Written by ELLA
Through my confusion, I think I've begun to understand the conflict between Israel and Palestine... or in Israel and Palestine? Or between the Israelis and Palestinians? Or Gazans? My initial difficulty was in my being American and having almost no idea where anything is on a map. If you're anything like me, the "Middle East" is a cloudy section above Africa and below Europe full of people and places I can barely pronounce. I've realized that I share the same ignorance which has caused this part of the world to be in conflict for so long.
While I'm not the most knowledgable on the subject of Middle Eastern conflict, I think that uninformed, uninvolved people like myself should join the conversation and gain some insight as to what our fellow humans are battling. It helps no one to ignore conflicts because when that same problem comes our way, we'd want our fellow humans to care for us as well. There are babies dying in Gaza from bombs being dropped on their bedrooms while they sleep. What if this were your child? Or you?
Since Wikipedia has most of the answers, I tried to find out what/where the Gaza Strip is. For the past (almost) hundred years, the Palestinians and Israelis have been fighting for their rights to this land because (from my understanding) Palestine within Israel. Palestine no longer exists as a true state with boundaries, rather they have territories, like Gaza. The land has been invaded and signed over by various parties including Egypt and Syria. Along with the right to govern land comes the right to subject its people to your beliefs. Hamas is the political organization which is active in the Gaza strip and represents Palestinian Islamic fundamentalists. In the middle of this, the people of this region are victim to their environment, forever in the middle of a power struggle.
Middle Eastern conflict is difficult to write about because the roots of the disagreement go so far back, and are embedded in reasoning an outsider, like myself, might not understand. I tend to stay away from the topic because I don't really know who believes in what or why. For that reason, this post isn't to actually provide any opinion other than to recognize that there are other masses of land in this world aside from our own. It's so easy to get trapped in your own bubble and think that the conflicts overseas have nothing to do with us. Since I'm not of Middle Eastern descent, it's more difficult for me to invest myself in the history, and this is something I'm trying to change. As I read through a few articles and watched some videos, the one thing that stuck with me most is that these are humans.
In times of war, we often refer to people as objects and fail to understand that these are people. The New York Times reported that "[Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's Prime Minister] offered condolences to the family of an Israeli soldier killed in the first hours of the ground offensive, identified by the military as Staff Sgt. Eitan Barak, 20, from Herzliya". 20 years old. Do we really realize how young that is? He can't even buy a beer in America. I pray for these people because unrest in your society has a great affect on how you view the world as you age. There are children going through the worst time in their lives and we don't quite know how they're going to react years from now. It's been almost 100 years since the Palestinian/Israeli conflict began and while the world has attempted to promote measures of peace... there's no telling what's to come.
On a global level, I think we (as humans) need to keep the Gazans in our hearts as their homes and lives are being destroyed. I'm guilty of thinking that Middle Easterns are used to having bombs go off for no apparent reason but, even if they are, this isn't something anyone should become accustomed to... People have been trying to find answers for the passed century... I can't propose one here except... send some good vibes to those who need them.