What do Americans think about Israeli attacks in Palestine?
As pro-Palestine protests raged across the world past weekend, including in the US, Anadolu Agency spoke to American demonstrators for their comments on Israel's attacks on Palestinians.
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Tensions began on May 7 when Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa compound who were protesting Israel's plan to expulse hundreds of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
Hundreds of people, including Anadolu Agency journalists, suffered injuries as a result of disproportionate use of force by Israeli security officers.
Israel has been pounding Gaza Strip since last Monday in a violent campaign a day after Hamas issued a warning to Israel to withdraw its security forces from the holy site, ensued by rocket attacks in the absence of a positive response from Israel.
So far, more than 200 people including women and children have been killed in the Israeli attacks in Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
The interviewees called Israel's attacks "ethnic cleansing" and urged President Joe Biden's administration to halt its support for Tel Aviv with what they say American "taxpayer dollar".
-Here is a compilation of some reactions from Americans on Israel-Palestine tension:
“Well, it's just a massacre that's happening right now in Gaza. What's happening in the West Bank around Jerusalem is just horrific. There's no respect at all to Christianity or Islam or even the Jewish faith. You know when they go and they destroy religious places like Al-Aqsa and interfere with the religious worship during Ramadan. These are war crimes that are being committed, whether it's bombing a press building in Gaza and bombing children and women, killing them by purpose, or just causing riots and mayhem. Back in Al-Aqsa, that's supposed to be protected. As an Irish American, I just find it shameful. What Biden says, if anybody knows to be Irish Americans what a siege is, what's happening right now to Gaza, and they should know what bloody occupation is having. This is what's happening right now and Biden should understand that if he's truly Irish American. He's a traitor to Irish Americans, this is how I feel. Palestine will be free. If you don't believe in Palestine, Palestinian rights, then you don't believe in justice.”
- Laura Whitehorn
“It turned into the exact opposite of what I was a child was taught that we wanted in this world as Jews, which was freedom for everyone. Human rights for everyone and not a situation where you create an apartheid state and evict some people from their land, you evict them from their homes, and then you charge them when they try to fight back to resist or hold on to what is there, and it's a tough situation. Israel is carrying war crimes. The United States is totally complicit. And you know, there used to be the world, the international community used to admit that Zionism is racism, and the United States should use all its power to overturn that, and to make a situation where now, criticizing really bloodthirsty country of Israel becomes branded as anti-Semitic, and as a Jew, I totally reject that thinking.” - Roger Wareham, human rights lawyer
“Organization of Black people based in the United States supports the struggle for Palestinian independence and right to self-determination against ethnic cleansing. We've supported it from the inception, 34 years ago. And what we see happening to the Palestinian nation is what has happened and is happening to black people in the United States. We face different forms of ethnic cleansing, different forms of genocide. Our demand is for reparations, which is a generational demand that began with the enslavement of African people and continues through Jim Crow and institutionalized racism in this country. So, we've always had a close relationship with a Palestinian struggle. We see that their struggle is our struggle. Our organization had what we called a day of outrage in 1987, which was actually on the same day as the first Intifada began. And over the years we've continued support for that struggle. And as always appreciated Palestinian support for the struggle of black people in the United States. Crime, for the United States to subsidize Israel's occupation of Palestine. It's been over $146 billion in the United States, that our taxpayer dollars have gone towards the support of Israel, which is an apartheid state since 1948. So, we are opposed to the US support for Israel. We think that President Biden needs to take a firm position against what is going on now in Gaza, that the Israeli state should be brought before the International Criminal Court. So that's what our positions.” - Ahmed Halil
“We really feel both sad and victorious because we see victory is coming to Inshallah. We feel sorry for the tragedy and the victims. Every day, and we see all these criminal acts from the Zionist movement. So as a Palestinian, I feel very tragic but all these people are Shaheed (martyr). We see the beginners in their path we see that we do not know about Palestine, no knowledge about the history, no knowledge about the human race. We (are) all human, we are all creations from Adam and Eve. So, we should be all brothers and sisters. But if you are tied with the Zionist movement who's killing people. You're nothing but a human, they shouldn't be killed. We're going to get our land, our home back. "We love you [Turkish President] Erdogan. We love Turkey. To us, Palestine and Turkey are one. And we are always proud of Mr. Erdogan. I would give my soul to Erdogan. He’s my hero, and the Turkish people are my love. I visited Turkey, I love it, I feel like I'm home. I love the Turkish people and we love you all as a Palestinian.” - Mark Brock Millivich
“I'm outraged, first of all, that the United States is not taking stronger action. This is an emergency. Many people will call this a war but when you're caught when you're talking about unarmed bodies such as the Palestinians, they're not able to resist, and Gaza where they're being bombed, as of last night, continuing into today, they have nowhere to take shelter, it's basically a complete prison. And so, we need to end this conflict, we need to deescalate as soon as we can. We need to stop the evictions which have led to the Hamas rocket fire, which has precipitated these escalations. I'm just outraged that we're not taking enough action to mediate the crisis. I would say that this is a complex issue and it's not something you can easily solve overnight, of course. But you have to understand that when you're talking about an unarmed occupied force, which is bereft of their own rights, and they have no power to resist, they don't have a standing army, they don't have any way to defend themselves as Israel does with the Iron Dome. So basically, I would say that we need to understand that this is an ongoing conflict and it's more complex than just Israel has the right to self-defense. It's all about apartheid, about racist displacements out of their own homeland [and] is about an ethnic cleansing, which has been going on. We can't fund the Israeli military; the Palestinians are completely defenseless. We need to take action to recognize their human rights and to intervene for the Palestinians.” - Imad
“In 1948, my grandfather who was dislocated from his house in Palestine, when Israel state was established. And today, 73 years later the same thing is happening; the ethnic cleansing is happening, the people are being kicked out right now just like my grandfather did in 1948. What I'm trying to do today is to raise the awareness above this and help people to stop kicking them out of their houses. I don't have a message for Biden, I don't expect him to help if they want to help, they support Israel with $3.8 billion in military aid per year. How can I expect such help from such an administration? I'm not here to hear me. I'm here for the international governments to hear me hear all the people look for Palestine and save the people there.” - Muhanned Kenal
“I’ve been living in this town [Washington, DC] basically for about 35 years. First time I get a little bit of hope, at least because there is more awareness about what's going on in my home country, in Palestine. It's really wonderful to see a lot of young people here, which is an amazing thing. And it is solidarity from different groups, not only our Palestinian Muslims, we find like American Jews, Christians, they all come here. I think when I see this young generation, look at the 90% of the crowd, they are young. A lot of them are raised here. It gave us hope. I think in the past, it was easy for the Israeli propaganda in this country, to tell Americans, okay we are after, let's say, ‘terrorists’ or Hamas. Now people can see it's not a matter of after these people who have like ‘Hamas is against a collective punishment for Palestinians’ killing kids getting in the people even today what happened for an organization like the Al Jazeera and AP. It's terrorism, by all means, it's a war crime. For the first time ever, I feel like there is still hope one day. Till one day we get our freedom back and we have our country back.” - Max
“I feel that something's fundamentally changed now. In the past, there's been a lot of division in America, along with the Israel-Palestine issue. I think today youth, all the communities Black, Latino, White, everyone is with the Palestinians today. I think something fundamentally has changed. And regarding the attacks in Gaza. It is really savage what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinian people, it is a product of settler colonialism, it is a product of imperialism. I think the Palestinians and the anti-imperialist forces around the world want an anti-imperialist Middle East free of Westerners, free of European imperialism and that's what Israel is a message. My message for the Biden administration is that Israel is an illegitimate regime. Cut all funding, in terms of military-economic support for it and immediately pay billions of dollars in reparations to the Palestinian people who, the US government is subjects and guilty of murdering off these really routinely.” - Amani
“I think it's important that we underline how disproportionate the forces that Israel is using, and how many children are being killed in this. Yeah, we've shown that it's time for everybody to act and there's no more time to wait so if you have any empathy and your heart. I mean, we'd really like to increase pressure on the Biden administration to acknowledge, not only Israeli suffering or Israel has the right to defend itself but Palestine has the right to defend itself. We just want to talk, we just want to highlight the human cost of Israel's offensive, and if we talk about terror, the number of children, and the number of civilians that have been killed in this offensive alone. If we compare numbers I think it's clear, who is the terrorist in the situation. And so, ‘use the right language’ is what we expect Biden just like any other world leader.”