Left-wing groups, activists reportedly trained anti-Israel protesters for months

Administrators and police have battled pro-Palestinian protesters in recent days at schools across the country.

Pro-Palestinian supporters set up a protest encampment on the campus of Columbia University in New York as seen on April 22, 2024. (Shutterstock)

(Daily Caller News Foundation) — Anti-Israel protesters at many of America’s universities have been consulting with and sometimes trained by left-wing groups and activists, some of which have ties to support of terrorism, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Protesters at universities across the country have consulted with groups like National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) and Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, in some cases resulting in months of training, planning and encouragement, according to the WSJ. Administrators and police have battled pro-Palestinian protesters in recent days at schools like Columbia and the University of California, Los Angeles, in some cases calling in officers with riot gear using tear gas and flashbangs.

Students at Columbia attended a “teach-in” run by former members of the Black Panthers prior to protesting, who educated them about handling internal disputes in political movements and discussed the parallels between gentrification in Harlem and the conflict between Israel and Palestine, according to the WSJ.

“We took notes from our elders, engaged in dialogue with them and analyzed how the university responded to previous protests,” Sueda Polat, graduate student and organizer in the pro-Palestinian encampment at Columbia, told the WSJ.

The NSJP, which has over 300 chapters across the country, has been involved in the organization of many pro-Palestinian demonstrations on college campuses as of late, according to the WSJ. The group has utilized social media to give advice to protesters, like covering their faces and how to deal with police and protests, as well as calling for universities to divest from Israel.

Columbia held a “Resistance 101” training in March for students, which included a guest speaker from controversial Canada-based group Samidoun, which celebrated Hamas’ attacks on Israel on Oct. 7 that sparked the recent conflict, according to the WSJ. The school opposed the event, twice banning it due to organizers’ ties to terrorism, with students hosting it virtually anyway, resulting in several suspensions.

“There is nothing wrong with being a member of Hamas, being a leader of Hamas, being a fighter in Hamas,” Charlotte Kates, Samidoun coordinator, said at the event, according to the WSJ. “These are the people that are on the front lines defending Palestine.”

Hamas’ initial attack on Oct. 7 of last year killed roughly 1,200 people, and the group still holds both Israeli and American hostages. The U.S. State Department has recognized Hamas as a terrorist organization since 1997.

A group of law firms representing victims of recent Hamas attacks launched a suit on Thursday against the NSJP and the American Muslims for Palestine, arguing that the groups worked to propagandize and advance Hamas’ goals.

The NSJP and Samidoun did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.


Will Kessler