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Israel Hamas WarNewsWorld

Iran is funding anti-Israel protests in US: White House

US intelligence chief says that while demonstrators are acting in good faith, they can still be exploited by foreign actors.
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People with Palestinian flags climbing on a statue

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators leave Palestinian flags and graffiti on the Rochambeau Statue in Lafayette Park next to the White House (Probal Rashid/Sipa USA).

Published: 11 July 2024

Last updated: 11 July 2024

The White House has accused Tehran of trying to take advantage of a wave of anti-Israel protests in the United States and described such behavior as unacceptable, following a warning by the top US intelligence official that Iran was trying to stoke discord in American society.

The warning, issued on Tuesday by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, said actors tied to Iran’s government had posed as activists online, sought to encourage protests regarding the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza and even provided demonstrators with financial support.

The statements are likely to embolden those calling for American authorities to take a harder line on the Gaza war protests that swept across college campuses toward the end of the spring semester, and that have continued at other locations into the summer.

They also could expose the administration to criticism by defenders of those demonstrations, who may argue that the government is dismissing them as inauthentic.

The White House and Haines both sought to address this potential pushback in their Tuesday statements.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said freedom of expression was vital to American democracy, but the government also had a duty to warn citizens about foreign influence operations.

“Americans across the political spectrum, acting in good faith, have sought to express their own independent views on the conflict in Gaza. The freedom to express diverse views when done peacefully is essential to our democracy,” she said.

“At the same time, the US government has a duty to warn Americans about foreign malign influences… We will continue to expose attempts to undermine our democracy in our society just as we are today,” Jean-Pierre added.


White House: Iran is funding, emboldening anti-Israel protests in US to sow discord (Times of Israel)


US activists begin to grapple with repercussions of their anti-Israel college protests (Times of Israel)
Some students and faculty members who took part in events are facing disciplinary action and other penalties.

Kamala Harris: Campus protesters over Gaza war ‘showing what human emotion should be’ (Times of Israel)
US vice president also notes that she rejects some of the university demonstrators’ rhetoric, amid focus on her as potential replacement for Biden if he quits campaign.


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