Harvard protesters accuse Obama of 'genocide'

 October 24, 2023

Protesters at Harvard University accused former President Barack Obama of "genocide," calling for an end to violence in Gaza.

The demonstrators performed a "die-in" where they spread out on the ground as if they were dead in protest against Israel's military response to Hamas.

The details

"The Harvard Crimson reports that hundreds of Harvard students and affiliates staged a 'die-in' demonstration Oct. 18 on campus in solidarity with the victims of a blast that killed hundreds of people at a hospital in Gaza City," BET reported.

"The demonstrators chanted, 'Free, free Palestine' and 'Barry, Barry you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide,' as they marched from university president Claudine Gay’s office to Klarman Hall at Harvard Business School, where they lay on the ground and continued their chants," it added.

Obama's statement

Obama originally condemned Hamas but has since taken a different position on Israel's response to the terror attacks.

"The Israeli government’s decision to cut off food, water and electricity to a captive civilian population threatens not only to worsen a growing humanitarian crisis; it could further harden Palestinian attitudes for generations," Obama wrote.

He added that the response could "erode global support for Israel, play into the hands of Israel’s enemies, and undermine long term efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region."

The big picture

"During his presidency, Obama often backed Israel's right to self-defense at the start of conflicts with Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Gaza, but quickly called for Israeli restraint once Palestinian casualties mounted from airstrikes," Reuters reported.

"Gaza, a 45 km-long (25-mile) strip of land that is home to 2.3 million people, has been ruled politically since 2007 by Hamas, an Iran-backed Islamist group, but faces a blockade from Israel," it noted.

The protests may appear odd to those viewing from the outside but may have had some impact on Obama's later response.

The former president continues to speak out on the Middle East as Israel seeks to stop Hamas terrorists regardless of demonstrations in the U.S.

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