Annual Harvard Graduation Demo Puts Spotlight on Gaza

Palestine Solidarity Activists Stand Out for Gaza

On May 24, a line of 60 or so activists holding banners and signs protesting the Gaza massacre greeted newly-minted Harvard graduates and their families as they left Harvard Yard.  

They walked past names of most of the Gazans killed in creative, unarmed demonstrations mounted to demand their dignity, freedom from the cage confining Gaza, and a recognition of the rights of refugees.  

A flyer headlined ‘Slaughter in Gaza Demands our Response!’  spelled out the results of Israel’s lethal impunity:

• At least 118 killed, most targeted by Israeli snipers from hundreds
of yards away. 15 children, one a baby, and 2 journalists were killed.
• 12,600+ injured, many with wounds requiring amputations.
Dozens of journalists and some 700 children are among the wounded.
• 1 Israeli soldier reported to be ‘lightly wounded’; 0 Israelis killed.

What was the reaction?  There was more anger expressed towards us than in previous years, revealing the extent to which Israel’s relentless demonization of Palestinians has been internalized by some Americans.

But there was also a show of support from many graduates.  Most heartwarming was the outpouring of joy from a young Palestinian woman in cap and gown, whose family thanked us for our presence by distributing ice cream to the entire group. 

Nancy Murray, Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine