VESTAL, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – Amidst the ongoing Hamas terror attacks in Israel, Binghamton University students on both sides of the conflict gathered in numbers to voice their opinions.
The organization, Justice for Palestine, held a rally this afternoon. Students marched around campus with drums, flags and signs while chanting phrases such as “free Palestine” and “Palestine will never die.”
At one point, members of Binghamton’s Jewish community approached the Palestinian supporters, and both sides were shouting defamatory phrases and displaying rash gestures until being separated by campus and state police.
One of the organizers, and a senior at Binghamton, Mousa Tous says that today’s protest was meant to highlight the importance of Palestinian lives around the world.
“We do not condone violence against innocent civilians, and we never have. The point of this rally today is to rally support around the idea of Palestinian liberation, and to support the idea that Palestinian resident lives especially, have value on this campus and around the world,” said Tous.
As the Palestinian supporters marched around campus, members of Binghamton University’s Zionist Organization held a silent counter-protest.
Students held up photos and the names of friends and family who are currently in Israel.
An organizer with BUZO, Saul Hakim says that many members of Binghamton’s Jewish community have lost loved ones in the conflict over the past several days.
“To stand by, while people call for our extermination and still remain strong and remain resolute and not say a word to honor the memory of the innocent civilians who were brutally murdered, I think that says volumes about who we are, what we believe, because we are peace-loving people,” said Hakim.
As the Palestinian protestors marched by, the Jewish community stood together in silence.
Tous, says that holding a counter-protest is provocative, and was meant to intimidate the Palestinian supports.
Both organizations plan to hold more events in the near future.