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Israel V.S. Palestine: Students Speak Out

Right photo reveals the damage to Israel almost 1 month after the attack led by Hamas.Left photo reflects the actions of a police force through a Palestinian-led protest (Right photo by S. Zaka) (Left photo by M. Foto) (Graphic by A. Rushing).

The conflicts between countries Israel and Palestine can be dated as far back as biblical times; from B.C. until current day the opposing countries have been fighting non-stop in terms of achieving religious gain, as well as political assets. However, the most recent attack occurred Oct. 7 of 2023, with Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group, launching an estimated 3,000 rockets aimed at the barrier between the Gaza strip and Israeli land. 

“I think it’s a war over land and power and that what happened on Oct. 7th gave Israel a more international accepted reason to do what they’ve been wanting to do to the Palestinian people because the oppression has been going on for years and years and Isreals had checkpoints and restrictions over the Palestinian people on their own land way before Oct. 7th,” Daniel Liang, 11, said. 

Although the recent dispute occurring did start with Hamas attacking Israel, the inhumane actions Israel is committing against the civilians of Gaza has

A Palestinian refugee holds their young child in the street near Gaza. This graphic shows the complicated history between the two countries (Photo by Libertinus) (Graphic by A. Rushing).

been a topic of concern. 

“Violence isn’t always the answer, but sometimes it’s something you have to resort to in order to get the point across,” Breckynne Johnshon, 11, said. “However, to this level where thousands of people–men, women, children, babies– are dying, it’s unacceptable. So many people have died and it’s like why do they keep doing this?” 

A ceasefire has been the topic of a recent debate throughout the U.S. government. The democratic party is pushing to send more money and aid to the people of Israel, while the Republican party attempts to halt the donations altogether.

“I get funding Israel early on, but as it went on it’s pretty obvious that Israel had control over Gaza and has just been hammering down on civilians and killing numerous people. So I think the support for them should have gone down tremendously over time,” Chase Bond, 12, said.   

With the lack of a ceasefire, countries on both sides of the war have ultimately suffered more loss. Kailey Howell, 10, comments that continuation of war doesn’t benefit either party. 

“It really just shows that we are out for our political interests and not the benefit of peacekeeping. I think that by using our veto [against ceasefire], we show to the rest of Europe that we prioritize Israel over our allyship with the European countries, which I think could be dangerous…we need to pick and choose our battles.”

American citizens not only have expressed their concerns about funding the war at all, but even more so about who the U.S. is deciding to support. Some think the rebuilding and aid to Gaza should be more of a concern. 

“Obviously Israel is the bigger country and we are funding them, they have more access to weapons than Gaza has at all. It’s insane to see that without this protection, what’s going to happen to Gaza? If Israel does the ceasefire there’s going to be peace, but if Gaza doesn’t fight back they are going to [get] wiped off the face of the Earth,” Johnson said. 

While both Democratic and Republican parties would like to think there is a “bad guy” to blame for the conflicts in the Middle East, the issue is far more complicated than it seems. 

“Israel has had a history of getting attacks by foreign nations going after them, but they also have a history of oppressing the people who have been attacking them. So, they have every right to defend themselves, at the same time the way

The Gaza Strip smoldering in ruins after an attack led by Israel. These buildings once housed civilians and now sit destroyed amongst other rubble (Photo by N. Omar).

they are going about it is not correct at all,” Bond said. 

Liang expands on the belief that while Israel should be able to defend themselves, they have taken the matter too far.  

“Israel is wrong for their continual attacks on Gaza, as well as their oppression in the West Bank, restricting right to movement, and right to water. It’s hard to say where Palestine is wrong right now because they are just kind of getting firebombed. Israel is kind of in the right in the sense that they don’t want to lose land, but how they want to eliminate Palestinian owned land is insane.” 

The government was quick to pick a side to support in the war, however, after the millions of dollars in funds American has sent to Israel, Bond has been hesitant to want to give aid to either side. 

“If we keep sending money for them to kill civilians someone’s either going to step in or it we will be setting a precedent that it’s okay it commit genocide on another people, which it is getting to a point to that’s what Isreal is doing to the Palestinians in that area.” 

For some the matters regarding the countries aren’t so theoretical. The war between Israel and Palestine hits close to home for Johnson. 

“I have family who is Palestinian, but I’m not directly Palestinian. I have an aunt who married a Muslim man who is from Palestine and he literally got pushed out of his home by Israelis.” 

In the end, all sides of the war– Israel, Palestine, and those who support either side– are suffering, the immense amount of death and destruction that has occurred is inconceivable.

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About the Contributor
Ava Rushing
Ava Rushing, Website Manager
Hi there! My name is Ava and this is my second year in SPUB. I’m the proud website manager of Stampede News! I’m beyond excited to help the website run this year and to interact more with our readers! Journalism is so important because it’s how we as people connect with each other; stories bring people together through events and common interests. When I’m not stressing at school you can find me at Cookie Co, where I work, or spending way too much money at Target.

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