Ellie Park, Photography Editor

Following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s retaliatory invasion of Gaza, Yale students held protests against the war at Beinecke Plaza and the Yale-Harvard game over the course of the fall semester.

Following New Haven protests the week after the initial attack, the fall semester’s wave of student protests began on Wednesday, Oct. 25, as Yale students walked out of classes in support of Palestine and against Yale’s involvement in the Israel-Hamas war.

“For a university that glorifies ‘light and truth,’ Yale has lingered in the dark for far too long,” one of the organizers told the crowd. “Yale has strayed far from the light. Part of this includes direct contributions to Israeli businesses, grants and investments that profit from the illegal occupation of Palestine.”

Most student protests were organized or promoted by Yalies4Palestine, a student group created to support Palestinian human rights. Prior to Oct. 7, the group had organized other protests across campus and New Haven streets to protest the University’s investment in weapons manufacturing companies in the Israel-Hamas war. 

Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel killed 1,200 people and took more than 250 people as hostages. In response, Israel formally declared war on Hamas and launched a military offensive in Gaza. Israeli forces have since killed at least 35,000 Palestinians across Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, according to an updated report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Hamas currently holds 133 hostages, 36 of whom are confirmed dead, Israel reports. 

At least a hundred students joined the walk-out to listen to speeches about the Israel-Hamas war, the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and discuss Yale’s response to student concerns regarding the university’s indirect involvement in the war. 

On the morning of Nov. 16, a “doxxing truck” titled “Yale’s Leading Antisemites” appeared on campus amid increasing social tensions over the Israel-Hamas war on college campuses.

The truck publicly displayed photos and names of Yale students involved in pro-Palestine protests and advocacy. 

The truck was sponsored by the conservative group Accuracy in Media, and was a part of the group’s “Campus Accountability Campaign.”

“I am a Navajo and Jewish woman who is committed to liberation for all people, including my own communities,” a graduate student who appeared on the truck wrote to the News in fall 2023. “I am proud to be Jewish, just as I am proud to be Navajo. It is deeply unsettling and violent that Jewish students are being doxxed and called antisemitic.”

Protests continued during the semester, with one taking place at the Yale-Harvard Game on Nov. 18. During half-time, students waved Palestinian flags and held banners up calling for a ceasefire and a stop to the University’s “financing [of] genocide.” 

On Friday, Dec. 1, multiple demonstrations organized by Yalies4Palestine took place during the Yale Corporation’s scheduled visit to campus that weekend. 

Over 20 demonstrators gathered outside Woodbridge Hall to tape a 60-foot banner to the building’s front door. The banner displayed the names of thousands of Palestinians who were killed during the Israel-Hamas war. Additionally, demonstrators called for the Yale Corporation to divest the University’s endowment from weapons manufacturers. 

Three Yale security officers arrived at the scene less than an hour after the banner was put up on Woodbridge Hall and were later joined by Yale Police Lieutenant Jay Jones. Jones confirmed to the News that officers would allow the banner to remain so long as it did not become a fire hazard or obstruct anyone’s path. 

The banner remained for a couple hours until Assistant Vice President for University Life Pilar Montalvo said it would be “fine” for the student to take down the banner when the student approached her to ask in a video obtained by the News. In another video obtained by the News, the student removed the poster from the door of Woodbridge Hall before rolling it up. 

On Dec. 3, Montalvo wrote to students that there were “administrative errors” and “incorrect information” about where the poster could be set up. 

“The organizers of Friday’s actions are deeply disheartened that we were unable to peacefully mourn the thousands of lives that have been lost to the crisis in Gaza,” Aly Moosa ’25, an organizer for both the Friday morning demonstration and afternoon rally, wrote to the News. 

That same Friday at noon, demonstrators took to blocking the intersection of Grove Street and College Street to chant and denounce University President Peter Salovey, the Yale Corporation and Yale trustees for being “complicit” in “war crimes [and] genocide” through the University’s investments in weapons manufacturing. Chants included, “Israel bombs, Yale Corp pays, how many kids have you killed today?” and “The people, united, will never be defeated.”

In response, a Yale spokesperson wrote to the News in December that“President Salovey has made clear that antisemitism, Islamophobia and hatred toward Palestinians and Israelis are emphatically against our values and principles at Yale.” 

Woodbridge Hall is located at 1 Prospect St.

KARLA CORTES
Karla Cortes covers International Relations at Yale under the University Desk. She is a first-year in Silliman College majoring in Political Science.