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'Death to America' rapidly emerging as key slogan of anti-Israel agitators in US

The slogan "Death to America" has become a more common rallying cry among anti-Israel protesters across the country in recent weeks, who have spread to college campuses.

The slogan "Death to America" is seemingly gaining steam among anti-Israel agitators, who have swept across the nation.

The anti-Israel demonstrations that have spread across the country have taken on an anti-American tenor in recent weeks, with students at the University of Michigan who were participating in the protests being given pamphlets titled "10 anarchist theses on Palestine solidarity in the United States," which included a page that stated, "Freedom for Palestine means Death to America."

The pamphlets come as anti-Israel protests have continued to gain steam, leading to multiple days-long "encampments" at some of the most elite colleges and universities in the United States.

But such rhetoric has not been limited to college campuses, with similar slogans being chanted in nearby Dearborn, Michigan, during a recent rally on the last Friday of Ramadan.


"Imam Khomeini, who declared the International Al-Quds Day, this is why he would say to pour all of your chants and all of your shouts upon the head of America," Tarek Bazzi, a Michigan-based activist associated with the Hadi institute, said in a video before leading rallygoers in chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."

The protests have spread at a rapid pace since a Hamas terrorist attack on Israel in October, becoming part of a growing movement that one expert believes can be traced in part to wavering support for Israel among top Democrats.

"The recent change of possible U.S. policy … the pressure that Biden is under, and then also Democrats going down from Senator Schumer to Pelosi, people that have been very stalwart, always pro-Israel seem to be turning," Steven Stalinsky, the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), told Fox News Digital.

While the protests have been called "mostly peaceful," participants in the demonstrations have been heard making antisemitic chants or rallying in support of the terrorist group Hamas.

"We are Hamas!" protesters at Columbia University in New York City were heard chanting at one recent demonstration.


The "Death to America" chants in Dearborn came amid a movement to deny President Biden reelection over his handling of the conflict in Gaza, with organizations such as "Listen to Michigan" and "Abandon Biden" leading a charge that saw over 100,000 voters mark "uncommitted" on their ballots instead of supporting the president in the state’s Democratic Primary in February.

Biden seemingly responded to some of that pressure earlier this month, holding a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the president threatened a change in U.S. policy toward Gaza if Israel does not do more to protect civilians during the conflict.

Biden noted the need for an "immediate cease-fire" according to a White House readout of the call, a longtime demand of activists in Dearborn.

Dozens of Democrats followed the president’s lead following the call, with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., joining 36 House Democrats in calling for a halt to U.S. weapons shipments to Israel.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Israel to hold new elections to defeat Netenyahu, saying the Jewish state "cannot survive if it becomes a pariah."


The White House and Pelosi's and Schumer’s offices did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

Representatives from Listen to Michigan and Abandon Biden told Fox News Digital that such chants represent a minority of the Dearborn community, arguing that most of the largely Arab and Muslim population in the area are peaceful and that such chants represent a vocal minority.

The chants of "Death to America" were also rebuked by a Dearborn-area imam, who told Fox News Digital that he had personally confronted a local protester who chanted the slogan.

"I am absolutely against saying ‘Death to America,'" Islamic House of Wisdom Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi said, later adding that Muslims in the area are "not for death," but for "love."

But Stalinsky, who has spent years documenting cases of extremism arising out of Dearborn, argued that such evidence suggests that the community harbors many with anti-Israel and anti-American views.

"There’s definitely support for Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran," Stalinsky said of Dearborn.


Stalinksy pointed out that Elahi himself has long been suspected of having ties to Iran, which resulted in nine members of Congress writing a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines last year warning of the Iranian regime’s influence in the U.S. Islamic Centers, including Elahi’s Islamic House of Wisdom.

The rhetoric coming out of Dearborn in recent weeks has also caught the attention of the Michigan legislature, with Republican State Rep. Phil Green telling Fox News Digital that the area is "conflicted" and contains "kind, gracious, loving individuals" as well as a "radical side."

Green said that the conflict in Gaza has now begun to highlight a political divide on the issue, pointing out that a Republican-led effort in the state legislature to condemn terrorism had been unable to pass through the Democratic majority.

"Republicans are united in our support for Israel. We're also united in our support or in our opposition to any type of terrorism," Green said, noting that the Democratic "caucus is split … they do not want to support Israel."

The potential for such a divide has been brewing for a long time, Stalinsky said, arguing that organizations in Dearborn and on college campuses have long propagated anti-Israel and antisemitic messages. 

Those messages have now been combined by groups who have long been sympathetic to progressive narratives on social injustices in the United States, creating a sort of cross-pollination of messages that has manifested in anti-American and anti-Israel sentiment.

"These groups are having influence on a lot of young, ignorant Americans," Stalinsky said. "That’s something we really need to be worried about, I think, because they’re mingling with a lot of bad guys, especially online, and that’s such a danger."

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