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‘Victim To The Woke Ideology’: Air Force Member Sets Himself On Fire Outside Israeli Embassy

Breanna Claussen

Aaron Bushnell, a 25-year-old active-duty US Air Force member, died after setting himself on fire on Sunday outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC.

Prior to his death, Bushnell insisted in his final post on social media that the United States was “committing genocide” through its support of Israel—a reference to the false claim that Israel is deliberately targetting civilians in its war against the terrorist organization Hamas.

“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?'” he wrote. “The answer is, you’re doing it. Right now.”

The disturbing “act of protest” was live-streamed by Bushnell on Twitch, where he can be heard shouting “Free Palestine” as he set himself ablaze in his military uniform. Firefighters then acted to distinguish the flames, and Bushnell was transferred to a hospital in critical condition before later succumbing to his injuries. The video has since been removed from the Twitch platform.

The Bad Fruit Of Progressive Ideology

The social media of Bushnell, who was working to receive his bachelor’s degree at Southern New Hamshire University, showed his interest and following of extreme groups such as Burning River Anarchist CollectiveMutual Air Street Solidarity, and the anti-semitic and pro-Hamas group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

According to the American Jewish Committee, “SJP’s campus messaging relies heavily on the progressive language of social justice, and SJP routinely uses that language to falsely attack Israel based on narratives that intersect with other social justice causes.”

This cloak of “social-progressive language,” AJC explained, has “enabled SJP to enlist a broad swath of American students who know very little about the Middle East to the cause of anti-Israel activism.”

“SJP has been repeatedly linked to incidents of violence, intimidation, and harassment of Jewish and pro-Israel students on campuses across the country, including the creation of ‘apartheid walls,’ or mock checkpoints in the center of campus, or posting mock eviction notices on Jewish students’ dormitory room doors,” they continued. “SJP rallies regularly call for an ‘intifada,’ meaning armed aggression against Israel, and call for Palestine to be free ‘From the River to the Sea,’ which would eliminate the existence of Israel.”

In recent years, Academia has been heavily criticized for its promotion of “woke” ideology. Following Hamas’ massacre of 1,200 Israelis on October 7th, many Colleges and Universities not only took a shrugging attitude toward rising antisemitism but were found to have planted the seeds of this anti-Israel sentiment on their campuses.

The US Military has also been lambasted, particularly under the Biden administration, for prioritizing progressive propaganda.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged America to “wake up” after the United States Air Force Academy advised cadets in 2022 to stop using the word “terrorist.”

“Academy cadets are being told to avoid committing ‘microaggressions’ by replacing terms such as ‘you guys’ and ‘terrorists’ with terms that have been deemed ‘less offensive.'” Pompeo described. “Under the Biden Administration, our Air Force cannot call terrorists what they are…”

Among the progressive ideologies pushed on American servicemembers is Marxist “critical theory,” which has been used as a foundation to label Israel as the villain “oppressor” of “innocent” Palestinians. This thinking brazenly ignores the terrorism and genocidal intentions of Hamas and its Palestinian supporters.

Fallen Prey To Progressive Propaganda

Jack Hibbs, Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, commented on the Airman’s actions outside the Israeli Embassy. 

“[Bushnell] is a member of the United States Air Force who has allowed himself to fall victim to the woke ideology and the progressive propaganda of a demonic agenda that has long been predicted in the Bible,” he highlighted. “That prediction is – that God will not stand with those who are against Israel and His people, the Jews.”

“The fact remains, and the evidence is, that this man’s action displays something much deeper, something systemic in our culture that is within our government today – that we as a nation have departed from God. We have abandoned His truth, reason, mission, and biblical guidance,” Hibbs warned. “Our United States military, under the direction of a politicalized Department of Defense, has created a situation that clearly displays the tragic fact that God has abandoned us to our own devices.”

In the video of Bushnell, “You will hear the man shouting ‘Free Palestine’ while he is consumed by the fire of his own making,” the pastor described, adding that he was “a life lost due to the love of a lie.”

“Apart from God, and apart from PASTORS and pulpits turning back to God, there’s no hope for the United States,” Hibbs underscored.


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