Cornel West praises soldier who burned himself alive for Palestine: 'Extraordinary Courage'

Cornel West took to X to praise a U.S. airman who set himself on fire while shouting 'Free Palestine' in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C.

Union Theological Seminary Professor and leftist activist Cornel West took to X to praise a U.S. airman who died after setting himself on fire while shouting ‘Free Palestine’ in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C.

”Let us never forget the extraordinary courage and commitment of brother Aaron Bushnell who died for truth and justice!,” West wrote. “I pray for his precious loved ones! Let us rededicate ourselves to genuine solidarity with Palestinians undergoing genocidal attacks in real time! #AaronBushnell #FreePalestine”

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The soldier has since been identified as Aaron Bushnell, whose former LinkedIn account says as of publication that he was seeking “to transition out of the US Air Force into software engineering.”

Before dying from the self-inflicted burning, Bushnell reportedly made a final Facebook post in which he wrote, “Many of us like to 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.”

Bushnell also is said to have shared a since-removed Twitch stream link which broadcast footage of his death.

”My name is Aaron Bushnell, I am an active-duty member of the United States Air Force and I will no longer be complicit in genocide,” Bushnell stated. 

”I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all,” he continued. ”This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal.”

The footage shows Bushnell yelling “Free Palestine!” before setting himself aflame.

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Dr. West has a history of criticizing the Jewish state. Earlier this month, he suggested that “Both parties are enabling genocide,” in regards to the Israel-Hamas war.

A former Harvard professor, West suggested in 2021 that he was being denied tenure from the school in part because he opposed the “Israeli occupation” of Palestine.

In 2011, West openly supported the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement at the University of Arizona, calling on the school to pursue “divestment from corporations which shamefully engage in criminal activities, from racist-ridden Arizona to the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza.”

After failing to secure the Green Party nomination, West is currently running an independent campaign for president.