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Presidential candidates, activists praise 'sacrifice' of US airman who burned himself alive to protest Israel

Aaron Bushnell, the Air Force airman that committed suicide by lighting himself in fire to protest Israel, is getting praise from left-wing presidential candidates and groups.

Left-wing presidential candidates and activists are praising the U.S. airman who committed suicide over the weekend by burning himself alive outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C.

Fire officials and police responded to the scene around 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, just moments after 25-year-old Aaron Bushnell, who was serving on active duty in the Air Force, livestreamed himself approaching the gate of the embassy, dousing himself with an unknown liquid, setting himself on fire, and yelling, "Free Palestine," as his body burned.

"Rest in power Aaron Bushnell. ‘I will no longer be complicit in genocide. Free Palestine!’ May his sacrifice deepen our commitment to stop genocide now," Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein wrote in a post on X, quoting Bushnell from his livestream, and including a disturbing screenshot from the video showing his body on fire.


Independent presidential candidate Cornel West echoed Stein, praising Bushnell's "extraordinary courage and commitment" after dying "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!" West added.

The Democratic Socialists of America wrote, "Aaron’s final words were to reject complicity in the United States’ genocide in Gaza. May his soul rest in peace and may we live to free Palestine within our lifetime."


Immediately after the flames covering Bushnell's body were extinguished, he was rushed to a hospital but later died. The Pentagon described his actions as a "tragic event," and offered condolences to his family.

According to multiple reports following his death, Bushnell was an anarchist who grew up in a religious sect located in Orleans, Massachusetts, and later attended events in Texas, where he lived, organized by "socialist" organizations.

He was reportedly "outraged" over the ongoing war between Israel and Gaza.

The Air Force has said it is continuing to investigate Bushnell's death.

When reached for comment, Stein's campaign referred Fox News Digital to a Tuesday press release in which Stein said, "This extraordinary sacrifice brings into greater focus the immense horror that our government is committing in our name." 

"Aaron Bushnell was very clear that he committed this extreme act to protest our government’s extreme policies that are killing thousands of innocent people in horrific ways. His sacrifice is reminiscent of that of Buddhist monks protesting US-backed oppression of their people in Vietnam. It is truly tragic that the horrific actions of the US and Israel have provoked such a desperate sacrifice," she added.

Fox News Digital has also reached out to the West campaign for comment.

Fox News' Bradford Betz and Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

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