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News :: International
Latest Gallup poll shows young Americans overwhelmingly support Palestine
04 Aug 2014
( photo - Washington, DC protest Saturday, 2 Aug 2014 )
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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.

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Texas Stands With Gaza - Rally draws thousands
04 Aug 2014
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Aust t.jpg
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Texas Stands with Gaza" -- it's a declaration that was also the name of Saturday's rally at the State Capitol attended by thousands who later marched down Congress to City Hall.

"From here at the Capitol building to City Hall with our signs and with our voices to tell the world that we are not complicit with Israel's massacres in Gaza," said organizer Ahmad Kaaki.

Aya Ayaquvi and her husband Monther Abusultan moved from Gaza a couple of years ago.

"It was really hard. We expected anytime to be killed there," she said.

Just weeks ago, Aya learned her pregnant sister Sumar was killed in an air strike along with her children and other family members in the center of the Gaza Strip.

"It's supposed to be the safest place but they were killed in an air strike. They didn't do anything, they were innocent. They didn't receive any warning before they were killed. I don't know what's happening there. They just want to kill people," Ayaquvi said.

Monther says his sister-in-law's husband did everything he was told to do, moving his family several times to keep them safe.

"He survived. His dad survived and his brother survived. The people who were killed...his wife, his 2 children and his mother, his sister and her kid. And her husband. So I mean who are you targeting in there?" Monther said.

Professor and activist Rania Masri says President Obama seems more concerned over Israeli deaths than Palestinians.

"I'm hoping more people will wake up. I'm hoping more people realize this is not a conflict that is difficult to understand, it's not a conflict of 2 sides. This is a conflict of occupied and occupier, of oppressed and oppressor, of a strong military against an oppressed population. This is really that black and white," she said.

UT graduate and activist Mohammed Nabulsi says the turnout shows the importance of the situation.

"Anywhere around the world, we have thousands here. We have thousands in the U.S. We have millions across the world. So this isn't just something that's somewhere far away they need to deal with, this is a worldwide cause," he said.

We asked the Jewish Federation of Greater Austin for a statement this afternoon:

"Because of the Jewish Sabbath, a spokesperson is not available, but the Jewish Federation of Greater Austin provided this statement:

In just over three weeks, Israelis have endured nearly 3,000 rocket attacks, fired at all hours of the day and night. Three quarters of Israelis live within range of rocket fire. Israel has accepted ceasefires proposals that Hamas has either rejected or broken, so Israelis continue to weather the attacks. The IDF is engaged in an operation to eradicate Hamas' military capabilities. More than 2,969 terrorist targets and 30 massive concrete tunnels used to smuggle weaponry and infiltrate Israel have been destroyed. Thanks to Israel's Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system, the safety and security of millions of Israelis has been successfully ensured during this crisis. We regret the loss of lives on both sides of the conflict that Hamas incited.

We're thankful we live in a country that respects the right of peaceful assembly. Unlike recent pro-Hamas activities in Europe and other parts of the world, we are glad that today's rally was without violence.

Jewish Federations across North America, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Austin, stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel, today and always."