Politics

‘What Young People Across the Country Were Protesting For’

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) celebrated President Joe Biden declaring that the United States would withhold artillery and other weapons if Israel invaded Hamas’s last stronghold, Rafah.

In a post on X, Omar stated that Biden’s comments about “not supplying” Israel with the weapons to invade Rafah were “what young people across the country” had been protesting about, referring to the anti-Israel encampments and protests that were established on university and college campuses across the nation.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) hold a press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol to call for a ceasefire and end to the Israeli attacks on Gaza in Washington, DC, on February 29, 2024. (Celal Güne/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Omar’s daughter, Isra Hirsi, was suspended and arrested from her college over her involvement in an anti-Israel encampment that had been established at Columbia University on April 17, which resulted in encampments being established at other universities.

Protesters who had participated in the various encampments and protests had issued a varying list of demands, including calling for their universities to divest from Israeli companies, ending academic ties with Israeli educational institutions, ending academic student trips to Israel, a ceasefire in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, and for the U.S. to stop arming Israel.

The Associated Press

Pro-Palestinian demonstration encampment is seen at the Columbia University on April 26, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

“This is what young people across the country were protesting for and finally the needle has moved in a significant way, Omar wrote. “I hope we see more progress, but don’t ever let people tell you that your voices are meaningless and your actions are worthless. The arc of what is possible is always within us to bend.”

During an interview on CNN, Biden said that he had “made it clear” that if Israel begins a full-scale invasion on Rafah, the U.S. would not provide them with weapons.

“Civilians have been killed in Gaza as the consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers,” Biden explained.

Biden added: “I made it clear that if they go into Rafah, they haven’t gone into Rafah yet, if they go into Rafah — I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, to deal with that problem.”

On Tuesday, Israel sent tanks into Rafah and took control of the border crossing it shares with Egypt after Hamas fired a barrage of rockets towards the Kerem Shalom border crossing from Rafah on Sunday.



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