By. Nadia Johnson
Since the attack that happened on Israel on October 7th, the world has been divided into two teams and they are Pro- Palestine and Pro – Israel. None support this theory other than the national protest of college students from Harvard to Berkeley in the United States, which by the surprise of many overwhelmed Pro- Palestine. So, what is the drive behind the new-found loyalty for Palestine with both college students and people around the world? Why is there so little support for Israel? To answer these questions, one must look at how this event all began. Let’s take a short walk down history lane to the end of the First World War. At this time the Ottoman Empire had collapsed and most of the region that they ruled in the Middle East was given to Britain. Both Palestine and Israel at the time were struggling for self-determination and sovereignty over the territory, and both parties developed movements to support their claims. When World War I began Palestine began to cite a series of letters from 1915 -1916 to Mecca’s emir and the British high commissioner in Egypt. In these letters, Palestine hoped to receive an outline commitment to the establishment of an independent Arab state. As a result of this the Sykes Picat Agreement of 1916, was being secretly negotiated between the British and French. They planned to both divide up the Middle East into domains of influence and determine that the land in question was to be internationalized (Westfall, S., Murphy, B., Taylor, A., Pietsch, B., & Salcedo, A. (2023). The Israeli – Palestinian conflict: A chronology. Israel – Gaze War, 1-3.). However, this plan did not work, so by 1948 which was the end of the Second World War Israel become its nation. It was after World War II that the British Mandate for Palestine where coming to an end and as a result, the United Nations General Assembly in 1947 passed Resolution 181. This resolution argued that the partition of the land be divided into two independent states – one Arab and one Jewish. This is where the two-state nation option was born. (Westfall, S., Murphy, B., Taylor, A., Pietsch, B., & Salcedo, A. (2023). This plan too did not work since the Arabs rejected it because they felt argued an unfavorable to their population. This brings us toe to toe with the war that got Israel that land that is being fought over today, which is the Gaze Strip. Believe it or not, the Gaze Strip did not belong to Palestine it belonged to Egypt. That’s right the land of the pharaohs. So how did this come to become, while the answer is simply war? In the now famous Six-Day War Israel went to war with Egypt in 1967 over Egypt’s continued blockade of the Suez Canal. In the end, Egypt with the help of their allied Jordan lost the war and Egypt ended up giving Israel control of the Gaza Strip, Sinai, the West Bank, The Golden Heights, and mostly Palestinian East Jerusalem (IBS). It is these stretches of land that led us to today’s conflict in Gaze Stripe. In 2005 Israel withdrew her troops from the Gaze Stripe, which would be a big mistake on Israel’s part. For it was that very year that Hamas, which is a militant Palestinian group won legislative elections and they demanded a more moderate Fatah party control of the West Bank. Israel seeing the mistake she made tried to put the genie back in the bottle, but it was too little too late. After Hamas took over Israel imposed a 16-year blockade on the Palestinian enclave, which is home to 2 million Palestinians. The United Nations saw this move by Israel as making the problem worse not better. Several rights groups have said that Israel’s regime over Palestinians amounts to nothing more than “apartheid” (ibid p.4), which is a system that has been maintained by Israel up to 2022. Now that we have had a little bit of a backdrop to the history of these two nations. Let’s talk about the protests that are going on college campuses throughout the nation and around the world. As a college graduate myself, I admit that I was overwhelmed by the reports of what was going on in the Middle East. I was equally and more shocked by how protests on our college campus were anti-Semitic virtually overnight. Now I am not one to say that these college students and people do not have the right to protest. They did because it is them practicing their freedom of speech right. What I don’t agree with is the violence that has been endured on both sides of the fence. No one has the right to kill, threaten, and do bodily harm to someone because they either don’t believe in what they believe in they are different from them or they are just in a bad mood. Believe I speak from experience as an African – American. What I wish colleges would do is to do what my college did after the 9/11 attacks, which was to have a forum in which both sides are represented and they can inform their peers of what they believe is their side of the story. For it is in my experience when you let hate not only do all the talking but also control the narrative people tend to take it to the extreme, which is something I wish and pray does not continue to happen for all of our sakes.