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Don’t add fuel to the already blazing Israel-Palestine conflict

Dont add fuel to the already blazing Israel-Palestine conflict

Since the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel and Israel’s ensuing response, attention on the 76-year conflict has skyrocketed. Even though it’s been decades since the issue has first presented itself, no solution has been on the horizon or has succeeded in halting the grievances on both sides.

And since, anti-Muslim and anti-Semetic hate crimes have increased at concerning rates. Since Oct. 7 in the United States, anti-Muslim discrimination has risen 180%. Instances of anti-Semetism in the last five months have quadrupled compared to last year over the same time period.

In the last five months, in Oakland, California, an 11-foot menorah was smashed into bits and thrown into a river, with anti-semitic writing left where it once stood. At a Pro-Palestine demonstration near the Yale campus in New Haven, Conn., a man dressed in a keffiyeh (a traditional Arab headdress, now a symbol of solidarity with Palestine) climbed a massive menorah and draped it with the Palestinian flag. In Los Angeles, Paul Kessler, a 69-year old Jewish Pro-Israel protester, was fatally injured after a Pro-Palestine protester pushed him.

While in Chicago, six-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume, a Palestinian-American boy, was stabbed to death because he was Muslim. His mother was also attacked but survived. In Vermont, Kinnan Abdalhamid, Tahseen Ahmed and Hisham Awartani, Palestinian students studying in America, were shot while sitting outside and speaking Arabic. In New York, a Muslim teen girl’s hijab was ripped off while being called a “terrorist” on her way to school.

All of these attacks are not only horrendous, but make the Israel-Palestine Conflict even more irremediable. You can disagree with the actions of Israel, and you can also disagree with the actions of Hamas, but you can never use that to justify racism against anyone.

The fostering of these beliefs won’t make the situation in the Israel-Palestine area any better. Jewish people and Muslim people are not responsible for the actions of their government. They are responsible for how they treat others in response to the actions of both Hamas and the Israeli government.

Hamas has had control over Gaza since the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections. This was the last time Palestinians have ever voted for a legislature, the last time they voted for a president was in 2008. Hamas has established authoritarian institutions to ensure complete control over the government. They have repressed Gazan media, civilian activism on social media, political opposition and nongovernmental organizations since they came into power.

On the Oct. 7 attacks, Hamas killed 1,400 Israelis and took hundreds hostage, a majority of which have still not been freed. They are using their own citizens as human shields, and have claimed they “are not responsible” for the civilians killed in the conflict, while simultaneously putting innocent people in harm’s way.

Israel has been under the rule of far-right prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the last 16 years. Since Israel’s campaign on Gaza over the last few months, Israel has killed at least 32,000 people, that’s over 1% of the Palestinian population. Israel cut off all the water, fuel and electricity to the citizens of Gaza. The Israeli defense minister said they were fighting against “human animals.”

Netanyahu has rejected the two state solution and Hamas’s Covenant calls for the complete destruction of Israel.

For any peace to ever come for both nations– we need to wake up and see the truth. Without opposing the suffering of both the Israeli and Palestinian communities, ideologies like these are allowed to thrive. People are blinded from the truth of the conflict.

The sudden explosion of anti-Arab and anti-Semetic instances since Oct. 7 is no accident. People choosing to only acknowledge the suffering on one side only fuels the divide.

Every single person no matter their race, religion, sexuality, etc. deserves a home. Every single person deserves basic necessities. And every single person deserves safety. The only way for peace to come to the people of Israel and Palestine is for people to recognize this.

Instead of immediately starting a fire after the next advancement in the conflict, educate yourself. Research about the history of the conflict, the governments in charge currently, and the experiences of people from both communities.

Peace will not be achieved when those outspoken in this conflict continue to add to the fire.

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