Where is the Justice for the Palestinians?
In Gaza, Hamas controls the Palestinian people through violence; spending money on weapons instead of making the lives of individuals socially and economically better. In the West Bank, President Abbas is in the tenth year of a four-year term, runs a dictatorship that uses international funds for his own needs and purposes. In Syria, militants have pitted the Palestinian people against each other for individual gain. Assad has thus far killed thousands of Palestinian people over the last two years. U.N aid workers are not allowed to reach let alone help these people.
And yet, instead of mentioning any of these atrocities, Students for Justice in Palestine have chosen to attack the one liberal democracy in the Middle East — Israel. They have made it clear through their actions on campus, that Israel is the enemy of the Palestinian people. And so, while the very leaders of the Palestinian people oppress and exploit their own citizens for personal gain, it is only toward Israel that they point their fingers to accuse.
Not that Israel has been so innocent either — Israel continues to allow settlements and encroachment in Palestinian territories. The life in occupied territories is truly filled with hardship. But that does not make it an apartheid state. In sovereign Israel, as a democracy, all citizens including Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze and Baha’i have equal rights. One can be non-Jewish and serve in the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), attend university, become a judge, a diplomat or whatever other occupation one choses. People of all different races and ethnicities ride buses together. Over ten percent of the members of Israel’s democratically elected parliament are Arabs. In the two years before the security barrier was built, 73 suicide-bombings were carried out killing more than 330 citizens of Israel, who as mentioned, come from all types of religious backgrounds. Since the security barrier was built in 2003, the number of killings from suicide bombers has dropped drastically.
At Wellesley, we are encouraged to engage in dialogue and evaluate critically actions all sides of any issue. SJP refuses to engage in dialogue to further understand or engage in critical analysis of a very complicated situation. If SJP truly cares about justice for the Palestinian people, they should be proponents of change for the Palestinian people in other countries and territories as well as in Israel, and they should speak out against all injustice against the Palestinian people, not only Israel’s actions. If Students for Justice in Palestine really cared about justice for the Palestinian people, they would focus less on condemnation of one country and more on moving forward so together we can build a lasting peace.
Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons