Live updates: Pro-Palestinian protest on Hearn Plaza evolves into encampment

Students and faculty are negotiating with administrators to remain on the quad overnight
This afternoons protest evolved into an encampment.
This afternoon’s protest evolved into an encampment.
Evan Harris


For the most timely updates, the Old Gold & Black is live-tweeting updates from its X account, found at @wfuogb.

Update May 3, 9:13 p.m.: Managers of the Instagram account @freepalestinewfu released a statement titled “Official Statement from the People’s WFU Encampment” earlier today in response to the disbursement of the protest with a list of demands for University action. The statement can be read in full here.  

“We DENY these claims made by the university and therefore assert that the forced claims made by the university, and therefore assert that the forced disbandment of the encampment VIOLATES agreements between participants and university administrators,” the post reads. 

The Office of Communications and External Relations told the Old Gold & Black that “the immediate goal was to keep everyone safe, find a peaceful resolution, and avoid disruption of our academic mission.” 

The post lists several demands for the University to “disclose its investments in full and divest from companies that contribute to or benefit from the Israeli occupation.” This is the first itemized list of demands that protest participants have publicly released. 

The post also demands divestment from “Israeli Governmental Programs,” including the Wake Forest Hillel’s Israel Fellow — citing that they are “professionals who have graduated from college and served in the Israel Defense Forces.” (Editor’s Note: The language used in the statement replaced “Israel Defense Forces” with “Israel Occupation Forces.”)

“Let us be clear: the Israeli government and its agents, especially those who have served in the occupational army, have no place on our campus and make students feel unsafe,” the post reads.

Additionally, the post demands the end of study-abroad programs in Israel, citing Israeli universities that the post claims are “complicit in genocide by attempting to legitimize or cover for the Israeli government’s actions.” Wake Forest has four study-abroad programs listed on their website — two in Jerusalem and one in Tel Aviv. 

The fourth destination is Beer-Sheva which the post condemns because, according to the post, “by the 1947 UN partition, [Beer-Sheva] should be Palestinian land.” 

Be’er Sheva — commonly referred to as Beer-Sheva — is currently an Israeli city. On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 181, or the Partition Plan for Palestine. This plan divided the area into an Arab state and a Jewish state, with Jerusalem being placed under an International Trusteeship system. In this plan, Beer-Sheva was placed under the jurisdiction of the Arab state. 

The Arab nations present rejected the plan, but the resolution was passed by a vote of 33-13, with 10 abstentions. However, a civil war broke out in Palestine following the adoption, and the plan was ultimately not implemented.

On May 14, 1948, the state of Israel was formed, and the city of Beer-Sheva was captured by Israeli forces in October 1948. This occupation is referred to as “Operation Yoav,” and was performed in response to Egyptian forces, who then had control of the region, blocking Jewish convoys from passing through the Hatta-Karatiya gap.

The post also demands that the University “commit to not host[ing] food vendors on campus that are complicit to genocide,” specifically calling out Harvest Table as a subsidiary of Aramark corporation. According to the Harvest Table Culinary Group website, the company is an independent division of Aramark. 

Aramark has faced contention at many universities across the country including the University of Florida, University of Virginia and Fordham University.

The post demands that the University also “drop all previous charges against anti-genocide organizers,” retract “statements it has made in support of the State of Israel” and issue a “formal apology for vilifying pro-Palestinian viewpoints.” At the time of publication, the Old Gold & Black has not confirmed any legal charges that have been made against anti-genocide organizers. 

The Instagram post on the @freepalestinewfu page emphasizes that the University should retract the statement that was sent in a campus-wide email on Feb. 5 from the Office of Communications and External Relations, because it denounced “campus postings against genocide.” The statement was released in response to various flags and banners that were placed around campus, which had been removed by the University. Organizers had told the Old Gold & Black the demonstration was a call to action and a reminder of the lives being lost in Palestine. 

Finally, the post asks the University to “hold those who have levied racist and homophobic slurs and enacted violence against” the encampment accountable — stating that, despite documentation, many instances have “NOT received action [on] behalf of the University.”

The Old Gold & Black has obtained a video confirming at least one instance of an observer using a slur, which is defined as an “insulting or disparaging remark or innuendo,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. 

When the Old Gold & Black inquired about these reports, the Office of Communications and External Relations referred to President Susan Wente’s May 2 email and stated that “the Wake Forest University Police Department is actively investigating these incidents. In accordance with University policy, all reports of misconduct are taken seriously and will be carefully reviewed.”

The Office of Communications and External Relations also told the Old Gold & Black that the University will follow its standard process for conduct reviews and can not share additional information about the reports or the claims of previous charges against students for federal privacy reasons.

Update May 3, 8:08 a.m.: Protesters and protest materials are no longer on Manchester Plaza. Facilities has removed all chalk markings from Manchester Plaza, and Johnson’s Xtreme Softwash, a residential and commercial cleaning company, is removing the remainder of the spray paint from the area. 

At 6:22 a.m. the Office of Communications and External Relations sent a campus-wide email stating that the protest “was in violation of agreed-upon terms and violated University policy by failing to comply with the directions of University officials.” 

According to the email, student protesters were asked to disperse and were told that if they did not “immediately disperse,” per University instructions, they “would be subject to interim suspension.” 

“The University’s early morning action was taken to minimize the risk to students, both those directly involved and bystanders, and to avoid further disruption to the academic mission, final exams and planned campus activities,” the email reads. 

Officers from the Wake Forest Police Department, Winston-Salem Police Department and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office were present. Dean of Students Matt Clifford was present and requested that student protesters show him their student identification cards, according to a video posted on Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History Barry Trachtenberg’s Instagram account. While they did not present their ID cards, some students gave Clifford their names. No arrests were made. 

The University has also implemented an interim policy “that designates the time, place and manner of acceptable demonstrations” through May 21. The policy states that demonstrations may take place in a designated area of Poteat Field from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and may not include sound or amplification devices, chalking on campus, tents or other structures. 

Read the full email here.

Update May 2, 11:42 p.m.: A campus-wide email was sent by President Susan Wente at 5:23 p.m. with the subject line “Responding to Acts of Vandalism and Hate Speech.” The email suspended “chalking on University sidewalks, including in the area designated for such activity by students” through the end of the academic term (May 10).

The email was in response to “vandalized sidewalks and a tree on the Reynolda Campus using spray paint.” The email also stated that any existing chalk would be removed. As of 10 p.m., some chalk drawings are still present on Manchester Plaza. 

A campus-wide email was sent by President Susan Wente at 5:23 p.m. regarding spray paint on Manchester Plaza.

Two protesters laid down on the sidewalk, covered by blankets, to protect the chalk below them. Umbrellas and a canopy were moved to cover these protesters. 

“If you want to see me move, you’re going to have to take me by gun or by hand,” one of the protesters said to Dean of Students Matt Clifford, who was seated next to them. 

At the time of publication, Executive Director of News and Communications Cheryl Walker, whom Clifford has referred to for a statement, has not responded to the Old Gold & Black. 

In response, Winifred W. Palmer Professor of Literature Dean Franco, Professor of Jewish History Barry Trachtenberg and Associate Professor of History Mir Yarfitz released a statement “emphatically [rejecting] today’s claim by WFU President Susan Wente that the statement deemed an instance of ‘vile, antisemitic language’ is de facto an expression of antisemitism.”

Professors Dean Franco, Barry Trachtenberg and Mir Yarfitz released a statement in response to President Susan Wente’s email at approximately 8:40 p.m.

In the statement, the professors discuss the phrase “from the river to the sea” and write that “to Palestinians, it has held a variety of meanings, from a land absent of Zionist settlers to its most common usage in the current crisis: that of a land in which Palestinians can live free from their daily experience of Israeli occupation and apartheid.” 

The professors also claimed that President Wente had been “invited” in December to speak to them regarding their expertise — “an invitation that has so far been ignored.” At the time of publication, the Old Gold & Black has not confirmed this with Wente.

The statement concludes by stating that the “confusion” about the phrase “from the river to the sea” would have been avoided if President Wente had spoken to Wake Forest faculty about the phrase. 

Update May 1, 4:30 p.m.: Professor of Jewish History Barry Trachtenberg has begun leading the “emergency teach-in,” that was announced on the Instagram account @freepalestinewfu earlier this afternoon. A meeting held between protest participants and administrators, including Vice President for Hospitality and Auxiliary Services John Wise and Dean of Students Matt Clifford concluded at approximately 3:33 p.m.

Wake Forest students gather in the shade on Manchester Plaza for an “emergency teach-in” led by Professor Barry Trachtenberg. (Evan Harris)

Update May 1, 12:40 p.m.: At around 11:45 a.m., multiple Jewish students put up fliers on a picnic table on Manchester Plaza, advocating to release hostages taken by Hamas. Students on the board of Chabad and Hillel, as well as members of campus Jewish Life, gathered for this event. 

Ella Sadikman, the Israel intern for Jewish Life and Wake Forest senior, stated, 

“This is an event that we had been planning for a couple of weeks to support our community,” Sadikman said. “And after the events of yesterday, we decided it was important to continue supporting our community and continue on with the event.” 

Posters of hostages kidnapped by Hamas during the Oct. 7 attacks were displayed on a picnic table on Manchester Plaza by members of the Wake Forest Jewish community. (Evan Harris)

Update May 1, 11:52 a.m.: A little after 11a.m., protest materials and participants moved to Manchester Plaza, in accordance with a written agreement that was reached and signed by Dean of Students Matt Clifford, Provost Michele Gillespie and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion José Villalba. The Old Gold & Black has obtained a copy of the agreement that has written revisions on it. The document outlines seven statements communicating University commitments, (Editor’s Note: the document lists seven numbered statements. The Old Gold & Black has broken up these statements into nine bullet points for clarity.) including:

  • The University will meet weekly with “Students Fighting for a Free Palestine” through Fall 2024. (Editor’s Note: According to an organizer, the document refers to the participants of the protest as “Students Fighting for a Free Palestine” to emphasize that the University will speak with Wake Forest students, not an external organization.)
  • A meeting between “Students Fighting for a Free Palestine” and Vice President of Hospitality and Auxiliary Services John Wise will take place today at 2 p.m. in the Wellbeing Center. 
  • A meeting between “Students Fighting for a Free Palestine” and the CEO of Verger Capital Management will take place today at 4 p.m. in the Wellbeing Center. 
  • After Wake Forest’s commencement ceremony on May 20, Starbucks will no longer be on campus and its replacement “will not fund Israel’s occupation.”
  • Students can continue to protest on Manchester Plaza B with five tents, one of which is in reserve. Students will not sleep in the tents and “will not use amplified sounds” after 10 p.m. nightly, in accordance with University policies. 
  • Campus security is permitted to be present and will only interact with students through a designated third party, which is not specified in the document. 
  • Students will retain their access to the “food, beverages and first aid supplies they have already accumulated.”
  • A meeting between the “Students Fighting for a Free Palestine” and the current Wake Forest Student Trustee Ritt Culbreath and the incoming Student Trustee Stella Ross will be arranged. 
  • President Susan Wente will hold a meeting with the organizers of the protest before the end of the term on May 10. This meeting will be scheduled once the protesters’ tents are removed from Hearn Plaza and other meetings outlined in the document have concluded.

More updates can be found on the Old Gold & Black’s X account @wfuogb.

Protesters discuss the contents of the written agreement signed by Dean of Students Matthew Clifford, Provost Michele Gillespie and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion José Villalba. (Evan Harris)

Update May 1, 2:02 a.m.: A lone protester draws with chalk on the bricks that wrap around Hearn Plaza, drawing a Palestinian flag.  Anti-protesters gathered around the member, joined by two administrators. His attempts were not stopped, but he was advised to cease this activity. 

In conversation, the protester was told that chalk was only allowed on Manchester Plaza. The member obliged and left Hearn Plaza to draw on Manchester Plaza.

Observers attempted to wipe the started chalk drawing away, but administrators asked them not to. Non-participants are now gathering to ask administration questions about the policies around chalk drawings, clarifying the extent to which they are allowed on the lower quad, with concerns of hate speech arising. 

Chalk inscribed on Manchester Plaza in front of Benson University Center reads, “WFU DIVEST.” Some messages were partially washed away by the early afternoon. (Evan Harris)

Live updates have concluded for the night and will resume in the morning.

Update May 1, 1:15 a.m.: Dean of Students Matt Clifford and Vice President for Campus Life Shea Kidd Brown approached encampment participants to engage in conversation. Supporting staff and faculty joined the students in a closed conversation between administrators and encampment participants. 

Professors, staff and students remain at the encampment, with plans to stay through the night. 

Observers still stand near the steps of Wait Chapel. Both groups have been intermittently joined by administrators, who engage students in conversation.

Update May 1, 12:42 a.m.: As of 12:40 a.m., all sprinklers on Hearn Plaza have been shut off.

Update May 1, 12 a.m.: Prior to the sprinklers turning on, protesters and observers began to discuss the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Freshman Adam Halstuch is one of the students not participating in the protest that approached protesters to engage in conversation. 

He explained that, while he does not agree with the protesters’ beliefs regarding the war and Wake Forest’s response, he’s “happy to say that it’s different” from protests on other campuses around the country. 

However, Halstuch said that, instead of protesting, change will come from conversation.

“I don’t agree with the protest,” Halstuch said. “I am happy they can do it freely but I think if we engage in conversation, it would be way more productive and would further improve our education as college students here at Wake.” 

At the time of publication, protesters have not participated in an interview regarding their conversations with observers. 

Update April 30, 11:57 p.m.: The sprinklers on Hearn Plaza have gone off, spraying protesters with water. The encampment has tried to stop them, covering the nozzles with water bottles and found objects. 

At approximately 11:57, sprinklers on Hearn Plaza turned on. Protesters attempted to stop the water by covering nozzles with miscellaneous objects. (Evan Harris)

Update April 30, 11:24 p.m.: The Old Gold & Black confirms that the 24/7 observation cameras live-streaming from Hearn Plaza are no longer live. 

Update April 30, 10:44 p.m.: According to a protest organizer, whom the Old Gold & Black has granted anonymity due to safety concerns, protesters will remain on Hearn Plaza overnight. 

“We are staying overnight for the encampment and have been permitted to by the administration,” the anonymous organizer said. 

Non-participating students are observing the protesters from the wings of Wait Chapel, watching the encampment unfold while discussing the Israel-Hamas war. Some are expressing dissent to the protest. Faculty and police are still present. 



Pro-Palestinian protesters set up an encampment this evening in front of Wait Chapel, joining dozens of protesters at college campuses across the country. After Dean of Students Matt Clifford and Associate Dean of Student Conduct Jim Settle told the participants that they could not sleep on the quad, faculty members began to negotiate with the administrators on the protesters’ behalf. 

The protest began around 4:30 p.m. with about a dozen students chanting phrases such as “WFU you can’t hide, you’re complicit in genocide” and “not another nickel not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes.” By approximately 6:30 p.m., students started to pitch tents and called on faculty observers to stand on the quad. As the protest evolved, four police officers could be seen standing on the outskirts of the protest.

Around 7 p.m., administrators asked students to leave, citing University policy regarding safety concerns. Barry Trachtenberg, director of the Jewish Studies Program, emerged as a negotiator and urged Clifford and Settle to allow the students to stay the night.

The protest began earlier in the day while Wake Forest administrators, students and faculty gathered inside Wait Chapel to listen to the annual reading of the names of enslaved people who worked for the University or were sold in the 19th century to raise money for Wake Forest’s endowment. Outside, the protesters formed a semi-circle in the grass in front of the chapel, chanting and listening to four speakers. They held signs with messages such as “stop funding genocide” and “Wake still stands on exploitation.”

“What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now,” participants chanted to open the protest.

Organized and led by the managers of the Instagram account @freepalestinewfu, the protest — advertised as an “emergency rally” — called for Wake Forest to divest from Israel-backed companies. According to organizers, it was held at the same time as the Commencement of the Enslaved to illustrate the intersection between racism towards Black people and the violence against Palestinians in Gaza. 

Campuses across the country have become flashpoints for advocacy surrounding the ongoing war. A little over an hour from Wake Forest’s campus, more than 500 students, faculty and Chapel Hill community members marched across UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus in support of Palestine — with six students being arrested this morning. In New York, hundreds of Columbia students gathered on the campus’ South Lawn and set up tents, pledging to remain on the lawn until the University breaks its financial relationship with Israel-tied companies. This encampment resulted in the arrest of 108 individuals

Protests, encampments and demonstrations have also occurred on other campuses across the nation, including Emory University and California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt

“We stand in solidarity with our comrades at Clark Atlanta, Emory, Columbia, Cai Poly Humbolt and all other student activists RESISTING genocide,” reads the caption of @freepalestinewfu’s first post about the protest on Tuesday morning.

On the other end of Hearn Plaza, students participated in recreational activities during the protest. (Evan Harris)

This student rally was the first on Wake Forest’s campus in response to the Israel-Hamas war. Earlier in the semester, an anonymous group of students organized a display that included banners and white flags arranged on campus in support of Palestine. Since Oct. 7, Wake Forest has seen several events organized by students and faculty, including a teach-in hosted by professors and vigils held by the Jewish community and the Muslim Student Association (MSA).

Freshman participant Dareen Khoshnaw explained that they believe that organizers for both the Commemoration of Enslaved People and pro-Palestinian rally have common goals. 

“We both want freedom,” Khoshnaw said. “We both want less bloodshed. We both want no oppression. We have the same goals, and a lot of Western media and a lot of colonial powers are kind of making it seem like [they] are trying to pit us against each other as if it’s between religions or between ethnicities when it’s really not.”

Another participant, whom the Old Gold & Black granted anonymity to due to their concern for personal safety, echoed Khoshnaw. 

“We think that they can represent the same things and support the same things — supporting the freedom of people [and]supporting people’s rights as well,” said the participant. “We don’t think that having one takes away from the other. They are in collaboration with each other and can build each other up.”

The Commemoration of the Enslaved was originally scheduled to be hosted on the steps of Wait Chapel. Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Jose Villalba explained in a written statement that the University moved the event inside to allow students to protest. 

“When our office learned that members of our campus were planning on holding a rally at the same location and at the same time as the annual Commemoration, we decided to move the planned event into the Chapel so as to create the space and solace at the center of remembering these often-forgotten founders, while also allowing organizers an opportunity to exercise their freedom of expression,” Villalba said.

Protesters held posters in support of Palestine. (Evan Harris)

Despite the support shown for participants by members of the growing crowd of approximately 200 individuals, with many giving the speakers a round of applause, some observers disagreed with the decision to host the protest at the same place as the Commemoration of the Enslaved.

“I think for publicity, it makes sense,” an observer whom the Old Gold & Black granted anonymity due to their concerns for personal safety said. “However, I think that it’s very difficult to justify it, because it takes away from another really important memorial and it takes away attention from something that Wake [Forest] does need to address, especially with our lack of diversity. So I think it could have been done after or there could have been another way to do it.”

The protest was a response to the current Israel-Hamas war that began on Oct. 7 when the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israeli towns bordering the Gaza Strip — a Palestinian territory that Israel and Egypt have blockaded for 16 years (Editor’s Note: The Old Gold & Black follows AP Style guidance, which is to refer to Hamas as a militant group). Approximately 1,200 Israelis died and about 240 hostages were taken as a result of the attacks. In response, Israel has conducted air strikes and sent troops, which has killed over 33,000 people, according to the Gazan Health Ministry

Wake Forest’s investments criticized 

While protest participants did not disclose specific companies, they called for the University to “disclose their investments and divest in Israel and Israel-backed companies, shareholders and partnerships,” according to a Tuesday morning post on the @freepalestinewfu account. 

“We are here today because Wake Forest actually has a few stocks in companies that have ties to Israel or that support Israel,” the anonymous participant said. 

While individual Wake Forest investments are not public, they are made through iShares, which is an exchange trade fund provider owned by BlackRock, an international asset management company that has recently come under criticism for its ties to Israel. Activists across the country have cited the company’s holdings in weapons manufacturers as a reason for divestment. The New York Times reported that approximately 3% of BlackRock’s Core S&P 500 exchange-traded funds (ETF) is invested in “military contractors,” which includes Raytheon and Boeing. 

Verger Capital has investments on behalf of Wake Forest through Blackrock in ETF, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission form. As an institution, Wake Forest does not choose individual shares to invest in. However, the investment portfolios managed by Verger Capital include investments in defense contractor companies such as Raytheon and Boeing

“The University’s support for ongoing genocide in Gaza represents not only an attack on Palestinian lives but Black people’s lives here in the domestic,” the first speaker during the protest, whose name the Old Gold & Black did not obtain, said.

The Office of Communication and External Relations provided a written statement on behalf of the University explaining that Wake Forest does not have a direct connection to Israel through endowments. 

“We own parts of numerous indices (e.g., S&P 500, MSCI ACWI), which are stock market indices that track the stock performance of the largest companies listed on global stock exchanges,” the statement reads. “Some of those companies have exposure to Israeli companies listed on the exchanges.  In the partial index Verger owns, there is inappreciable exposure to Israel and defense companies; this means that the exposure is too small to influence returns on the pool.” 

The protest continues 

Protest participants alternated between chanting and giving speeches until approximately 5:15 p.m. The crowd of students, faculty, staff and Winston-Salem community members discussed the protest among themselves as they listened to the speeches and chants. Some observers chanted alongside participants from the crowd. Trachtenberg expressed that he attended the protest to support the participants, whom he characterized as “brave.” 

A student wearing an Israeli flag stands in front of the pro-Palestinian encampment. (Evan Harris)

“I think they are extraordinarily brave,” Trachtenberg said. “This is a campus that has historically been hostile towards student activism. I think mainly Black and brown students coming out in support of justice [and] in support of freedom is a profoundly brave act on a campus that is so hostile towards this type of activism.” 

Wake Forest Hillel Religion and Education Chair Maverick Cortes told the Old Gold & Black that he attended the protest to ensure that his peers are safe. 

“Campuses across the U.S. right now have become dangerous hotbeds for terrorism, and I want to make sure that my fellow Jewish students and my fellow peers who aren’t even Jewish, [are] safe,” Cortes said.

The crowd began to disperse when protesters spread out across half of the quad after approximately an hour of chants and speeches. The anonymous organizer shared her hopes for University action in support of Palestine and minority students as a result of the protest. 

“I think we want to see a change happen there, but I think we would also like to see them divest from their stocks in companies that have ties to Israel,” the anonymous organizer said. 


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Shaila Prasad, Breanna Laws and James Watson contributing reporting to this article. This is a developing story. The Old Gold & Black will continue to report on the the encampment and Wake Forest’s response to the Israel-Hamas war.

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  • M

    Mark E Carlson, MDMay 3, 2024 at 1:03 am

    I was shocked to read the letter from Wake professors rationalizing that the “from the river to the sea” chant meant anything less than annihilation of the Jewish state of Israel. The real world understands what’s going on: one wonders what color the sky is in their world. If you want true insight into the problem, interview my brother and fellow Wake alum Kurt Carlson, former hostage in Beirut. He’ll set you straight.

    • M

      more infoMay 3, 2024 at 12:35 pm

      are you able to share that letter or point us to it online? I would like to read it.

    • D

      Deac ParentMay 3, 2024 at 8:30 pm

      Thank you Mark!! I couldn’t agree more. I drafted an email to the professors (sic) that I haven’t sent yet but intend to:

      I am the father of a current Wake Student. I’ve been troubled by the unrest across college campuses and have been pleased with the way Susan Wente has managed the small outbreak on the Wake campus.

      I was completely confused by the statement you released. I have not been able to find President Wente’s “claim” so I’ll take your statement at its word. And I don’t pretend to be an expert in the long ongoing conflict. Here are my thoughts:

      I appreciate that many sides have use the phrase “from the river to the sea” and I don’t know in what context it was used that prompted President Wente to call it antisemitic. However, I would suspect that it was used on campus in the current context by mostly pro-Palestinian supporters. At most of these pro-Palestinian campus protests what has typically followed “from the river to the sea” is “Palestine will be free” which implies that Israel will no longer exist and that all Jews will be removed from the land. That feels pretty anti semetic to me. If you have a different interpretation on how it was used on the Wake campus, I would welcome it.

      What troubled me most in your statement was the line, “On a day in which the students bravely protesting against an ongoing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza…” How can you possibly call this war in Gaza genocide? This feels terribly irresponsible. As faculty leaders of an institution, you are making a claim that is fueling these protests and giving students the impression that they are justified in their protests. So far as I can tell the situation in Gaza is far from a genocide.

      Israel has significant military superiority over the Palestinians and if they wanted, the could inflict serious damage and death in Gaza. Instead, they are using precision military tactics to kill Hamas terrorists who hide amongst the civilian population. When these terroists hide amongst civilians, innocent lives will be lost and that is terrible, but it’s a fact of war. The IDF is going door to door and putting their own soldiers at risk as they work to kill terrorists and protect innocent Palestinian lives. That is hardly genocide.

      By you calling it “an ongoing genocide”, you are endorsing it as such. It is not. You, the protesters, and the media need to call it what it is – a war to root out a terrorist organization that clearly wants to kill all Jews – that’s genocide!

      Finally, this would all be over if Hamas would surrender and return the hostages. I don’t hear many calling for that? How come?

  • L

    Lisa PMay 1, 2024 at 10:24 pm

    They have the right to protest but they are attaching themselves to a racist and genocidal movement. The Palestinian people elected Hamas as their government. Hamas is a terrorist organization who has a stated objective of eliminating the jewish race entirely. Yes, killing all jews worldwide because of their race. The same Hamas who inflicted an unprovoked and premeditated slaughter of over 1,300 Jewish civilians on October 7th including the beheading of young children, raping and murder of young women and burning people alive in front of their relatives. There should be no special accomodations or give-ins to demands from these students or alterations in the Wake Forest investment holdings. You’ll only give credibility to this misguided movement and create an incentive for the next one, whatever that one might be.

    • C

      Current StudentMay 2, 2024 at 1:34 pm

      This is a perfect take on the current situation. To add to this, the terrorist sympathizers on the lower quad have now begun using spray paint instead of chalk on sidewalks and trees. They’re committing vandalism which is illegal and I hope the university steps in to stop them.

  • A

    A seniorMay 1, 2024 at 2:48 pm

    They’ve been planning to remove Starbucks since mid Fall 2023, FYI.

  • J

    JLMay 1, 2024 at 12:39 pm

    The OGB coverage of this has been disgraceful. Only interviewing Jewish students who are, by coincidence, Zionists, has conflated the Zionist perspective with the Jewish one. The reality could not be more dissimilar. Jewish Americans across the country, and globe, are finding solidarity with Palestinians who are experiencing an active genocide. The Jewish tradition is NOT rooted in a return to the Holy Land on earth, which is a contingent, recent, and political development. It IS both rooted in and indebted to the survival of Indigenous life, and the struggle for life in the face of genocide.

  • C

    Current parentMay 1, 2024 at 9:35 am

    Turn the quad cam back on! Remove these protesters and their hate speech from campus. Freedom isn’t free don’t negotiate with them.

    • I

      In CareMay 1, 2024 at 2:16 pm

      Abhorrent comment from the said-parent, intended to instigate violence. Wake Forest is committed to protecting students and their peaceful freedom of expression. Too bad if you don’t like it.

    • J

      Joe MamaMay 1, 2024 at 6:42 pm

      Hate speech? What a joke. The protests are nothing but peaceful and protected by the First Amendment.

      • A

        Another Deac ParentMay 3, 2024 at 8:40 pm

        Hey Joe, they are not protected by free speech. Read Article VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The school can shut them down if they violate school policy…which is exactly what they’ve done (protest where they’re not supposed to, chalk where they’re not supposed to, damage property (painted a tree), etc.) They could be expelled.