Don’t be so quick to support Israel
Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2012 15:11
For any students who watch the news, the recent rise in turmoil between Israel and Gaza, and the subsequent cease-fire, has been plastered on every news channel.
In the United States virtually all major televised media, from FOX to CNN to MSNBC, generally portray Palestinians as the aggressors and Israel as the nation acting in self defense.
What they never talk about is the U.N.’s condemnation of Israel, the accusations of human rights abuses, the crippling blockade of Gaza that harms thousands of innocent civilians who take no part in the fighting or the huge number of civilian deaths in Gaza and the West Bank.
They neglect to mention that from 2006-2011, 3,170 Palestinian civilians (656 children) killed compared with 99 Israelis.
So what I would like debunk some common myths surrounding this topic and talk about the human rights abuses Israel continues to inflict upon the Palestinians.
The first myth I want to address is the idea that opposing the state of Israel is anti-Semitic.
In reality, the opposite is true.
The majority of Israelis are not Semitic to begin with. They are of European descent.
You can verify this with a short Google search if you doubt it.
More importantly, Palestinians are Semites, so if anyone is anti-Semitic, it’s the state of Israel because they bomb and kill Palestinian civilians by the thousands.
Another myth is that we have a Biblical mandate to support Israel or Israeli Jews are the people of God and somehow deserve to have land that was forcibly taken from the people that lived there for more than 1,000 years.
This is false for several reasons. First, today’s Israel is not the biblical Israel. Again, most Israelis are European.
The Jews in the Bible weren’t white Europeans. They were Semite, just like modern day Palestinians.
This takes us to the human rights abuses. I’ve already mentioned the massive inequality in the death tolls.
Even if we just take this information at face value, there is no justification for killing thousands of civilians in retaliation to the death of a handful of innocents.
Obviously, I’m not saying the nine Israelis killed in 2009 aren’t important.
But when more than 300 Palestinian children were killed in retaliatory strikes that same year, it’s blatantly obvious who the aggressor is.
Another huge deal is Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
Israel uses their military might to prevent food aid from going to Gaza, as well as preventing any trade coming out of Gaza.
In 2005 there were 3,900 factories employing 35,000 people.
After the blockade took effect in 2007, this dropped to about 1,700 people employed in 195 factories.
Now, 80 percent of Palestinians in Gaza live on less than $2 per day.
They also prevent gas and electricity from going to Gaza, making it harder and more expensive to heat one’s home or even cook a simple meal.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the blockade is a violation of the Geneva Conventions.
Specifically, it is an act of collective punishment, in which an entire population is punished for the actions of a small minority.
These people, Palestinians, are just like you and I.
They work; they go to school if their school still stands, and they worry about providing for their families.
They aren’t some population of evil extremists.
They are human beings, and we have to remember this when we consider the topic.
Clint Simpson is a senior political science and philosophy major of Russellville.