Malala Yousafzai Vows Support for Gaza after Backlash

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai participates in a panel discussion in Johannesburg in December 2023. PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP/File
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai participates in a panel discussion in Johannesburg in December 2023. PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP/File
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Malala Yousafzai Vows Support for Gaza after Backlash

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai participates in a panel discussion in Johannesburg in December 2023. PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP/File
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai participates in a panel discussion in Johannesburg in December 2023. PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP/File

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai on Thursday condemned Israel and reaffirmed her support for Palestinians in Gaza, after a backlash in her native Pakistan over a Broadway musical she co-produced with former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Yousafzai, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, has been condemned by some for partnering with Clinton, an outspoken supporter of Israel's war against Hamas.
The musical, titled "Suffs," depicts the American women's suffrage campaign for the right to vote in the 20th century and has been playing in New York since last week, said AFP.
"I want there to be no confusion about my support for the people of Gaza," Yousafzai wrote on X, the former Twitter. "We do not need to see more dead bodies, bombed schools and starving children to understand that a ceasefire is urgent and necessary."
She added: "I have and will continue to condemn the Israeli government for its violations of international law and war crimes."
Pakistan has seen many fiercely emotional pro-Palestinian protests since the war in Gaza began last October.
Yusafzai's "theatre collaboration with Hillary Clinton -- who stands for America's unequivocal support for genocide of Palestinians -- is a huge blow to her credibility as a human rights activist," popular Pakistani columnist Mehr Tarar wrote on social media platform X on Wednesday.
"I consider it utterly tragic."
Whilst Clinton has backed a military campaign to remove Hamas and rejected demands for a ceasefire, she has also explicitly called for protections for Palestinian civilians.
Yousafzai has publicly condemned the civilian casualties and called for a ceasefire in Gaza.
The New York Times reported the 26-year-old wore a red-and-black pin to the "Suffs" premier last Thursday, signifying her support for a ceasefire.
But author and academic Nida Kirmani said on X that Yousafzai's decision to partner with Clinton was "maddening and heartbreaking at the same time. What an utter disappointment."
The war began with an unprecedented Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of around 1,170 people, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures. Hamas also abducted 250 people and Israel estimates 129 of them remain in Gaza, including 34 who the military says are dead.
Clinton served as America's top diplomat during former president Barack Obama's administration, which oversaw a campaign of drone strikes targeting Taliban militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan's borderlands.
Yousafzai earned her Nobel Peace Prize after being shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban as she pushed for girls' education as a teenager in 2012.
However, the drone war killed and maimed scores of civilians in Yousafzai's home region, spurring more online criticism of the youngest Nobel Laureate, who earned the prize at 17.
Yousafzai is often viewed with suspicion in Pakistan, where critics accuse her of pushing a Western feminist and liberal political agenda on the conservative country.



California Academic Workers Strike in Support of Pro-Palestinian Protests

Students protesting at an encampment supporting Palestinians on the California University campus (EPA)
Students protesting at an encampment supporting Palestinians on the California University campus (EPA)
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California Academic Workers Strike in Support of Pro-Palestinian Protests

Students protesting at an encampment supporting Palestinians on the California University campus (EPA)
Students protesting at an encampment supporting Palestinians on the California University campus (EPA)

Discord from last month's mob attack on pro-Palestinian student activists encamped at the University of California, Los Angeles, flared again on Tuesday as academic workers staged a strike on campus protesting UCLA's response to the violence, Reuters said.
Unionized academic researchers, graduate teaching assistants and post-doctoral scholars at UCLA walked off the job over what they regard as unfair labor practices in the university's handling of pro-Palestinian demonstrations in recent weeks, organizers said.
They were joined by fellow academic workers at two other University of California campuses - UC Davis near Sacramento, and UC Santa Cruz, where the protest strike began on May 20.
The strikers are demanding amnesty for grad students and other academic workers who were arrested or face discipline for their involvement in the protests, which union leaders say were peaceful except when counter-demonstrators and other instigators were allowed to provoke unrest.
The state Public Employee Relations Board ordered the University of California and the strikers to take part in mediated talks. A representative for the strikers said the parties met once over the weekend.
The strike was organized by the United Auto Workers union Local 4811, which represents some 48,000 non-tenured academic employees total across 10 University of California campuses and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The UAW local includes about 6,400 academic workers at UCLA, 5,700 at Davis and about 2,000 at Santa Cruz. A union representative said thousands were withholding their work as of Monday. Several hundred attended a march and midday rally on the UCLA campus on Tuesday.
The expanding work stoppage marks the first union-backed protest in solidarity with the recent wave of student-led demonstrations on dozens of US campuses against Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
Union leaders said a major impetus for the strike was the arrest of 210 people, including campus-employed grad students, at the scene of a Palestinian solidarity protest camp torn down by police at UCLA on May 2.
About 24 hours earlier, on the night of April 30-May 1, masked assailants armed with sticks and clubs attacked the encampment and its occupants, sparking a bloody clash that went on for at least three hours before police moved in.
The university has since reassigned the chief of the campus police department and opened an investigation into law enforcement's reaction to the violence.
Last week, three weeks after the melee, campus police announced their first, and so far only, arrest of someone accused of taking part in the attack - a man they say was seen in video footage beating victims with a wooden pole.
Separately on Tuesday in Detroit, Wayne State University suspended in-person classes and directed staff to work remotely to avoid any disruptions that might be posed by a pro-Palestinian encampment there.
US Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat of Palestinian descent, joined those protests on Monday and Tuesday.