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Veterans Support Students Protesting Genocide In Palestine

Above photo: Chapter 102 members visited the encampment at UW-Milwaukee.

“The students are absolutely right, and may be saving our humanity.”

Veterans For Peace applauds the students who are protesting against the US/Israeli genocide in Palestine.  These courageous young students are doing the right thing at the right time. 

“The students are absolutely right, and they may actually be saving our humanity,” said Veterans For Peace president Susan Schnall. “Peace-loving people should applaud them, help them and join them. We are grateful that many people – including veterans – are doing just that.

Nonviolent student encampments on hundreds of college campuses in the U.S. and around the world are providing a light of hope in an otherwise hopeless and shameful moment in human history. The U.S. and European governments are complicit in Israel’s daily crimes against humanity in Gaza, while the world’s governments and the United Nations are unable or unwilling to act.

As much as we are grateful for the young people taking the lead in resisting genocide, Veterans For Peace is equally appalled at the violent repression of peaceful protesters by university administrations in collusion with local and state police.  We remember the massacres of antiwar students at Kent State and Jackson State University in 1970.  We absolutely reject House Speaker Mike Thompson’s call for the National Guard to be deployed to the campuses. 

We categorically reject the slander and lies from our so-called political leaders that are being faithfully broadcast by corporate media. We have heard all this before: baseless charges of violence, ”chaos,” “outside agitators” and “anti-Semitism.”

We note that many Jewish students and organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace have taken a leading role in these protests, along with Palestinian-Americans and students of many backgrounds, creeds and faiths. While we condemn hate speech against any human beings, we know from first-hand experience that these protests against genocide and war crimes have been powerful expressions of love, unity and mutual understanding.

As military veterans who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, we cherish the First Amendment – freedom of the press and freedom to speak our minds. These Constitutionally-guaranteed rights are now under attack by university administrators and also in the U.S. Congress, where the House just passed a bill officially describing criticism of Israel as “anti-Semitsm,” and threatening to defund universities that do not crack down on campus protests.

In the meantime, Israel’s genocide in Gaza continues unabated. Benjamin Netanyahu, who seems to care nothing at all for the fate of the Israeli hostages, is promising the worst massacre of all, in Rafah on the border with Egypt in the days to come. Children are being blown up – 14,000 children murdered – thousands missing legs and arms, and babies are being starved to death. This is absolutely unacceptable.

All over the world, the experts agree: only the United States government has the power and influence to stop this genocide.  Instead, the Biden Administration makes weak noises about protecting civilians, while continuing to provide Israel with 2,000 pound bombs to continue the massacre.

So God Bless the Student Protesters. Veterans For Peace stands with you. Many of our members are already supporting you.  This week, we are putting out a Call to Action to all veterans. Stand with the students and against the genocide. This may be the last chance to save our humanity.

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