Official student newspaper of Alabama State University

The Hornet Tribune

Official student newspaper of Alabama State University

The Hornet Tribune

Official student newspaper of Alabama State University

The Hornet Tribune

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Israel, Victim or Villain?

Justin B. Freeman
Denise Ringo is a senior staff reporter/writer for The Hornet Tribune. She is a 20 year-old junior from Montgomery, Alabama who plans to major in broadcast journalism and hopes to one day become a television producer.

The world has been paying close attention to the current war between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas. It is not the first conflict between them, but so far it has taken top spot as the bloodiest.

Ever since Oct. 7 2023, when Hamas attacked Israel on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah on Shabbat, this started a war between the two. The attack resulted in over 1400 Israeli casualties, so it’s no surprise that this sparked rage as Israelis decided to deal with Hamas once and for all.

Hamas is also called the Islamic Resistance Movement, and when it comes to dealing with Israel, they take a more violent approach. This is completely different from Fatah, the other political group in Palestine.

While Fatah rules over the West Bank, Hamas rules over the Gaza Strip, where a majority of the conflict is taking place. In 2007, a civil war was fought between Hamas and Fatah, with Hamas ultimately claiming a victory and control over Gaza.

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Hamas is labeled by the United States as a terrorist group, but to some people in the world, Israel is the terrorists. Since Israel basically controls all of Palestine, they control most of the resources going in and out of Gaza. Since Hamas’ win over Fatah in 2007, Israel has imposed a strict blockade on Gaza.

Israel has not received much sympathy from countries around the world. In fact, any celebrity or country showing support for Israel has received a huge amount of backlash. Israel is viewed as the oppressor who are slaughtering Palestinians in an attempt to wipe them from the world. Also, Israel is seen as colonizers abusing people indigenous to the land they’re invading.

It is true that Israel has not been kind to Palestine in the past, and by all means it probably is not far off to call them colonizers. The truth is that it’s probably much more complicated than people are letting on.

Before the Jews were exiled from the Holy Land, they existed in other places all over the world, but they never had a country or state to themselves where they could share their culture for centuries. No one except Jews really noticed this, and no one except Jews really cared.

In 1918 England decided that they would give the Jews some of Palestine’s, and that land was taken from Palestine in a campaign in which Jewish forces took part in. Palestine naturally took issue with this, because to say they had been there for a long time is an understatement. Palestine has pretty much been around since Ancient Greece.

Palestinians were never exiled from the area, and for centuries they developed a culture. It’s no surprise that they were resistant when the United Nations suddenly told them that they had to give up some of their ancient land to people who hadn’t lived there for centuries. It was only natural that they felt like they were being treated unfairly and that Israel was stealing land that did not belong to them.

But the question I’m trying to pose is if Israel is truly the villain of the story. To be fair, it is not like Jews have always had it easy. In the 1940s this thing you may or may not have heard of called the Holocaust happened. Over six million Jewish Europeans were slaughtered in World War II.

So honestly a piece of land that they can call their own home is not a bad idea. A place where they will be safe from something like that happening to them again. Or at the very least a community where they are able to protect each other. And now they had the U.N. backing them up.

One of my questions was why the U.N. didn’t give them a piece of land closer to England, or just find some land that wasn’t already occupied to avoid conflict. But the Jews wanted to return to the Holy Land, and after going through something like the Holocaust, the U.N. probably felt like they deserved it.

Israel is definitely being cruel to Palestine and the people who inhabit it, but to be fair Hamas and Fatah have not always made it easy for them. Hamas is an active terrorist group and even though Fatah denounced terrorism in 1988, they had done their fair share of fighting with Israel before then.

This could be another reason why Israel is so resistant to peace with Hamas. I am not trying to excuse their actions but more so understand them, as on both the news and social media, I’ve seen Israel being demonized. Israel is doing terrible things and Palestinians deserve to be safe, especially children.

But maybe both sides need to look inward before this war continues to decimate them more than it already has.

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