Hamas praises US pilot who self-immolated as ‘heroic’

The man died from burn wounds after setting himself alight in outside the Israeli embassy in Washington DC


Members of the US Secret Service uniformed division block access to a street leading to the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC on February 25, 2024. A man reportedly set himself on fire near the embassy on Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

(February 27, 2024 / JNS) Hamas said in a statement that US president Joe Biden “bears full responsibility for the death” of a US Army pilot who self-immolated outside the Israeli embassy in Washington DC.

The terror group said Aaron Bushnell gave his life “to shed light on the Zionist massacres and ethnic cleansing against our people in the Gaza Strip.”

Hamas also said that he would  “Remain immortal in the memory of our Palestinian people and the free people of the world, and a symbol of the spirit of global humanitarian solidarity with our people and their just cause.”

The Popular Front for the liberation of Palestine issued a similar statement on Bushnell, saying: “The act of a U.S. soldier sacrificing himself for Palestine is the highest sacrifice and a medal, and a poignant message to the US administration to stop its involvement in the aggression”

Cornel West, the far-left independent 2024 presidential candidate, similarly offered praise, writing on Twitter: “Let us never forget the extraordinary courage and commitment of brother Aaron Bushnell who died for truth and justice! I pray for his precious loved ones! Let us rededicate ourselves to genuine solidarity with Palestinians undergoing genocidal attacks in real time!”

Dr. Jill Stein, a presidential candidate for the US Green Party, wrote: “Rest in power Aaron Bushnell” and “May his sacrifice deepen our commitment to stop genocide now.”

Antisemitic rock artist Roger Waters posted a video of Bushnell killing himself as the Pink Floyd song “The Gunners Dream” played in the background. Waters wrote that Bushnell was an “All American Hero.”

A friend has described Bushnell as an anarchist. Unverified postings on Reddit also suggest staunch anti-Israel views, including saying that Israelis at the Nova music festival were legitimate targets for Hamas. In a posting responding to someone describing the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on civilians and tourists, Acebush1—an account identified as Bushnell’s that has since been wiped—wrote: “There are no Israeli ‘civilians’ or tourists who have no part in the oppression of Palestine.”

The user claimed that since he was not Palestinian, he was “in no position to endorse or condemn Hamas’ actions,” but added “there are no Israelis without the genocide of the Palestinian people” and that “Israel is a settler colonialist apartheid state.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive