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Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

There is a lack of justice for Palestinians on Wake Forest’s campus

Wake must condemn the Israeli government as evidence of atrocities being committed in Gaza are unveiled
Evan Harris
Demonstrators placed thousands of flags on the upper quad, as well as signs accross campus in support of Palestine.

On the night of Feb. 4, a myriad of signs and flags were scattered around Hearn Plaza to express support for the Palestinian victims of the conflict in Gaza. In addition, messages such as “Justice for Palestine” and “10,000 kids murdered” were written in chalk. 

According to the organizers, the demonstration’s goal was to bring awareness to the atrocities being committed against the Palestinian people by bursting the bubble of complicity they believe surrounds Wake Forest University. The organizers also underscored the importance of understanding the role of the U.S. government in the oppression and genocide of Palestinians.

There have been negative responses to these public displays of protest, with many echoing the sentiment that it comes off as pointless vandalization that does nothing to help resolve the conflict. An anonymous post on the social media app Fizz even called the display “disgusting and repulsive,” while also stating in a comment on their own post that “whoever did this should be removed from our institution.” 

Regardless of personal opinions and stances, the administration condemned the act in an email sent on Feb. 5 at 10:26 a.m., citing it as a violation of its policy on Posting, Advertising & Chalking. All displays were subsequently removed by 11:00 a.m.

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While one can view this as the administration merely adhering to its own policies, it’s impossible not to consider the implications of silencing such a message — especially after attempts by the administration to shy away from outright condemning the Israeli government. 

On her blog on Oct. 13, 2023, President Wente chose to condemn the actions of Hamas in wake of its attack that killed 1200 people a mere six days prior on Oct. 7. One question remains: why hasn’t President Wente provided an equal response to Israel’s deadly attacks on Palestinians?

In response to the Hamas attack, Israel has retaliated with violence that has resulted in the death of over 25,000 Palestinians. The toll is estimated to be even higher due to many bodies being under rubble or in areas that medics can not safely reach. Israel has also utilized white phosphorus, an act that has been pointed to as a violation of the Geneva Conventions. In addition, Israel has utilized starvation as a method to kill off Gazans, another violation of the Geneva Conventions. These numerous war crimes have devastated hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and their families, including the ones that attend Wake Forest

However, there has yet to be the same immediate condemnation from the Wake Forest administration for the Israeli government that occurred for Hamas. 

The administration’s silencing of peaceful protests, through removal of the aforementioned signs and flags, is a reflection of complicity — regardless of the violations of university policy. As more information unfolds that reveals what I believe to be Israel’s acts of genocide, it’s imperative that organizations and institutions do not find themselves complicit in these crimes.

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