Monday, March 4, 2024

Pro-Palestinian rallies on rise across US

Cities across the United States have seen hundreds of protests since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, according to a tracker from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).

As Israel’s military operations in the Gaza Strip have ramped up and the death toll has increased, a growing proportion of the demonstrations have been in support of Palestinians.

Opinion polling shows that younger Americans in particular have grown more sympathetic to Palestinians since the start of the conflict.

More than 17,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its military campaign, according to the Ministry of Health in Hamas-run Gaza. Around 1,200 people were killed in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel.

ACLED defines protests as three or more participants in a non-violent demonstration. Protests are added to the dataset if they are reported from a list of news and NGO reports. ACLED groups the demonstrations into three categories.

Protests are categorized as pro-Israel when the messaging supports Israeli civilians targeted by Hamas, supports the Israeli government’s operations in Gaza, or condemns the Hamas attack.

Protests are categorized as pro-Palestinian when the messaging supports the Palestinian governments and its civilians, or condemns the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza and settlements in the West Bank.

Neutral protests call for peace and don’t mention support or condemnation of either party to the conflict.

Initially after the Oct. 7 attack, most of the demonstrations in the US were in solidarity with Israel. Within a week, with the Israeli military response underway, pro-Palestinian protests began to outnumber pro-Israeli protests, according to the data.

Nonetheless, nearly half of all pro-Israel protests worldwide included in ACLED’s tracker have taken place in the US, far more than in any other country.

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