Violence erupted at Tulane University when emotions boiled over at dueling rallies where leftists were protesting against Israel’s military operation against Hamas terrorists, an incident that school officials denounced as a “deeply distressing” day.
The protest was among the many pro-Hamas demonstrations that have been held on college campuses and defenders of Israel also turned out for the Thursday event at the New Orleans-based private research university which has a large Jewish population.
Video footage posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, shows a pickup truck with two individuals, one wearing a Hamas-style terrorist keffiyeh and waving a Palestinian flag and another who reportedly was trying to set fire to an Israeli flag, clashing with pro-Israel protesters with the masked man violently using his flag as a weapon.
This was at Tulane University today…
When you wrap your face in a keffiyeh like this you know exactly what you’re doing…you know the kind of image you’re trying to project.
When you attempt to light the Israeli flag on fire, you know exactly what you’re doing.
And to be… pic.twitter.com/qClK3UPcHt
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) October 27, 2023
NEW BATTLEFRONT: This is Tulane University in New Orleans, not the Gaza Strip. Violent protests and clashes continue on the streets of America as the Israel-Hamas war rages on thousands of miles away.#Israel #Palestine #Hamas #Terrorism #Warpic.twitter.com/ypMwFJSQPI
— Jonathan Choe Journalist (Seattle) (@choeshow) October 26, 2023
Another angle out of @tulaneu: Hamas supporters interrupt a peaceful pro-Israel protest, attempt to light an Israeli flag on fire, and physically assault Jewish students.
Tulane, what are you going to do to protect your Jewish students? pic.twitter.com/NS12PUPYkd
— Israel War Room (@IsraelWarRoom) October 26, 2023
Banners seen at the rally read “From the River to the Sea Palestine Will Be Free,” a slogan interpreted to be an endorsement of genocide and the end of Israel as a Jewish nation, a mantra that has been repeated by the angry mobs who have turned out to defend the Hamas terror organization after the barbaric butchery inflicted on innocent Israeli civilians during a sneak attack three weeks ago.
An update regarding a rally held this afternoon near our uptown campus: pic.twitter.com/oUZlQz5kGO
— Tulane University (@Tulane) October 26, 2023
“Three Tulane students were assaulted at a rally intentionally staged on the public sidewalk along Freret Street, over which we do not have control. This rally was not approved or sanctioned by Tulane,” the university’s president Michael A. Fitts said in a statement.
“To be clear: We condemn and are outraged by today’s violence and the hateful language and rhetoric we heard. It is counter to everything we stand for at Tulane. What started out as a peaceful demonstration unfortunately devolved into a violent incident and a dark day for our community,” the statement read.
“At today’s rally, the actions of some of the protestors, many of whom were not affiliated with Tulane, were violent, deplorable, deliberately provocative and exploitative of the profound sorrow and anger so many of us have been experiencing over the last few weeks. They were also completely counter to Tulane’s values of practicing mutual respect when debating ideas and promoting viewpoints, especially with those with whom we disagree the most,” Fitts said.
The pro-Hamas protest was organized by the group “Tulane Students For Palestine” which posted a statement to Instagram in which it issued a demand that the school “Denounce the Israeli genocide of the Palestinian people” and accused Fitts of ignoring the “reality of the decades-long militarized colonial occupation.”
“By the sixth or seventh drive, the guy stopped in the middle of the road,” one Tulane student told the Washington Free Beacon. “Two kids were in the back of the truck—high schoolers, maybe.”
The student, who requested to remain anonymous said that one used “a keffiyeh to conceal his face,” and that “the other “pulled out a lighter” and attempted to burn an Israeli flag,” according to the outlet.
“When a pro-Israel demonstrator attempted to ‘get the flag and bring it back,’ the student said, the keffiyeh-clad individual “started whacking him with the pole of a Palestinian flag.” As the pro-Israel demonstrator staggered back, ‘two Arab men started beating’ him, according to the student, who emphasized that the pro-Israel demonstrator “did not touch the person in the truck.” The student said the perpetrators did not appear to be Tulane students,” the WFB reported.
“I’m scared to go to class,” another Jewish Tulane student named Eliana told Jewish Insider. “I stayed in my dorm for hours until I knew the rally was over – until I got text messages from Jewish groups saying it’s safe for students to come out. Tulane police should have shut down the protest immediately after it got violent. Instead it went on for hours.”
“We want to underscore that this rally was not sanctioned by Tulane University and was not approved in any way by our university. It was staged on public property and attended by many who were not affiliated with our university. However, everyone who committed an illegal act on this day will be held accountable for their actions. In addition, all students are accountable to the Code of Student Conduct,” President Fitts said in his statement.
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