Crisis in Palestine: More than Statistics

Most people avoid the truths that contradict their beliefs. The unfortunate reality of today is that we are blinded by the biases in mainstream media and are deprived of accurate information, especially when it comes to the Palestinian and Israeli conflict. I am pro-Palestine. However, this does not, in any way, indicate that I am anti-Semitic. The brutality that the Palestinian people endure are far more extensive than portrayed in the news and it is time for human beings everywhere to recognize the injustice in its true form.

To give some background, after World War II when the Jews fled anti-Semitic Europe, their main settlement was in Palestine. The rise of nationalism in the 19th century led the Jewish people to embrace the Herzl theory of Zionism. Because of this, the feeling of entitlement to land grew in as did the disregard for the Palestinian people’s wellbeing. After violating the agreement with the United Nations to control half of the Palestinian land, the Israeli army took over ⅓ more land than they were supposed to. They annihilated nearly 4000 villages, which resulted in their control over 78% of Palestine. Since 1967, the army has had 100% control over the land and the atrocities committed against the civilians still continue to this day. The absurdity of this matter is that not only are locals terrorized, but the army acts under the guise of self defense.

How many people are familiar with Operation Protective Edge? In 2014, Khaled Hamad took his cameras through the neighborhoods and followed the paramedics that tended to the victims of 7000 shell firings. Although he did not survive, Hamad’s footage showed the incomprehensible effects of the shellings. These firings were not over months or even weeks, but rather over the course of 24 hours. According to Al-Jazeera’s calculations, for every Israeli soldier that has died, 100 Palestinian civilian lives have paid the price. 2100 civilians were killed and over 500 of them were infants and children. We live life believing that children are the light and purity of this world. If this is the case, why is it justified to execute them in the masses?

What I have revealed to you is only the beginning. I could tell you that 95% of the population suffers from mental health fatigue, or that safety shelters and 24 medical facilities were bombed in 2014 alone. I could give you the names of children that tremble at the sight of blood. These facts may not make a difference to you, my fellow reader, because they are statistics. They are numbers that will be forgotten by the time you licks you click off the page. I am asking you to stay and attempt to relate to this perspective: there are almost 500 students in the graduating class of 2017. The same number of children and all of their families were brutally murdered in Palestine within the span of 24 hours. Our society reads about the Holocaust in a textbook and we think of the barbarity that took place. When will we read about Gaza and the West Bank and feel the same way?

Under the premise of international law an occupying nation is obligated to protect the citizens of the nation which they take over. In other words, Israel, rather than cutting off water and electricity, must legally support and help the Palestinian people. It is up to us, as Americans, to stand up against the international bully, and use our leverage to forget about diplomacy and politics, and rather focus on human rights and the humanitarian crisis in Palestine

Isra Shilad
staff writer 

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