Millroy: Protesters seem to have forgotten

There is a lesson to be learned from the tent cities set up on university grounds by the pro-Palestinian element protesting the excesses by Israel in the war in Gaza. I just hope those in leadership in the universities, which are now being affected worldwide, are bright enough to learn from it.

When the first tent goes up anywhere on their grounds, knock it down and if any follow, as there surely will be, knock them down as soon as they appear.

In the meantime, work on securing the grounds so no more tents can go up.
And then they can sit down with the protesters and talk.

It worked at Brown University at Providence, Rhode Island, and a few others where university officials and protest leaders struck agreements to restrict the disruption to campus life and upcoming commencement ceremonies.

But it certainly didn’t at Columbia University in New York city or at the University of California Los Angeles.
At Columbia students, upset that their setting up of tents was not getting what they saw as an adequate response from university officials, occupied a building known as Hamilton Hall, finally eliciting a response that they didn’t like.

Police officers carrying zip ties and riot shields stormed the building and arrested dozens of people.
At UCLA, where police also were called in to do the same thing, rubber bullets were used against the occupiers during the clearing of their tents.

Police have swept through other campuses across the U.S. over the past two weeks, leading to confrontations and more than 1,000 arrests nationwide.

Negotiating talks aside, university officials never again should sit and watch these tent cities grow until they take a major police effort to tear them down and restore calm.

Actually, I am surprised in took so long after things got out of hand with the setting up of the tent city at Columbia for universities across the country to grasp that this was a protest type that was surely to spread and therefore they should move quickly to prevent it at their campuses.

The same can be said for the leadership in Canadian universities, the first two tent cities here going up at McGill University in Montreal and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and spreading from there.

Waiting didn’t get them anywhere.. In fact, it only emboldened some of the protesters.
Yet at McGill, as of this writing, police said they “were analyzing the situation,” a time I believe was long past, action being what was needed.

I am not against protests in general and I am not against this one, although I see it as misguided. They are not going to make a bit of difference to what is happening in Gaza. That is up to the Israelis, who are doing their own thing and aren’t listening to anyone.

I am against protests that get out of hand, such as the ones here that in effect are shutting down universities in their final days of the year.

The goal here, according to the protesters, is to get the universities away from having any relationship with Israel, whom they blame for the destruction of Gaza and the loss of 34,000 Palestinian lives and 100,000 injured, many severely.

I, too, am upset about the killing and destruction that has taken place. I wrote from the outset that I worried that Israel’s response to the horrific attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 would lead to a humanitarian disaster.

But I also have kept in mind that this was all started by Hamas, a terrorist operation founded and manned by Palestinians.

Many of those protesting seem to have forgotten all about that, placing all the blame on Israel.
I don’t like what Israel has done. It has literally destroyed Gaza, to the extent that Gazans can no longer feed or house themselves.

But I also know that if I had an enemy that was bent on my destruction, as Hamas is in regard to Israel, I would probably pull out all the stops in attempting to eliminate the threat.

Columbia’s police action happened on the 56th anniversary of a similar move to quash an occupation of Hamilton Hall by students protesting racism and the Vietnam War.

Polls at that time showed a majority of Americans had come to object to the war, mainly because of the American blood that was being spilled, rather than on principle.

I found it interesting recently to find two polls on the war in Gaza that were in direct opposite to each other.

A poll by Harvard CAPS-Harris showed 80 percent of registered American voters said they support Israel more in the war, while 20 percent said they support Hamas more.

A poll by Gallup said 55 percent of Americans disapprove of Israel’s military action in Gaza, while 36 percent approve of it.

Democratic Sen. Bernie Saunders said in an interview last week that the present unrest at universities could be President Biden’s Vietnam.

I don’t see it.

It did take the president 10 days to address the protests. He said he was in support of peaceful protests, which essentially are part of the American infrastructure, but he condemned those that had gotten out of hand.

He should have done that much earlier, when violence and anti-Semitism first reared their ugly heads.
Protesters don’t like his handling of the war, that he is still allowing arms to be shipped to Israel.
But I think he has to do this. To stop them might just give Israel’s enemies the thought that now is the time to attack.

If such an attack did occur the protesters, with their pro-Palestinian sentiments and anti–Semitism thoughts, might like that. I don’t believe that many true Americans would.

2 thoughts on “Millroy: Protesters seem to have forgotten

  1. There are no winners… both sides want genocide … what is there to like about either of these combatants???

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