Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Tensions boil over on U.S. campuses as Israel-Palestine violence continues

Armin Suljovic
UTSA students participated in a walk out in solidarity with Palestine on Nov. 9. More than 100 students attended the protest.

Since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, its subsequent war against the attackers has tallied a death toll of over 10,000 and counting. As civilians and soldiers die in mass, rallies and outbursts at universities nationwide strain relationships between pro-Palestine and pro-Israel students. Student bodies face increasing unrest as institutions take disciplinary action. 

Many Jewish, Palestinian and allied college students across the country took to the main areas of their campus and online forums to speak up about how the issue affects them, their community and their heritage. However, tensions exploded on several campuses, creating an environment of fear and menacing university operations. In response, universities have been warning students about extending beyond their rights to free speech and protest and attempting to contain the situation. 

On Nov. 10, Columbia University suspended Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace as organizations on their campus following an unauthorized event on Nov. 9 that “included threatening rhetoric and intimidation.” 

At Cornell University, a student was federally charged with a hate crime after threatening to harm Jewish students. In response to the increasing anti-Semitism on campus, Jewish students at Cornell and Harvard have united to sue their universities for their perceived inaction.

In Texas, a Jewish sorority house at UT Austin was vandalized in Sept. with a spray-painted swastika. On Oct. 12, students hosting a pro-Palestine lecture event were harassed and called terrorists by three other students. 

Not all university events on this issue have seen violent outcomes or university repercussions. UTSA and TAMUSA hosted their Shut It Down for Palestine events peacefully. 

On Nov. 7, the Department of Education published a letter reminding universities of their “legal obligations” to protect students from discrimination. Students across the divide say universities are not doing enough to stop and prevent anti-Semitic and Islamophobic backlash against students demonstrating their First Amendment rights. The situation continues to spiral as many students grow increasingly upset at their university, state or the federal government’s financial and diplomatic alliances with Israel. 

As calls for a ceasefire continue to be ignored, the stifling of protests while letting hate crimes fall through the cracks has some criticizing the hypocrisy of universities and their role in being historical environments that foster intellectual debate and free speech. 

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About the Contributors
Faith Kouadio
Faith Kouadio, Staff Writer

Faith (she/her) is a public health major with a minor in information systems. Despite choosing to pursue studies in these specific fields, she enjoys writing and communications and hopes to incorporate them as a key part of her career. She believes in an increasingly information-heavy world, everyone has a duty to responsibly disseminate information – contributing to the Paisano is her small way of accomplishing this.

If you ask Faith what movie she saw last night, she will have a new answer every time. Other than watching movies, she enjoys listening to and collecting music and traveling. Having grown up in the Toronto region, Texas is one stop from the many places she has called home. After her anticipated graduation in Spring 2024, she’s excited to see where life takes her next.

Armin Suljovic
Armin Suljovic, Assistant Photo Editor
Assistant Ph

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