**FILE** Hundreds of thousands of young adult activists are taking to social media and protesting in the streets, in solidarity with the people living in the Gaza region subject to bombings, airstrikes and famine daily. (Ja'Mon Jackson/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** Hundreds of thousands of young adult activists are taking to social media and protesting in the streets, in solidarity with the people living in the Gaza region subject to bombings, airstrikes and famine daily. (Ja'Mon Jackson/The Washington Informer)

Hundreds of thousands of young adult activists are taking to social media and protesting in the streets, in solidarity with the people living in the Gaza region subject to bombings, airstrikes and famine daily, forcing them to live among the rubble of what their communities used to be. Many recently gathered at the White House hoping to voice their concerns on the conflict to President Joe Biden, and statistics show more than half of young voters are prioritizing the war in Gaza as they consider placing ballots in the general election in November. 

“As an American citizen, I so feel complicit in the genocide because its my tax dollars going to fund it,” said 27-year-old demonstrator, Samer El-Amine, who took to the White House gates on June 8. 

Activists are helping get the Palestinian pleas to the masses. The Israeli government has banned foreign news outlets like the Associated Press and Al Jazeera from documenting catastrophes on the ground in real time. However, social media has helped close the information gap.

People have used sim cards to upload graphic images, record mistreatment and publish stories that humanize victims of the violence, often posting individuals who have lost their limbs due to unexpected attacks from both the Israeli Defense Forces and members of the terrorist group Hamas. 

American young adults have empathized with conditions overseas and decided to dedicate their platform to raising awareness and encouraging crowdfunding for basic resources.

El-Almine, a club promoter in D.C. said he rarely posts about politics, but as a second-generation Lebanese-American, he told The Informer there’s been too much controversy to remain silent on social platforms. Now, in addition to light-hearted ads for evening events, his feed also features statistics about deaths in Gaza.

“There’s a long-ranging history of the conflict between Lebanon, Palestine and Israel which precedes [Oct. 7, 2023]. My family has been heavily affected due to Israeli aggressions toward Lebanon which has shaped my dad and his brothers experiences growing up,” explained El-Almine. “They had to move and leave to seek refuge.”

Among the thousands at the White House pro-Palestine protest, many shared similar stories about missing family members and memories lost among the rubble an ocean away. 

Picketers used the power of visual imagery to surround the White House in a banner representing the “red line” that the Biden administration said has yet to be crossed. On it were the names of 15,000 Palestinian children that have been killed due to the Israel-Hamas war. 

“I think social media has had such a positive impact on the issue. In the past because of the lack of social media, if the New York Times or CNN did not report on different happenings we couldn’t see it. But now, anyone can make a Tik Tok and people have the ability to shape narratives and create a grassroots movement,” El-Amine continued. “So many users have a voice and because of our phones, anything happening can easily be recorded.”

Olivia Ardito told The Informer that social media makes the devastation in Gaza hard to ignore.

“I think so many people, especially Gen Z, showed up to the protest because it’s impossible to ignore the violence and tragedy happening, even in faraway places, because of social media. Because of how information can spread from real people on the ground, Gen Z is watching and aware. How could you see so much pain and suffering and not be outraged over it,” Ardito, a protestor from Canada asked. 

Call for Permanent Cease-Fire Important to Young Voters

According to a Harvard Kennedy School poll, 51% of young adults ages 18-29 support a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, while 10% oppose. Eligible young voters deeply care about how the conflict in Gaza is being addressed.

“We are at the age where we can vote, we pay our taxes, and understand how the government works. Many of us are unhappy with how our taxpayer dollars are contributing to the violence and our politicians aren’t listening to our desires. Because of that, we protest,”  Ardito explained.

The Council on Foreign Relations reported that Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. aid with a total of $230 billion given to the sovereign nation dating back to 1946. The past seven months have included a $1 billion arms shipment to the country ranging from $700 million in tank ammunition to $500 million in tactical vehicles and $60 million in mortar rounds, according to the Associated Press.

“Material assistance to Israel and their ability to defend themselves has continued — has continued to flow, even though there had been a pause put on those 2,000-pound bombs,” John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications said during a press briefing last week despite Netanyahu’s claims that the U.S. has stopped stockpile weapon shipments.

Further, according to Palestinian health officials, more than 35,000 people, mostly civilians, have died due to Israel’s volatile war methods causing 2.3 million people to flee their homes. The Israeli Defense Force recorded approximately 666 deaths of Israeli soldiers. 

Organizers of the pro-Palestinian protest want stop the death toll from rising. Attendees said that Jewish organizers against Zionism helped facilitate buses of people from as far as the West Coast to South Florida to D.C. in hopes of raising awareness around the conflict.

“I was astonished by how many people showed up to the White House to protest the war on Gaza. I first heard about it from friends from my hometown in Florida that were taking free shuttles up to D.C.,” said Kailynn Bannon, 20. “There were people waving flags, shouting from megaphones…banging drums and playing music while chanting for hours. It gave me chills to see so many people come together and show their support for Gaza.”

Biden, who was out of the country during the demonstration, is currently working with Israel and its counterparts to draft a cease-fire. In his draft proposal, the initial step toward peace would include Israel’s full withdrawal from Gaza.

“Everyone from the United Nations Security Council straight through to the G7 to the Israelis and Netanyahu himself have endorsed the plan I put forward which has three stages to it,” Biden said during the presidential debate on June 27. “The first stage is to trade the hostages for a cease-fire. Second phase is a cease-fire with additional conditions. The third phase is the end of the war. The only one who wants the war to continue is Hamas. They’re the only ones standing out. We’re still pushing hard to get them to accept.”

Ashleigh Fields is an award-winning journalist specializing in coverage of lawmakers in the White House and Capitol Hill. Her reporting has earned recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists,...

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