Dec 14, 2023 - News

Pro-Palestinian protests on the rise

Pro-Palestinian and Pro-Israeli protests in the U.S.
Data: ACLED; Graphic: Rahul Mukherjee and Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Cities across the U.S. have seen hundreds of protests since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, according to a tracker from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).

The big picture: As Israel's military operations in the Gaza Strip have ramped up and the death toll has increased, a growing proportion of the demonstrations have been in support of Palestinians.

  • Opinion polling shows that younger Americans in particular have grown more sympathetic to Palestinians since the start of the conflict.
  • More than 16,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its military campaign, according to the Ministry of Health in Hamas-run Gaza. Around 1,200 people were killed in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel.

Zoom in: In Cleveland, hundreds of Pro-Palestinian demonstrators appeared at Cleveland City Hall through October and November, calling on Mayor Justin Bibb and council president Blaine Griffin to walk back pro-Israel statements and advocating for the council to pass a resolution endorsing a ceasefire.

The trend: Initially after the Oct. 7 attack, most of the demonstrations in the U.S. were in solidarity with Israel. Within a week, with the Israeli military response underway, pro-Palestinian protests began to outnumber pro-Israeli protests, according to the data.

  • Nonetheless, nearly half of all pro-Israel protests worldwide included in ACLED's tracker have taken place in the U.S., far more than in any other country.

The latest: Wednesday night, the anti-Zionist organization Jewish Voice for Peace held a menorah lighting on Public Square in support of a ceasefire.

  • "Free Palestine," "Ceasefire Now" and "Boycott Israel" banners have been dropped on highway overpasses downtown.

What's next: A pro-Palestinian rally is scheduled for 4pm Saturday at Market Square.

Go deeper: Charting the weapons the U.S. has provided Israel

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