The 7th October attacks by Hamas and the unprecedented Israel bombardment, destruction, and killings of more than 34 thousand and injuring 75 thousand Palestinians have awakened the sleeping masses not only in the Muslim world but in Western countries as well. The USA and European countries have seen large public protests.

The public, against their government’s official stance, has not just condemned Israel’s actions but also took part in rallies and staged sit-ins at press clubs and even universities across the United States of America and Europe.

The brutal, suppressive, and undemocratic response from authorities has led to the questioning of the USA’s and Europe’s democratic values, normative principles, and their commitment towards freedom of speech and individual liberty to have ideas and opinions without any fear, prosecution, and intimidation from the state.

Israel’s 203 days onslaught on Gaza and the killings of civilians, including children, men, and women, and the destruction and bombings of hospitals, schools, and even university premises and attacks on professors’ homes, killing them and destroying their treasure, libraries, have led the people especially students across the West come out against their university demanding divestments and cutting ties with Israel.

The USA and its University of Columbia have been at the forefront of this agitation since last week, demanding their university cut ties with individuals, organizations, or companies linked to Israel or profiting in any manner from the Gaza War. Doing protests is a constitutional right that is acknowledged not just by Western countries’ domestic law but also by international law. The USA and EU’s acts of suppressing this have not just violated international or domestic law but have betrayed their founding fathers, whose core beliefs were to have a democratic government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

USA’s district administrations and higher officials have police at campuses to suppress protesters and end their encampments to stop the criticism of Israel’s genocidal acts in Gaza. Additionally, they also threatened to send national guards if the protests continued. The crackdown suppression and arrests of over 100 students, including professors at Columbia University, have sparked nationwide protests at some 25+ major United States universities, including the Ohio State University, which is one of the largest universities in the USA, and students are seen chanting slogans like “Free Palestine”, “Hey Biden, what do you say, how many kids you kill today?” and “let them go” in support of Palestinians and their fellows arrested respectively.

Other slogans included, “Real Americans stand with Gaza”, “Demilitarize education” and “There are no universities left in Gaza” which shows how deeply the Palestinian voices have impacted these young people in America. Going against these protestors is a violation of freedom of speech and freedom of protest rights, which led to the question of whether the United States is a democratic government or a fraud since it doesn’t value basic democratic principles.

Obama’s memoir stating that anything said in Israel could change the US Congress shows the USA has No sovereignty over its affairs, matters or foreign policy when it comes to Israel and that it is bound to follow what Israel does or says, even if it means going against their values and principles established by their founding fathers. The crackdown on students using national guards and police at university campuses is a grave violation and betrayal of the fundamental principles and values of the United States of America.

There are two major reasons behind these protests in universities. Firstly, the Americans as a nation had witnessed oppression, suppression, and brutalities at the hands of colonizers, and that’s the major reason the public, especially youth, can not see their government’s supporting the apartheid regime of Israel. The USA as a state has adopted policies contradicting its values, and principles, and the founding fathers’ vision. They believed freedom, equality, and justice should be prioritized and implemented in a real sense.

Second is the presence of Palestinian-born intellectuals, academicians like Edward Said, who used to teach at Columbia University, followed by Rashid Khalidi, who still teaches there – their continued advocacy for the Palestine cause has made Americans aware of their country’s true faces and dual standards. The 21st century’s American governments have intervened in many regions militarily, leaving behind a trail of bodies, violence, injustice, and oppression.

The USA’s ambitious intervention in Vietnam, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and many other countries has caused 4.6 million plus deaths and created instability followed by regional instability and chaos.

Inflation, unemployment, and poverty in these countries and regions are the product of the USA’s interventions. The public, especially the educated ones, have historically opposed these policies, which leaves us to wonder if the public represents the current American system or is a fraud since the USA, against the wishes of the public, continues to support and defend the apartheid regime of Israel. The European countries have also adopted similar authoritarian behaviour towards their masses in this regard, except for a few.

Norweig’s top 5 universities cut ties with Israel following protests. Also, universities like Essex, UCL, and Leeds have witnessed protests in the United Kingdom demanding cutting ties with the BAE system, which is weapons manufacturing. The UK has also followed the sit pf suppressing students’ voices. Safiyyaah, one of Essex University’s student protesters, said, “They want us to be scared into silence. We’ve been intimidated through emails, been followed around campus by security for handing out flyers, and been warned not to go ahead with protests – though we did so regardless”.

Many universities in other parts of Europe have also protested. In Italy, Federico Manetti, one of the protesting students, told the Iranpress reporter in Rome: “Today, throughout Italy, students, professors, and researchers are on strike protesting the scientific, industrial, and academic cooperation agreement between Italy and Israel”. France’s Science Po, one of the largest universities in France, also witnessed protests. Still, authorities in France, like the USA, called the police to disperse the protesters, demanding cutting ties with Israel-linked institutions and organizations.

West has been going through an intellectual uprising since the 8th of October, Israel’s onslaught on Gaza and inhumane treatment of prisoners where reports suggest Israel raped Palestinian women and the fact that 2/3 of 34 thousand dead Palestinians in Gaza are children and women.

These protests surely have this time lasted longer and have the potential to force their governments to adopt anti-Israel policies and distance themselves from Israel and its war crimes in Gaza.  Remember, the US and EU stand at the top of the list as first and second when it comes to supporting Israel militarily, clearly indicating their equal responsibility in the deaths of 34 thousand Palestinians.

The West can still save their countries from turning into chaos and instability, and that is by distancing itself from Israel and sticking to their founding father’s ideologies of democracy, equality, and justice.

This also makes us wonder where the Muslim world, especially Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, whose ideologies stand clearly against the recognition of Israel and support for Palestinians. None of the above states have witnessed any such popular agitation against Israel at any level.

This makes us question if they, too, have forgotten the ideologies of their founding fathers, such as Quaid Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who, even before Pakistan’s independence, rejected Israel and later insisted on helping Palestinians, if need be, militarily.

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