Friday, February 28

Submission: _Israel-Palestine violence calls for justice_

By Liza Corr and Noor Eid

The Gaza Strip is a Palestinian territory located south of Israel. It is home to 1.7 million people, over half of whom are under the age of 18. The region has been under military siege by Israel since 2006, a policy which has denied Gazans freedom of movement and restricted their access to food, water, electricity and basic resources.

In 2006 senior Israeli official Dov Weisglass described Israeli policy toward Gaza saying that “the idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.” In 2010, the BBC revealed that Israel maintained a list of only 81 items that would be allowed into Gaza; at the time prohibited items included light bulbs, books, chocolate and pasta.

Israel’s siege of Gaza has been maintained with almost constant violence. Prior to the recent attacks, Israel had killed 71 and injured 291 Palestinians in Gaza this year. In the past, people trying to bring aid to Gaza have been arrested, attacked and killed, as was the case for American citizen Furkan Dogan.

In the past two weeks, Israel has begun a sustained bombardment of Gaza. Since November 7, Israel has killed 48 Palestinians and injured 450 more, with roughly half of all casualties and injuries being women, children, and the elderly.

Israeli leaders have also issued calls to completely shut off Gaza’s electricity, water and fuel supplies and Interior Minister Eli Yishai openly expressed the intention of sending “Gaza back to the Middle Ages.”

These attacks are sadly reminiscent of the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead, which resulted in 1,400 Palestinian casualties, the majority of whom were civilians.

Although the killing and bombing of civilians is appalling and morally indefensible, Israel claims to be doing it in response to rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. The evidence, however, shows that Israel began (and pre-planned) this latest round of violence.

Even if it had not, rocket fire does not justify its collective punishment of the Gaza Strip.

Those rockets are not isolated events but a response to Israel’s effective control and military oppression in Gaza and while they are wrong, they should be stopped through the international legal system, not used as excuses for large scale bombing campaigns.

Last Thursday, in response to these attacks, Students for Justice in Palestine held an emergency rally at Meyerhoff Park along with several student groups and campus allies, including the Afrikan Student Union, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, the Muslim Student Association, and Samahang Pilipino. The rally voiced student opposition to the recent attacks on Gaza by holding posters and banners, passing out fliers, and protesting in solidarity.

That same night, Students for Justice in Palestine hosted “Art Against Apartheid!” a night of spoken word and discussion that focused on how we at UCLA can put pressure on Israel to stop its human rights violations. One of the main campaigns discussed was the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which uses citizen pressure to force Israel to change its policies. One example of this is Amnesty International’s call for an arms embargo of Israel, made in 2009 after the organization’s investigation of Israel’s attacks on civilians during Operation Cast Lead.

The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is a way for students and all people of conscience to be active in ensuring Palestinian equal rights. Although our university currently has financial ties to companies that support Israel’s violations of international law, we believe this can change. On November 14, UC Irvine’s student government passed a historic resolution recommending divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s international law violations (through the sale of military hardware, checkpoint equipment and other machinery used to carry out illegal policies).

UC Irvine’s resolution is an example for all campuses, including UCLA. In the past, our university has divested from South Africa during apartheid and has improved worker conditions by implementing anti-sweatshop policies and by purchasing fair trade products.

Students should continue this tradition by supporting measures that hold Israel accountable to universal standards of human rights and international law. On behalf of Students for Justice in Palestine, we welcome a debate, moderated by a neutral third party, on the merits of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Liza Corr is a third-year anthropology and French studies student and member of Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA. Noor Eid is a third-year global studies student and member of Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA.

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  • Arafat

    You left out the part where Israel removed all settlements
    from Gaza in exchange for peace, but let’s not worry ourselves with minor
    details, for we all know this is not about seeking truth and justice so much as
    it is about besmirching Israel.

    But the noble
    Hamas-led Palestinians – as is typical of their good neighbor policy-
    tore up that treaty with Israel, and no sooner had the Israeli settlers left
    than the Palestinians started lobbing rocket, after rocket, after rocket into
    Israel. But this is a mere detail, and
    as noble college students and editorialists we should not be bothered with such

    Instead welcome to our fantasy-world where we pretend that
    it is the poor-poor Hamas who are the victims:
    the good guys in our fictional depiction of this conflict. For we all know Hamas is an ethical and
    loving organization for whom respect for core values such as women’s rights,
    gay rights, Jew’s rights, freedom of conscience, the sanctity of life – are all

    In short, Orwell could not make this crap up it is that far
    detached from reality.

    • Peace is cool yeaaa

      I feel sad for the Buddhists who were living peacefully, but are now being pushed out by violent Islamists. I also feeel bad for Ahmaddiya Muslims who are also being killed by Islamists. I also feel bad for the Coptic Christians in Egypt whose existence is threatened by Islamists. I also feel bad for the Filipinos who have suffered from violence perpetrated by violent Islamists. God help all these people.

      • Arafat

        God help all these people from Muslims.

  • Arafat

    If one googles “Palestinan + Obesoty” one discovers that obesity is a serious problem for Palestinians. But let’s not bother ourselves with facts, or anything.

  • Arafat

    You wrote, “Although the killing and bombing of civilians is appalling and morally indefensible, Israel claims to be doing it in response to rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. The evidence, however, shows that Israel began (and pre-planned) this latest round of violence.

    Even if it had not, rocket fire does not justify its collective punishment of the Gaza Strip.”
    Well which way was it? Did the bloodthirsy Gazans shoot rockets or didn’t they? Let’s ignore the facts – because the facts get in the way of you supporting your evel lies – and replace them with the usual Palestinian propaganda. This is obviously your approach and you are both pretty good propagandists. Goebbels would be proud of you two.

    • Truth Triumphs

      We have a word for today’s journalists. They are called ‘pseudosecularists’ or ‘pseudo-sick-ularists”

      • Arafat

        You’re right. They are not journalists. They are businessmen. Their goal is to entice you to watch and read their sensationalist bullsh*t.
        They are no more interested in the truth than the writers of this article are.

  • Informed Student

    I’m confused because from June 2010-June 2011 Israel transferred aproximately 6,000 TONS of goods to Gaza DAILY hundreds of thousands of which include building supplies and electrical products. It seems as though Israel is actually helping Gazans. The real issue seems to be with Hamas, which the Human Rights Watch has explained, imprisons, tortures and arrests civilians for morality offenses like fighting for academic freedom, freedom of speech and promotion of peace. Furthermore, Hamas continuously sends in rockets into Israel. I do sympathize with both Palestinians and Israeli’s but maybe instead of blaming Israel for difficult times, start considering what the leadership that governs Gazans has done for its people?

    • Truth Triumphs

      In India, followers of Islam are given special scholarships to send their women to madrassas. They are given special subsidies by the Indian government to visit Mecca. They are guaranteed spots in colleges.

      80% of India is hindu. No special scholarships are given to send Hindus to madrassas. Hindu holy sites in India are routinely destroyed by the government of India. Politicians of India bring Osama Bin Laden look alikes to woo the Muslim voters. However, terrorists seem to have a problem with India’s treatment of Muslims. Not only that, but during the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks, the Islamic terrorists decided to attack a Jewish Chabad House in Mumbai. Imran Khan, a jihadist, who may be the next prime minister of Pakistan, seems to think that terrorists have a right to kill innocent Jews living in Mumbai because Kashmir, which doesn’t even have any noticeable population of Jews, is not under the control of Pakistan.

      India and Israel are very similar. They both do their best to try to make peace, while their opponents (Pakistan and Hamas, respectively) go on killing sprees and kill innocent children, like Malala who just want to go to school and get an education like the rest of us.

      Are you noticing a trend?

      • Arafat

        Hindu’s ancient homelands once included Pakistan and Bangladesh. Thanks to Muslims the Hindus have almost all been ethnically cleansed from those two countries.
        Buddhists lived in Afghanistan for more than a thousand years before Muslim hordes descended from the north. Today there are no Buddhists left in Afghanistan and even the remnants of their civilization have been destroyed.
        Many leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood have called for the demolition of the great pyramids. What won’t Muslims destroy?

        • Truth Triumphs

          You are absolutely correct. It is funny (or sadly pathetic) how Muslims in the city of Lahore, Pakistan scream, “Death to the Hindus” when the city of Lahore is named after Lava, the son of Ram (the main god in Hinduism) and the fact that Lahore was built by Hindu kings.

          • Arafat

            Muslims and the words “Death to ______!” (fill in the blank) go together like journalists and mediocrity.
            But, let’s not forget, it is the “religion of Peace.” LOL

  • Informed Student

    It is unfortunate that Palestinians are dying in this conflict, and it is also unfortunate that Israeli’s are dying in the conflict. Unfortunately in times of war, life is lost. The most important thing is to consider what each side is doing to reduce those numbers. While Hamas values death and openly admits to using HUMAN SHIELDS and hiding behind children, women and elderly, Israeli’s value life and send leaflets letting civilians know a rocket is coming and to flee the area. I wonder why Hamas headquarters are located within hospitals, media outlets, and innocent civilians homes?

    • Truth Triumphs

      I agree. Peace with terror groups like Hamas does not work. Case in point: Kashmir. Hindu Kashmiri Pandits were living in the valley peacefully and they allowed Sufi Muslims to inhabit Kashmir. They did not harass the Islamic inhabitants and treated them with respect. As time went on, the Islamist inhabitants of Kashmir grew increasingly hostile. Then one day, Benzair Bhutto, the Prime Minister of Pakistan gave a jihad speech, which was played in mosques. The results were predictable: Thousands of Hindu Kashmiri Pandits were slaughtered in cold blood. Islamists of Kashmir then started attacking Indian troops for so called ‘brutality’ because Indian troops responded to the Islamist violence. The Hindu Kashmiri pandits peacefully protested what happened to them. They didn’t go around killing innocent people, they didn’t rape women, they didn’t kill little children, they didn’t even throw rocks, like the Islamists did. Unfortunately for the Kashmiri Pandits they are now refugees in their own country and live in the threat of Islamic violence everyday. No one gives a shit about them.

      As a Hindu, I have seen what happens when you show a soft corner and try to understand these Islamists. These Islamists want jihad and sharia, nothing else. I AM HINDU AND PROUD TO SUPPORT ISRAEL. I hope Israel can learn and not suffer the fate of the Kashmiri Pandits:

      • Truth Triumphs

        Why do Islamic countries DEMAND that non-Muslim countries lick the feet of the Muslim inhabitants. Islamic countries should take a look in the mirror and see that refusing to acknowledge marriages, allowing non -Muslim girls to be forcibly converted to Islam is being INHUMANE AND EVIL.

    • Uninformed Student

      Yes, you are right! Israel really does value life!!! Have you LOOKED at the news lately???

      It seems that dropping leaflets notifying civilians about anticipated attacks has been, thus far, futile, and mere obligatory concessions being made to that thing called civilization. Please challenge your own ethnocentrism. The repulsive reality is that Israel won’t “openly admit” to using Palestinians as “HUMAN SHIELDS” for its inexhaustible supply of drones and its 176,000 total active personnel. But I suppose this is totally excusable in the name of “Israel’s value [for] life” and Western civilization and peace and anti-“terrorism” and white bread. So very informed you are!

  • Something to think about….

    How can you welcome a debate about the “merits” of boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) when the BDS movement openly calls for the destruction of the state of Israel? How can anyone discuss the morality of a movement that doesn’t believe in his/her right to self-determination?

  • class of ’13

    It’s really quite simple: you can’t make peace with a people whose ideology does not allow for your existence. There will not be peace until Hamas recognizes Israel’s right to exist and the residents of Gaza will be the ones who will keep paying the ultimate price.

    • Truth Triumphs

      Agreed. Hindu Kashmiri Pandits tried this for years. It did not satisfy the Islamists, who wanted all the Hindus dead.

  • Anonymous

    We could sit here all day and claim the other one is wrong (which just by researching your claimed factual quotes, all come up as being denied by the people who allegedly said them).
    But in the end of the day, the Opinion peace by Brian Khorshad is much more optimistic and saying that we want peace. Meanwhile this just attacks, lies, and dwells on the past, clearly showing which side is open to negotiations and which just wants to cast blame on the other. So unfortunate.

  • Arafat

    For anyone interested in the truth instead of the lies promulgated by Ms. Corr and Noor here are some suggestions.

    1) Google “Gaza + mansions” to see how senior Hamas leaders live.

    2) Google “Gaza + resorts” to see how the Hamas operatives spend their free time.

    3) Google “Gaza + restaurants” to learn about the endless array of restaurants the “poor, starving” Gazans can choose when looking for a way to spend all the international aid they receive.

    4) Google “Gaza + shopping malls” to learn about the high-end stores Gazans can spend their international aid.

    5) Google “Gaza + Health Spas” to learn about where you can get a relaxing massage before heading out on a date to a fancy Gazan restaurant to be followed by a night of upscale shopping.
    Or, instead, you can believe the pre-packaged lies dished out by the likes of Liza and Noor instead.

  • yungGeorgeBush

    How much does the izreali state pay bruins for izreal to post this drivel

    • Kendi Kim

      2-thirds of whatever Madoff made off with…har har

  • Kendi Kim

    The problem is MONOTHEISM. Monotheism is basically the idea that there is only one correct answer to everything, and so inevitably, there is only one correct god. We need to get rid of monotheism as a mainstream philosophy. MONOTHEISM = MONOCULTURE. And, all you environmentalists know what is the problem with monocultures….

    First things first. I think Israel is the first problem for starting these issues. Why can’t people just respect the idea that other people are special/chosen important too? I’m somebody’s sweetheart too, you know. You’re not the only one. Just respect.

    Second problem is the Muslims in Palestine. Islam is like a “wannabe” Judaism. Muhammad went to the Jews and tried to get them to join his gang, but they said no because they’re like, “who’s this new guy doing our schtick?” So he got angry and waged eternal war.

    Third problem is Christianity. Why? Because it was bad enough to have two egotistical monotheistic maniacs running around with swords and later guns and bombs — but now, the European barbarians want in on it (all thanks to Paul, the Jew turned Christian) and they really just took emotional manipulation and control issues to another level. Oh look, there’s Charlemagne. What’s he saying? Convert or die? Oh look, there’s 800 dead people. Gee, Christianity is so popular, that there must be something good about it. That’s true, Christianity makes it cool to be poor. Let’s just burn all our money now. Or better yet, let’s give it to the pope so he can spit in our mouths.

    Okay. So, what is the conclusion?
    Get rid of monotheism. It’s dumb. It’s been dumb. And it will always continue to be dumb. The fact that people are dying because people can’t figure out what the point of religion is, is all because of monotheism. The fact that this is even an issue and there is a forum here and we’re taking up cyberspace about it, makes monotheism dumb.

  • asdf

    Israel will win.

  • Peace is cool yeaaa

    Israel will win. Peace will win.

  • LompocBruinFan

    I was going to respond to your article but after reading it a second time I realized this wasn’t an article but a delusional anti-semitic rant. As such there is no point in addressing my comments to the authors, just as there is no point in negotiating with a government that refuses to accept your right to exist. All that Hamas has to do is recognize Israels right to exist and stop launching attacks and there will be peace. Any suffering the Palestinian people have endured has been of their own making. Suffering is what happens when you elect a terrorist organization to lead your nation.