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US airman dies after self-immolation outside Israeli embassy in Washington DC in protest of ‘genocide’ in Gaza

Leftist leaders in the US praise Bushnell’s commitment to 'Free Palestine'

Aaron Bushnell, a 25-year-old serviceman of the United States Air Force, who committed an act of self-immolation outside the front gate of the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C. (Photo: X)

Senior Airman Aaron Bushnell, a 25-year-old active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force, was pronounced dead on Sunday night after self-immolating to protest against Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip, U.S. media reported.

Bushnell live-streamed himself walking toward the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C., and upon reaching the destination, dousing himself in gasoline before lighting a match on his clothing and repeatedly shouting “Free Palestine.”

The Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) stated on Monday that after first responders arrived on the scene, Bushnell was “transported by DC Fire and EMS to a local hospital where he later died.”

The Israeli Embassy later said that none of its staff were injured and that all were safe. The embassy has been the target of several protests against Israel since last October.

Bushnell was a self-declared anarchist, according to the Washington Post, and specified his preferred pronouns in a note to an anarchist website shortly before his suicide.

“I will no longer be complicit in genocide, I’m about to engage in an extreme act of protest but compared to what people in Palestine have been experiencing at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all,” Bushnell wrote in the note.

In January, the South African government accused Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza in a case submitted to the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Israel has rejected the charge as politically motivated blood libel.

Following his self-immolation, sympathizers set up a memorial to Bushnell, with signs that claimed him to be “killed in protest against Israeli brutality.”

According to unverified social media claims, after the memorial was removed by the Israeli embassy staff, protesters set up a new memorial, sarcastically calling it a “settlement” and vowing to protect it around the clock to advocate for a “Free Palestine.”

In the days following his death, his actions were widely praised by leftist leaders as well as influencers on 𝕏, which led to the phrase “Free Palestine” trending on the social media platform.

Among the politicians commending Bushnell for burning himself alive in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington was Jewish left-wing Senator Bernie Sanders, who said: “It’s obviously a terrible tragedy but I think it speaks to the depths of despair that so many people are feeling now about the horrific humanitarian disaster taking place in Gaza, and I share those deep concerns.”

“Children are starving. People are dying—29,000 Palestinians have died, two-thirds of them women and children. The United States has got to stand up to Netanyahu and make sure this does not continue,” Sanders told Newsweek on Monday.

Radical left-wing philosopher and theologian Cornel West wrote on 𝕏: “Let us never forget the extraordinary courage and commitment of brother Aaron Bushnell who died for truth and justice! I pray for his precious loved ones! Let us rededicate ourselves to genuine solidarity with Palestinians undergoing genocidal attacks in real time!”

“May his sacrifice deepen our commitment to stop genocide now,” Jill Stein, former presidential candidate for the Green Party, wrote on 𝕏.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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