When campuses protest, the people divide

Whether in the USA or in Europe, campuses are ablaze with demands for peace for the Palestinians, demands that are widely justified on humanitarian grounds but embarrass Western governments. Why? There are several reasons for this. Firstly, there is the fear of an escalation of war from neighboring countries manipulated by Russia or China, depending on the interests of one or the other. Geopolitics has its rules, which are often diametrically opposed to humanitarian concerns. In reality, both the Israeli and Palestinian populations are to be pitied.

There isn’t much to expect from the far-right Israeli government, which remains entrenched in its positions. However, in practice, only a political solution that returns to the 1957 agreements would allow for lasting peace, on the condition that settlers return to Israel and that Israelis restore control of water to the Palestinians. Western powers would have the means to support such a solution. If they don’t, it’s solely because elections are approaching in Western countries and some political party financing comes in part from the Israeli community. Far be it from me to suggest that all Israelis are rich; that’s not the case, nor is it true that all are involved in politics. It would be as foolish as the countless conspiracy theories that abound on the web.

This simply explains the very strong repressive stance on campuses in Europe and the USA because governments cannot remain idle to avoid displeasing a portion of their support base, especially in the USA, where they are aware that all of this can easily escalate. We are starting to see mothers vehemently contesting the arrests of their children on campuses, and these mothers are also voters. It is impossible to say how all of this will end, but the more the demands take root and the more repression persists, the only losers are the democratic parties, which are harshly judged by a portion of the population, strangely playing into the hands of conservative political parties, which find, despite their deep internal divisions, a way to unite.

Considering all these factors, one can easily imagine the great difficulty democratic governments face in maneuvering. However, in such a context, it is feared that the humanitarian perspective may not be heard as it should be.

Thierry De Clemensat
Editor in chief
Bayou Blue Radio