Students are passionate and proactive people. Especially at a university, where we surround each other at practically every hour of the day, different groups inevitably form. And while these groups can have passionate stances on controversial issues, and should be activists, there is no excuse for violence. This specifically refers to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that pro-Palestinian activists at the University of California, Berkeley, were caught on video recently chanting, “We support the Intifada,” which is a Palestinian uprising against Israel. Another group at Brooklyn College called for the destruction and death of Israeli settlers, according to the Free Beacon. There is consistent violence of pro-Palestine students in the direction of pro-Israel students.
At California State University Fullerton, the Students for Justice in Palestine group created a ten-foot-high wall, meant to symbolize the wall between the West Bank and Israel, according to The College Fix. It was based on actions by University of California, Riverside, students, who called it the “Apartheid Wall” after the real thing in South Africa. What the group failed to recognize was the actual apartheid wall in South Africa was because of skin color, but the wall in Israel is meant for strictly security issues. The Students for Justice in Palestine at Northeastern University were kicked off campus for violent behavior in 2014, disturbing another group’s event and vandalizing.
Even last week, Students for Justice in Palestine at Boston University had a protest at Marsh Plaza, chanting, “Hey Israel, what do you say? How many kids have you killed today?” That is offensive because, first off, hearing someone chant about killing children creates a visual image that I do not want to think about. And second, I understand you’re trying to prove a point, but why make that sort of statement? Why not hold educational sessions and speakers? Why not hand out flyers? In my opinion, holding a rally like that makes your group look insensitive and stubborn.
The Israeli-Palestinian debate is so multi-faceted. After living there this summer, I have truly seen first hand the struggles that both Palestinians and Israelis face. I do think that I can be an Israel supporter and still say that no side is completely right, because issues like this aren’t black and white.
I don’t care who you are, or what your cause is, and I cannot be sorry for making that statement. Nothing demands physical violence. It is wrong. It is uncalled for. And if it is your scare tactic to prove that human rights are being violated in Israel, then I really think you need to reconsider your methods.
People seem to forget that violence is never the answer.