention in Chicago, the same city marred by violence during anti-Vietnam War activism in 1968."

Top words about college protests used more on each side of the media.
Analysis from Partisan Playground; Media Bias Ratings from AllSides

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More from the Right

‘We Are Being Manipulated’: Professor Explains How China Is Spreading Pro-Hamas Sentiment On College Campuses
The Daily Caller

"'What might sound paranoid to those who might not [unintelligible], I think we are being manipulated, specifically youth, through their frame through the world is TikTok,' Galloway said. 'If you look at TikTok, there are 52 videos that are pro-Hamas or pro-Palestinian for every one served on Israel. I think that we are being manipulated. I think that Americans are easier to fool than to convince they’ve been fooled. But if I were the CCP, I’d be doing exactly the same thing. I think social media is sowing division and polarization in our society.'"

More from the Center

Mike Johnson Booed by Columbia Pro-Palestinian Protesters

"Shortly after meeting with a group of Jewish students on Wednesday afternoon, Johnson held a press conference on the campus that was immediately and repeatedly interrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters. Johnson was drowned out by protesters who booed and shouted 'we can't hear you,' 'free Palestine' and 'get the f*** off our campus' as the Republican attempted to speak in support of Israel and the Jewish students."

More from the Left

Mehdi Hasan Goes Off on ‘Shameful’ Media Handling of Columbia Protests
The Daily Beast

Hasan: "By the way, the Israeli government from its official Twitter account referred to American students in Columbia as terrorists. I would like to see the White House stand up for American citizens against a foreign government calling them terrorists rather than join in with the kind of online mob attacks on the students."

See more big stories from the past week.