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U.S. Airman Self-Immolates in Protest of Israel’s Genocide in Gaza

Aaron Bushnell, 25 years old, set himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, on Feb. 25 to protest against Israel’s onslaught in Gaza. Bushnell was an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force and wore his fatigues during the event.

At the beginning of the video, which he filmed himself, he claimed that he would “no longer be complicit in genocide” and that he was about to “engage in an extreme act of protest.” He added, “But compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal.” He also repeatedly shouted, “Free Palestine!” while he was burning.

After being taken to the hospital, Bushnell died Sunday night, Feb. 25, of his injuries.

The Airman’s last post on Facebook before the incident was the following: “Many of us ask ourselves, ‘What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide?’ The answer is, you’re doing it. Right now.”

Evidencing the disconnect of the Western media, Time magazine reminded readers that such acts are illegal for soldiers. “Defense Department policy states that service members on active duty should ‘not engage in partisan political activity.’ Military regulations also prohibit wearing the uniform during ‘unofficial public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies or any public demonstration which may imply sanction or endorsement by [the Defense Department] or the Military Service.’” Similarly, MSNBC, while reporting on the incident, showed a suicide hotline on the screen saying, “If you or anyone you know is having problems, call…”