Anti-Israel student protest at Brown University results in 41 arrests

 December 14, 2023

Dozens of activist students at Brown University were arrested and charged after staging an unlawful anti-Israel protest and refusing to end the demonstration when ordered to do so, according to Fox News.

During the organized student walkout that turned into a sit-in protest inside University Hall, the activists denounced Israel and heralded the Palestinians as they demanded the school call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and divestment from Israeli companies and weapons manufacturers, among other things.

Similar protests across the nation over the past two months have been supported and even attended by members of the progressive left "Squad" of House Democrats who have openly expressed anti-Israel and antisemitic views and exposed a deep rift within the Democratic Party.

Activist student protesters arrested following multiple warnings

The Brown Daily Herald reported on Tuesday that 41 student protesters at the Rhode Island school were arrested and booked by officers from the Providence Police Department and Brown Department of Public Safety after refusing repeated orders to disperse and vacate the premises.

This protest by a group calling itself the Brown Divestment Coalition occurred roughly one month after a similar sit-in at University Hall by a group known as Jews for Ceasefire Now resulted in arrest and charges of trespassing that were later dropped by prosecutors.

"The disruption to secure buildings is not acceptable, and the University is prepared to escalate the level of criminal charges for future incidents of students occupying secure buildings," University spokesman Brian Clark said in a statement.

"Given that this is the second prominent incident in recent weeks of students trespassing in a secure, non-residential building after operating hours, the University fully expects to recommend more significant criminal misdemeanor charges for any future incidents after the Dec. 11 sit-in," he continued.

"It’s essential to highlight that arresting students is not an action that Brown takes lightly, and it’s not something the University ever wants to do," Clark added and noted that multiple warnings were first issued to ensure "that the students fully understood that they would not be allowed to remain in the building after normal operating hours for security reasons, and that they could face disciplinary action for violating policies, as well as arrest."

Israel-Hamas conflict exposes deep divide in Democratic Party

This incident at Brown University is similar in many respects to numerous other anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrations and protests on college and university campuses and in major cities, a few of which have devolved into violent scrums with law enforcement.

Those demonstrations and protests, replete with antisemitic chants and demands for a ceasefire in Gaza that will only harm Israel and benefit Hamas, have been openly supported by members of the "Squad" and other progressive leftist House Democrats, which has exposed a rift between them and more moderate House Democrats and liberal Jews, according to The Hill.

That rift became undeniable when 22 House Democrats joined with their Republican colleagues to formally censure "Squad" member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who is Palestinian-American, over her overt antisemitism as exemplified by her sharing of the genocidal anti-Israel slogan "from the river to the sea" that has always been understood to be a call for Israel's complete destruction as a nation-state.

Several Democratic members and staffers expressed their concerns to The Hill over the "hate" and rancor being expressed on both sides of the issue against those with different views on the matter and complained that even long-standing friendships with colleagues had been harmed or even cast aside over the stark divide on the conflict.

"Squad" members getting primaried over anti-Israel stance

The publicly anti-Israel stance adopted by members of the "Squad" are not without consequences even within their own Democratic Party, as ABC News reported that at least four of the group's eight unofficial members are now facing primary challenges ahead of the 2024 election that are explicitly due to their expressed positions on the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

Some of those primary challengers are also being backed with serious financial support by various lobbyist groups and pro-Israel organizations, including by some nominally Republican-aligned groups, though few if any of those seats are in danger of being flipped to the GOP column.

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