Code Pink protesters confront Defense Secretary Austin about Israel: ‘Stop supporting mass murder’

Members of the antiwar group Code Pink told Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday to “stop supporting mass murder” over the Biden administration’s support of Israel as it continues to battle Hamas terrorists. Austin was leaving a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing where he and other leaders testified about the Department of Defense fiscal 2025 budget request when Code Pink members voiced their discontent with U.S. policy toward Israel. “We feel that he knows better than to say ‘this is not a genocide’ and he knows that Israel is violating international law and U.S. law, and so he should stand up and say that and not be collaborating with the Israeli military as so many thousands of civilians have been killed and more are being killed every single day,” Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin told Fox News Digital. In videos posted to X, Austin is seen coming out of the committee hearing as Code Pink members wait in a hallway. ‘NOTHING WOULD REMAIN’: IRAN’S PRESIDENT VOWS TO COMPLETELY DESTROY ISRAEL IF IT LAUNCHES ‘TINIEST INVASION'”The world is not safer,” one person is heard saying as Austin walks away. “Stop supporting mass murder,” said another. “Israel struck the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Israel has instigated wider conflict,” one person is heard saying off camera. “Iran has not killed anyone yet, but if you continue to arm Israel’s genocide, things will escalate.”The Israeli strike on Iran’s consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus earlier this month killed two Iranian generals and five officers, Iran has said. In response, Iran launched dozens of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), also known as drones, at Israel on Saturday, though many were destroyed and failed to reach their targets, Israeli officials said. In addition to fighting Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces have battled Iran-backed Hezbollah on a second front on the Israel-Lebanon border since Oct. 7. Critics of Israel’s military offensive have claimed the Jewish state is committing acts of genocide against Palestinians, which has been refuted by Israeli and American officials. “In terms of the way that Israel is conducting itself, we condemn what Russia is doing in Ukraine and yet Israel has killed many more civilians in six months than the Russians have killed in over two years,” Benjamin said. WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES NEW SANCTIONS ON IRAN FOLLOWING ATTACK AGAINST ISRAEL: ‘THE PRESSURE WILL CONTINUE’One Code Pink member was arrested during Wednesday’s hearing, the group said on X. “Secretary Austin has blood on his hands,” the woman, who was only referred to as Helen, said as she was being detained. “You can take me down the hall, but you can’t close my mouth! I am outraged that my country is committing genocide!” she said. Fox News Digital has reached out to the Department of Defense. Code Pink is known for protesting against U.S. involvement or support in various conflicts. The group describes itself as a “feminist grassroots organization working to end U.S. warfare and imperialism.”Among its causes, the group opposes U.S. sanctions on Iran, Venezuela, N. Korea, Cuba, as well as torture, the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, weaponized and spy drones, and the prosecution of whistle-blowers. “We support Palestinian rights, diplomacy, and growing local peace economies,” the group states on its website. “This conflict started 75 years ago. It didn’t start on Oct. 7,” said Benjamin, referring to the founding of Israel. “The Palestinian people have been dispossessed and oppressed for all these years and there will always be some kind of resistance.”
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