A shocking incident unfolded near Tulane University in New Orleans last Thursday during a pro-Palestinian protest, adding to the ongoing unrest seen in major cities and college campuses across the country. Footage capturing the moment shows two protesters standing in the back of a truck, one wearing a mask and holding a Palestinian flag while the other attempts to set fire to an Israeli flag. However, the situation quickly escalated when counter-protesters intervened. Tulane law student Ryan Zamos, who filmed the video, described the experience as “terrifying” and accused the protests of antagonizing Jewish students.
Zamos criticized Tulane University for not taking the necessary preventative measures to ensure the safety of the students. He stated that the university permitted the pro-Palestinian protest without shutting down the street, leading to the violent confrontation. Zamos emphasized that approximately 44% of Tulane’s student population is Jewish and argued that the protest aimed to intimidate and generate fear among Jewish students.
According to The Maroon, a student publication from Loyola University, one counter-protester threw an Israeli flag into the truck driven by pro-Palestinian protesters, followed by an attack on the truck and the theft of its key fob. This forced the protesters to park on the side of the road. FOX 8, a local affiliate in New Orleans, reported that law enforcement authorities made multiple arrests to control the crowd after the incident.
Zamos appealed to Tulane University to take a strong stance against hate rather than remaining neutral. He labeled the protests as “anti-Jewish and anti-Israel,” expressing deep concern over their implications. Tulane University President Michael A. Fitts issued a statement condemning the violence and hateful rhetoric displayed during the unrest. He emphasized that student safety is the university’s top priority.
Fitts detailed how three Tulane students were assaulted during the rally, which took place on a public sidewalk that the university does not have control over. He clarified that the rally was not approved or sanctioned by Tulane. Fitts stated that law enforcement officers from various agencies made several arrests during the incident. He also mentioned that Tulane staff members were present to support the students. Fitts affirmed the university’s commitment to practicing mutual respect when discussing ideas and promoting viewpoints, even with those who disagree.
In a subsequent statement, Fitts announced plans to enhance security measures, enforce the student code of conduct, and provide support resources in response to the incident. The university aims to address the concerns raised by students and prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.
The incident near Tulane University reflects the escalating tensions seen at pro-Palestinian rallies across cities in the United States. Protests characterized by violence, provocative actions, and hateful rhetoric continue to unsettle communities. It is essential for universities and institutions to take a firm stance against such behavior and prioritize the safety and well-being of their students.