In an effort to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, the Current Events Club, Arabic Club and Jewish Student Association (JSA) collaborated for a meeting on December 5. Club heads Andrea Fleming ’14, Dave Keith ’13, Annie Klink ’13 and Jon Victor ’14 gathered a classroom full of students, along with some attending faculty members.
Q:Where did the Israeli- Palestinian conflict begin?
Keith: When ruled by the Ottomans, the people in Palestine were nearly all Arab, but in the late 1800s, Zionism spread and advocated for Jews across the world to form a nation where Israel is today.
Fleming: To add onto Dave’s point, the Palestinians have lived there for thousands of years, but in the 1800s, the Jewish people decided on Palestine as a homeland because it was their “promised land.”
Q (Nolan Bishop ’13): Isn’t building settlements on the Palestinian-Arab side of the Armistice line a violation of the treaty signed half a century ago?
Klink: Yes, the treaty was violated, but Palestine wasn’t recognized as a state, so they couldn’t do anything about the violation on their own.
Q (Hannah Antonellis ’14): If Palestine existed as a country before Israel, why did Israel make it into the UN but not Palestine?
Klink: A lot has to do with the allies that chose to support Israel’s inducting. Big powers like the British, French and United States supported the country in the process.
Fleming: Now, the United States still supports Israel politically and militarily.
Klink: Most of [The United States’] foreign aid goes to supporting Israel.
Sam Savage (faculty head of the JSA and Current Events Club): It was also part of a global moral issue too after the Holocaust. There was a tremendous amount of support for a homeland for Jews throughout Europe and Asia who were persecuted in extreme fashion. It played in that the world was still grappling with that moral outrage.