Large Banner Ad
Small Banner Ad

March 11, 2024

Turn Your Eyes to Gaza - "free Palestine …….. free Palestine…" - Aaron Bushnell

On February 25, as he calmly walked up to the perimeter fence of the Israeli Embassy, Aaron Bushnell uttered those words. On that day, Bushnell set himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington in protest at the US and Israel's genocidal actions in Gaza. His last words on this Earth, as the fire consumed him, were: "Free Palestine!" Bushnell's self-immolation was as horrific a death as a human being can experience, and it was designed to be.

I’m shocked, horrified and deeply moved by the sacrifice Bushnell made. A young, white American active duty serviceman of the United States Air Force has done the unthinkable: he has turned his living body into a burning spear of protest shaken in the face of Israel and America. Without endorsing the form of protest, we should at least pause and reflect.

On video an officer desperately tries to put out the blaze, shouting at another officer who is mindlessly pointing his gun at the flaming Aaron Bushnell: “I don’t need guns!! I need a fire extinguisher!” From Washington to Rafah those words hold true. The mainstream media quickly moved on from the story.

I feel as though I’ve been jolted awake, which I assume was Bushnell’s intention all along. A wake-up call to confront the cruel reality of our times, breaking through the veil of Western distraction and leading our attention to Gaza.

Terence MacSwiney, the Lord Mayor of Cork, and like Aaron Bushnell, and like so many Palestinian people, he just could no longer tolerate the injustice being inflicted by the powerful of this world. He died in a prison in England in 1920. At the end he said:

“It is not those who can inflict the most but those who can endure the most who will conquer[1]

I would never do what Bushnell did, and I would never recommend anyone else does either. That said, I also can’t deny that his action is having its intended effect: drawing attention to the horrors that are happening in Gaza.

They are keenly aware of the negative repercussions on US and Israeli information interests due to the dissemination of an international news story depicting an active member of the US Air Force engaging in self-immolation on camera while shouting “Free Palestine.” Consequently, they are taking every measure to minimize any ensuing damage.

As I write this, there are with absolute certainty people digging through Bushnell’s history searching for dirt that can be twisted to portray him as a bad person, attempting to depict him as mentally unstable or led astray by pro-Palestine activists and dissident media — whatever they can make stick. If they find even the slightest shred of evidence, the smear campaigners and propagandists will exploit to the fullest extent possible.

Whether you choose to watch this video or not, the event it portrays is a stark reflection of the ongoing incineration of Gaza. Each of us bears the responsibility for our individual response to this harsh reality, as it ultimately defines who we are.


[1]“Irish War of Independence” – The selected writings of Terence MacSwiney.

  • Think green before you print
  • Respond to the editor
Subscribe to the E-bulletin

On July 7, 2024 in Toronto, Canada, Dimitri Lascaris delivered a speech on the right to resist oppression.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel