Opinion

Israel conflict should be addressed fairly

When my good friend came to me and asked how I could have served in a military that oppresses and abuses the Palestinians on a daily basis, I was stunned and quite offended.

When I spent most of my three-year service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the West Bank, my mission was to protect the lives of Israeli civilians, Arab and Jewish alike.

An English professor at the University of Miami decided to impose his extremist views on his students. He decided to dedicate an entire class to screen an anti-Israeli (perhaps anti-Semitic) movie which claims to present the suffering of the Palestinians living in the West Bank.

Sharing our ideas and thoughts about conflict can help society advance toward peace between the nations. But, presenting students a distorted, one-sided movie is not educational. This is unacceptable, immoral behavior on the side of the professor. He used his influence to convey his offensive views about the majority of Israelis who are obligated to serve in the military.

I attended an event by the Jews and Muslims (JAM) student organization called “A Scholarly Discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” which was an example of how this issue should be discussed in a fair way.

When addressing the topic, the goal should be to raise awareness and promote peace, and not to spread lies, which perpetuate conflict.

On Wednesday,  Asaf Romirowsky, a Middle Eastern studies scholar, will visit UM. Romirowsky served in the IDF as the Foreign Affairs officer in the West Bank and Jordan. He now works for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Middle East Forum. The main topic of the session on campus will be about human rights. Anyone who is in favor of a fair and open conversation should attend the event and share their views with the rest of us.

 

Abir Gitlin is a freshman majoring in international studies. 

November 4, 2012

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Abir Gitlin


2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Israel conflict should be addressed fairly”

  1. charlie linebarger says:

    This story and comment tell me more about Google News’ editors and their pro-Greater Israel biases and debasement of the debate than they should want their readers to know.

  2. Arafat says:

    There are two UN refugee agencies in the world: First is the United Nations
    Relief and Works Administrations (UNRWA) for 5 million Palestinian refugees
    (which includes the descendants of the original 500,000 Palestinian refugees
    from the Israeli War of Independence) which employs 30,000 workers. The UNRWA
    has resettled no Palestinians.

    The second refugee agency is the United Nations High Commissioner for
    Refugees (UNHCR), which assists every other refugee in the world–including 100
    million displaced people during the last 50 years–and employs 7,000 people. The
    UNHCR has resettled tens of millions of refugees.

    Looking at these numbers, one would think that the cause of the Palestinians
    is somehow morally superior to that of all other war refugees. After all, why
    have so many more workers been assisting a dramatically smaller group of
    people? But if the Palestinians are unique it is only because of their moral
    inferiority, as they are the only group of refugees that regularly commit acts
    of terrorism against innocent civilians.

    Another obvious question: why hasn’t the UNRWA resettled any of the
    Palestinian refugees? The answer, of course, is that the surrounding Arab
    states would rather have these refugees remain a thorn in Israel’s side, than
    help them start a new life. The UNRWA is happy to oblige.

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