Home Markets Rutgers students with American flag counter anti-Israel protest with ‘USA!’ chants

Rutgers students with American flag counter anti-Israel protest with ‘USA!’ chants

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Anti-Israel protesters on campus at Rutgers University were countered by a large group of patriotic students waving an American flag and chanting “USA!” on Thursday.

Video from Thursday afternoon showed a large gathering between the two chanting groups on Voorhees Mall at the New Brunswick, New Jersey, university. 

As the anti-Israel group yelled “Free, Free Palestine!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” the patriotic group could be heard repeatedly chanting “USA! USA! USA!”

At a later point during the demonstration, a couple of people within the anti-Israel group began instructing their protesters to link up to form a circular human chain in front of the students chanting in favor of America.

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Patriotic students wave flag behind anti-Israel protesters

Patriotic students at Rutgers University counter anti-Israel protesters on campus by chanting “USA! USA!” and singing the National Anthem. (FNTV)

As the people were linking up, a woman within their group came over a bullhorn and said, “We are not protesting. We’re not. We have to clean up. We have to leave.” 

It’s unclear what she said after that, but it’s likely the protesters were in the beginning stages of taking down their encampment after negotiations were reportedly made with Rutgers administrators.

Before they began breaking down their human chain, the “USA!” chants from the patriotic students surrounding them got louder and eventually turned into the singing of the National Anthem.

Some singing students could be seen holding their hands over their hearts and at least one student was waving an American flag. When they were done singing, the “USA!” chants resumed.

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The anti-Israel protesters agreed to end their demonstration by 4 p.m. on Thursday after coming to an agreement with university administrators, according to a statement from Rutgers.

“All students involved will leave the encampment, remove all tents and personal belongings, and clear the mall of all trash. This agreement is contingent upon no further disruptions and adherence to University policies,” the statement said.

Large anti Israel protest at Rutgers University

Rutgers University agreed to meet a variation of eight of the protesters’ ten demands in order to end the anti-Israel encampment on campus. (Alexander Lewis / MyCentralJersey / USA TODAY NETWORK)

A variation of eight of the protesters’ ten demands were met by Rutgers administrators, according to the statement. The university did not immediately agree to divest from firms tied to Israel and said it would not be terminating its partnership with Tel Aviv University.

Rutgers said it is meeting with its endowment board and will undergo “the review process that is outlined in the university’s investment policy.”

The university did agree to accept at least 10 displaced Palestinian students to study at Rutgers on scholarship; to create an Arab Cultural Center on each Rutgers campus; to continue its relationship with Birzeit University and to look into student exchange and study abroad opportunities; to continue using the words “Palestine, Palestinians and Gazans” in future communications about the region; to hire a senior administrator with “cultural competency” in Arab, Muslim and Palestinian affairs; to create a feasibility study for the creation of a Department of Middle East Studies; to make sure flags representing all students enrolled at Rutgers are displayed in appropriate areas on campus; and to not retaliate against students, faculty or staff for simply participating in the encampment.

Rutgers students take down encampment

Anti-Israel protesters at Rutgers University agreed to end their encampment on campus at 4 p.m. on Thursday after negotiations were met with school administrators.  (Alexander Lewis / MyCentralJersey / USA TODAY NETWORK)

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“We are pleased to report that these students have agreed to peacefully end their protest. They have committed to removing their tents and belongings, effectively clearing Voorhees Mall,” Chancellor Francine Conway said in a statement. “This process began before the 4 p.m. deadline and is currently underway.”

The video ended by showing the anti-Israel protesters taking down and packing up the encampment.

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