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Peaceful demonstrations to put an end to bloodshed in Palestine are led, according to organizers, by strong leadership and a variety of views



Cedar Rapids, Iowa – The Israeli-Hamas conflict has sparked protests across the nation, and currently, the University of Iowa campus is one of them.

Dozens of protesters gathered on Pentacrest on Friday to demand an end to hostilities in Gaza. The organization Students for Palestine organized a three-day schedule of protests. Participants emphasize how critical it is that Palestinians experience solidarity.

“What we should be focused on is how can the killing and bombing stop in Gaza,” said Ed Flaherty with the group ‘Veterans for Peace.

Flaherty said they have been demonstrating since the dispute began in October. He said that the demonstrations on the UI campus were expertly planned. He claimed that violence on other campuses was detracting people from the true message that those colleges were attempting to convey for that reason.

“The killing goes on in Palestine,” he said.

In the US, at least 2300 demonstrators have been taken into custody. The “Students Against Violence” representative, Clara Reynen, stated that she has made efforts to prevent such from occurring in this place.

“We’re still dedicated to working very publicly and raising awareness all for the ultimate goal of achieving our demands,” she said.

Protests around the country have been branded as hostile and antisemitic toward Israel. Additionally, the student-run organization “Jewish Voice for Peace” leads Shabbat prayers on Pentacrest. That is the 25-hour relaxation day that starts on Friday night at dusk. Erel Michaelis assisted in directing Shabbat. He is an Israeli foreign student.

“I think the violence that has been enacted for decades upon decades on the Palestinian people cannot keep being inflicted the way that it has,” said Michaelis.

Reynen stated that for people to comprehend the true purpose of these protests, they need to learn more about the struggle.

“If we can walk away from this weekend with 10,15,20 more people who feel comfortable talking to friends and family members about what divestment means, what disclosure means, it’s my hope that we can build a group that is ready to push more seriously for our demands to be taken seriously.”