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28 Apr, 2024 16:18

US Presidential candidate arrested at anti-Israel protest

Jill Stein has accused the Jewish state of committing “genocide” in Gaza
US Presidential candidate arrested at anti-Israel protest

Jill Stein of the US Green Party has been arrested at a pro-Palestinian rally at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Stein’s arrest came amid a nationwide crackdown on anti-Israel demonstrations.

Stein, her campaign manager, and her deputy campaign manager were among 100 people detained at a protest camp on Washington University’s campus on Saturday. Video footage shows the 73-year-old being led away from the camp by three police officers, her hands apparently bound behind her back with zip ties. 

The encampment was set up to demand that the university divest from Boeing, which manufactures arms used by the Israeli military to strike Gaza, Stein’s campaign manager, Jason Call, said in a statement.

“The Stein campaign supports the demands of the students and their peaceful protest and assembly on campus,” Call said. “Student protest for peace and civil liberties has always represented the best part of our collective moral conscience. Solidarity.”

The Washington University camp was one of around four dozen set up at college campuses across the US and Canada in recent weeks. As well as demanding that their universities divest from Israel-linked companies, the protesters have called on the US government to cease its financial and military support for Israel over the war in Gaza.

Police officers arrested hundreds of demonstrators in raids on 21 campuses on Wednesday, then hundreds more in similar sweeps on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. While this crackdown has been encouraged by mainstream Democrats and Republicans alike, they have been condemned by progressive leftists and libertarian-leaning members of the GOP.

Pro-Israel activists claim that the protests are anti-Semitic in nature, and that some demonstrators have openly expressed support for Hamas. In an effort to justify a police raid on a protest camp at Boston’s Northeastern University on Saturday, school authorities claimed that chants of “Kill the Jews” were heard at the encampment the night before. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators deny the allegation.

Stein is a Jewish-American activist, and a long-time critic of the state of Israel. She opposes the construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, supports the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement, and has accused Israel of “genocide” in Gaza. 

Stein ran for president of the US in 2012 and 2016, taking just over 1% of the popular vote in the 2016 contest with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In November, she announced that she would run for the White House again this year, promising environmental reforms and “a new foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights.”