US President Joe Biden who on Sunday modified his hard line on the
Israel-Hamas war and cautioned Israel against invading Gaza, is now
under greater pressure to toe a more reasonable line following the
monstrous bombing of a hospital in Gaza.
The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, confirmed he
would not be meeting Joe Biden in Amman, adding that any talks
about anything else rather than stopping the war is unacceptable.
Abbas said targeting the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist hospital in Gaza was a
“hideous war massacre” that cannot be tolerated, Reuters reported.
“Israel has crossed all red lines … We will not leave nor allow anyone
to expel us from there,” Abbas said.
Meanwhile there had been widespread protests in American
university campuses against Israel’s brutal response to Hamas’ strike
on October 7 and European nations’ calls for the accommodation of
the Palestinian case.
Biden told the “60-minutes” program on CBS on Sunday, that while
he stood strongly behind Israel, a new occupation of Gaza would “be
a big mistake,” New York Times reported.
However, Biden was confident that Israel would observe the laws of

“There are standards that democratic institutions and countries go
by. And so I’m confident that there’s going to be an ability for the
innocents in Gaza to be able to have access to medicine and food
and water,” he said.
Asked if he agreed that Hamas must be eliminated entirely, he said:
“Yes, I do. But there needs to be a Palestinian Authority. There needs
to be a path to a Palestinian State.”

European Moderation
European Union leaders met for a virtual summit on Tuesday to try
to forge a common position over the Israel-Hamas war. The theme of
the meeting was how to work with countries in the Middle East and
Persian Gulf regions in trying to prevent the war from spreading.
According to The Telegraph, some EU countries expressed frustration
with Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President on
her response to the conflict. She travelled to Israel after the terror
attacks, but some EU governments noted that she had not done
enough to insist that Israel respects international law in its
The EU President only talked of tripling humanitarian aid for civilians
in Gaza and organising an EU humanitarian air bridge to Gaza
through Egypt, it was pointed out.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s chief diplomat, said that while Israel had the
right to self-defence, “that has to be developed in compliance with
international laws and in particular humanitarian laws – because war
also has its laws.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said that while respecting
Israel’s right to defend itself, he had passed on “warning messages
calling for respect for humanitarian law, international law and civilian

populations in Gaza and the West Bank, and for non-escalation of the
conflict in Lebanon”.
Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, who travelled to Israel on a “visit
to friends” on Tuesday, after meeting King Abdullah II of Jordan in
Berlin, said that Germany “stands firmly by Israel’s side,” but warned
of the risk of the wider region tipping into broader conflict.
“It’s about protecting the civilian population in the Gaza Strip and
avoiding a conflagration,” Scholz underlined.

Opposition in Middle East
Meanwhile, the US and Israel have come under pressure in the
Middle East also. The Saudis have made it clear that neither they or
the Egyptians will allow refugees from Gaza to flow into their
territories. By saying so, the Saudis have put the onus of containing
the refugee and the humanitarian crisis on the Israelis and their ally,
the US.
Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, said on Monday that
there was no way to achieve peace except by establishing a
Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders.
Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has urged Palestinians to
resist efforts to force them to leave Gaza. Egypt has refused to open
its border with Gaza so as not to enable Israel to conveniently pass
the buck to Eqypt and continue its assault on Gaza.
US Campuses on the Boil
The US National Public Radio (NPR) and other US media have been
reporting about American university students protesting and clashing
over the Israel-Hamas war.
At Harvard, 35 student groups signed onto a letter from the Harvard
Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) on Oct. 7 — the day Hamas

launched its surprise attack on Israel. The letter held Israel "entirely
responsible for all unfolding violence."
Saturday's events "did not occur in a vacuum,” the letter said,
according to Newsweek.
"For the last two decades, millions of Palestinians in Gaza have been
forced to live in an open-air prison. Israeli officials promise to 'open
the gates of hell, and the massacres in Gaza have already
commenced. Palestinians in Gaza have no shelters for refuge and
nowhere to escape. In the coming days, Palestinians will be forced to
bear the full brunt of Israel's violence," the letter said.
The groups that signed the statement include Amnesty International
at Harvard, Harvard Jews for Liberation, the African American
Resistance Organization and the Society of Arab Students.
The statement condemned the actions of the "apartheid regime" in
Israel, adding that Israeli violence had "structured every aspect of
Palestinian existence for 75 years."
"The apartheid regime is the only one to blame," it said. "From
systematized land seizures to routine airstrikes, arbitrary detentions
to military checkpoints, and enforced family separations to targeted
killings, Palestinians have been forced to live in a state of death, both
slow and sudden.”
"Today, the Palestinian ordeal enters into uncharted territory. The
coming days will require a firm stand against colonial retaliation. We
call on the Harvard community to take action to stop the ongoing
annihilation of Palestinians," it warned.
In New York, the president of NYU's Student Bar Association wrote
that "Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life,"
in his letter to the group.
According to the Indiana Daily Student newspaper Indiana University
students said: "We don't represent Hamas, and we don't condone

the actions of Hamas. But we also don't condone the actions of the
Israeli military. We do not want to see Palestinian children or Israeli
children killed in this siege. It is a tragic event, and we hope things
deescalate as soon as they can."
According to NPR, student groups have also held vigils and protests,
which in some cases had led to direct confrontations between pro-
Israel and pro-Palestinian groups.
Clashes occurred at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
and Indiana University. Columbia University closed its campus to the
public for one day due to safety concerns over two planned student
protests, a day after an Israeli student was allegedly assaulted with a
stick outside its library.
Some, like University of Florida President Ben Sasse, issued
statements strongly supporting Israel and Jewish students. Others,
like Vanderbilt University, Ohio State University, and Stanford
University were more neutral.
An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds that, while two-thirds of
Americans say the United States should publicly support Israel in the
war between Israel and Hamas, but there are wide generational and
racial differences.
US Students have been on the cutting edge of social justice
movements throughout history, from protesting the Vietnam War to
fighting for immigrants' rights, Radhika Sainath, a staff attorney at
U.S.-based advocacy group Palestine Legal, told NPR.
Fired from Jobs
Sainath said pro-Palestinian advocacy on college campuses is not
new, nor is the backlash against students who speak out. But this
time, her group has seen an "exponential surge" in requests for legal
help — as many as 10-20 a day — from people who have been fired

from their jobs, questioned or threatened for expressing support for
Palestinian rights.
She stressed that the constitutional First Amendment right to free
speech is protected at public universities and most private schools,
depending on the state. But sometimes, universities violate their
own policies, she points out.
"People are just really, really scared right now at universities and
across the country, especially students and professors are really
worried about what they are able to say."
Jewish students said that they are scared, with anti-Semitism (anti-
Jewism) on the rise in much of America.
A September Ipsos poll found that 57% of Jewish college students
reported having witnessed or experienced an anti-Semitic incident,
either on their campus or in the general public.
But anti-Semitism takes place because US universities have
intentionally abandoned Palestinian and Arab and anti-Zionist
causes, Sainath said.
American colleges put out statements that only mentioned the pain
and loss of Israeli and Jewish students, "basically erasing Palestinian