Watching the college protests about the war in Gaza has me wondering why some refer to them as anti war protesters. While they do sometime call for a ceasefire, the rest of their slogans clearly contradict having that goal. Some of are very explicit in their support and call for war like “No peace on stolen land” .Others like “Free Palestine” are slightly more benign but also a clear indication of wanting war. Whatever their beliefs on the conflict are the "Free Palestine" they are referring to will only come about through a very bloody war and mass displacement of current residents . Not peace negotiations. Even the advocates of the most benign of all slogans “Ceasefire Now” are not calling for that ceasefire to be accompanied by any type of peace settlement or reason to believe the conflict won’t continue afterward. I haven’t seen even a hint of wanting a peaceful resolution at any of the college protests or from any of their spokespeople.

To be clear. This is NOT a question about their views on the current war are or which side in general you believe to be correct in this conflict. The question is limited to how can the college protesters be perceived as anti war instead of pro war based on their slogans and rhetoric

  • 4
    It is entirely possible that college protesters are not monolithic and that they support different, sometimes contradictory views, that seem to be nonetheless aligned at the moment.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented May 3 at 17:55
  • Referring to them as anti-war protesters implies they have a monolithic anti-war view and goal.
    – Schmerel
    Commented May 3 at 17:58
  • 5
    It is almost as if someone wants to slap a single label on them even if that label doesn't accurately describe the group as a whole
    – Joe W
    Commented May 3 at 18:08
  • 1
    Not so much anti war, as anti war-crime
    – Pete W
    Commented May 3 at 20:44
  • 2
    If they cared so much about war-crimes then they would not limit their complaints to Israel in this conflict.
    – Schmerel
    Commented May 5 at 1:56

1 Answer 1


Frame challenge - who is calling it an "anti-war protest"?

Spot checking various news sources, I see:

  • Wall Street Journal: "pro-Palestinian", "Gaza", or "anti-Israel" (editorial page).
  • Washington Post: "pro-Palestinian".
  • NPR: "pro-Palestinian".
  • CNN: "pro-Palestinian", or "Gaza.
  • NY times: "pro-Palestinian".
  • LA Times: "pro-Palestinian", or "Israel-Hamas war-related".

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .