The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Why Israel is being misrepresented
The US House of Representatives has passed $1 billion in funding for the Iron Dome – a defence system used by Israel throughout the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The decision has fuelled anti-Israel sentiment all around the world and has kickstarted a new round of online activism. In this article, I will address why I think this social media outrage is misguided and explain why I believe the US is doing the right thing.
Before we take any sides, we must take a truly holistic view of the situation. The reality is that Israel is not solely the oppressor, and Palestine is not solely the oppressed. While Israel has unjustly annexed some land from Palestine over the years, the idea that the Israelis are the only villains is far from the truth. Nevertheless, many social media influencers would have you believe that Israel has genocidal tendencies. The overwhelming presence of this idea on social media has pushed it into mainstream attention with dire consequences.
There are some things we must consider. While it is inarguable that more Palestinians died than Israelis in the March flare-up, we must look beyond numbers. Fewer Israelis died because they had defence systems (e.g. the iron dome) in place. Hamas fired over 600 rockets at Israel, but the Iron Dome deflected many of them. Whilst the policies of former Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu led to the loss of innocent Palestinian lives, a huge portion of the responsibility must also fall on Hamas and their malplacement of weapons. Hamas has placed weapons in schools, mosques, and hospitals to make those attacking them appear as war criminals. This dangerous and wildly unethical strategy has led to the loss of countless innocent lives.
They are the leading political party in Palestine, and yet many countries including the US and the EU have designated Hamas as a terrorist organisation. However, this does not mean I am classifying all Palestinians as terrorists. Much like how we can’t blame the Israeli people for the actions of their government, we can’t blame Palestinians for the actions of theirs either. We must, however, view the headlines of Palestinian children dying through this tragic lens. If Hamas hadn’t stored weapons in civilian locations, the Israeli retaliation to Palestinian strikes would have taken fewer innocent lives.
The portrayal of Israel in this conflict, spread via social media, has furthered international anti-semitic perspectives. I’m not saying that all pro-palestinians are anti-semites but we must also recognise how misleading a one-sided snapshot of a situation can be. As humans, we often see false correlations. For some, anti-Israeli sentiment could lead to anti-Semitism. The misconceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been a damaging image for Jew across the globe.
I believe that the US is right in funding Israel. The US is a long time military and strategic partner of Israel, and are fighting The War on Terror, as they currently choose to define it. Having said that, I also think Palestine deserves recognition that their rights were abused by Israel in the unjust annexation of certain pieces of land. I support funding Israel as well as believe in Palestinian independence. However, while I wait for a viable two-state solution, I will continue to side with Israel in this conflict and I encourage others to explore Hamas’ role in propagating these tragedies. In addition, I ask them to be open to the possibility that Israel is not the evil empire it is being made out to be.