I’m somewhat surprised by this reaction to the Gaza situation, as things seem to be moving faster than I expected, but it looks like what I’ve been predicting for a while is starting to happen. Cultural, demographic, and generational change in the US is also creating a political paradigm shift. One manifestation of that is that public support for Israel is not nearly as solid nowadays. The Palestinians are gaining more sympathy among Americans, and people I also look for this to be another source of conflict on the US Left, between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian forces. That conflict has always been there, but it’s now moving into the cultural and political mainstream.
Large demonstrations against Israel’s assault on Palestinians in Gaza were staged across the US on Saturday. The public outpouring of support for Palestinians in US streets suggests that Washington’s pro-Israel policies are becoming increasingly unpopular, a trend supported by a recent poll on Israel’s latest aggression, which finds that young Americans are twice as likely to support Palestinian rights than Israeli occupation.
Tens of thousands of Americans held a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington, DC. Protestors travelled in buses from around the country to join the national rally, waving Palestinian flags and chanting “free Palestine” in the US capital.
On the other side of the country, thousands of Americans staged a protest in Austin, Texas while a plane flew in the skies with the message “save Gaza free Palestine”.
And hundreds of people also joined a march in Los Angeles, California the same day, closing down one of the city’s busiest boulevards to demand an end to Israel’s war crimes.
In recent years, the solidarity movement in the US has been revitalised by student activists. While a 22-23 July Gallup poll found that a slight majority of Americans believe that Israel’s latest assault on Gaza is justified, a pro-Israel bias that also dominated during the second intifada, amongst those under the age of 30, more than twice as many Americans say that Israel’s aggression in Gaza is unjustified (51 per cent) than those who say it is justified (25 per cent). The same holds true for people of colour (49 per cent versus 25 per cent).
Both the popular demonstrations and the poll results seem to indicate that support for Israel is growing weaker amongst the next generation of American leaders.
Images below are from protests in Austin (Texas), Los Angeles (California) and Washington DC.
Categories: Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy