'Forgetting our real values becomes a nightmare overtime, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment. I say this because we as young Americans seem to always chase after our materialistic desires like our smart phones, big screen TV’s, designer shoes and clothes instead of looking far beyond the fabricated possessions that we own, instead, we should look into what really matters. As Americans we tend to tie blindfolds around our eyes and cover our ears to realize how fortunate we are to live in a well-recognized liberal nation. We are able to practice our inalienable rights without of the thought of being killed for speaking up for what we believe is right. Unfortunately, further beyond our borders there has been a long term conflict between Israel and Palestine since the nineteenth century to present day. There are two existing tribes on the land that before 1948 was known as Palestine. One of the tribes is Israel which commonly is identified as a country that was created by the 1947-49 war in which Zionist enforced the expelling of an estimate of 750,000 non-Jews in order begin the formation of a Jewish state. The other tribe is known as Palestine. This land currently consists of the Gaza Strip along with the West Bank and its population contains a large portion of Muslims and Christians. Israel has made a clear and persistent goal to seize as much of the land remaining in Palestine and create what is famously known as “Israeli Settlements”, Jewish only colonies which are referred as illegal There are three crucial issues between the two entities such as, Palestinian refugees, Christian and Muslim citizens in Israel, and the Israeli Occupation of the Gaza strip and the West Bank. Palestine has currently been recognized as a Nation State after the bloody eight days that took place in Palestine a week after Barack Obama’s re-election causing hundreds of children and young men (activists) to be killed in Israeli air strikes.After just hearing what was taking place in the Gaza Strip just from news sources, I had a feeling that the media was portraying little to none involvement of the U.S in the horrific situation.I had the urgency to research what the United States’ role is in the conflict, I came to run into devastating information and facts such as, the U.S spends 8.2 million dollars on Israel daily.I found this completely disturbing due to the fact that as a country that is going through a recession and a downfall on economic growth still feels the need to aid for violence in other nations while going through a crisis.The government plans to raise taxes on the High class which I think is reasonable however, if the government decides to cut aid to Israel that 8.2 million dollars a day can open up many jobs and programs for unemployed citizens. During the rise of another violent conflict Israel and Palestine, I decided to take action by joining the “Israeli Crimes in Palestine” protest. I decided to invite a few friends and together we raised our voices in protests taken place in the heart of New York City, Times Square along with in front of the Israeli Consulate. We not only did this for the freedom of Palestine, but to show our government that civics does hold a strong responsibility to us as young individuals. It holds a strong importance to on me, not because I am Muslim but due to the sake of humanity and realizing that no country deserves to be under siege for several decades. I believe children have the natural right to attend school and attain their dreams instead of fighting for what should be given naturally, freedom. Being from a democratic country along with being a deep blue democrat from New York I encourage freedom and liberty to foreign nations. Both entities firstly must realize that in order to attain peace they must realize that they are both at loss; death is death whether that is a death of an Israeli or Palestinian.The time I spent protesting with many other supporters of a “Free Palestine” I did engage into several and memorable conversations that allowed me to analyze opinions of both sides.An elderly man of age 70 approached me with hands in his pockets and began asking me several questions about the Palestinian Occupation.He was an Israeli that was born into the conflict.I still have stored the exact words he sad told me.”I gew up In Israel with Palestinian friends.You know, there was this one time that I was a young boy and enjoyed playing with my friends that were from Palestine and then suddenly they were gone the next day, after that I never saw or heard of them. “At the middle of his sentence I was discerned how his light emerald green eyes began to swell up with tears that tried so hard not to shed down to his cheeks.As he was talking more about what he has been through and seen along with continuing to see what Palestinians and Israelis go through due to the conflict words started become harder to say, feelings became harder to express, I felt the pain in him remembering what was in his memory through his weak voice. He told me to visit Israel and meet with all the people that do love Palestine and all the Palestinians that do love Israel despite of the violence and occupation. While realizing I was talking face to face with someone who has lived all his life under the conflict along with being aware of his raged emotions I grew the courage to ask him what does he feel like doing right now, at this moment? He turned his back and pointed at both, Israeli and Palestinian protesting standing on opposite sides of the street and said; “I want to merge them together in my arms holding tight and tell them to unite and settle peace, something we both need.” At the time that our conversation was heading to a closure he mentioned to tell me that this world needs a strong youth that are truth seekers and well educated to fight for what is right or else conflicts will always rise. In the act of walking to the subway station of Grand Central I started to notice as being an American, being from a nation that promotes democracy I along with the rest of the young activist need to be involved in seeking hope for a bright future not only for Palestine, but for the rest of the world that lacks what should be given the governments naturally, freedom.
December 13, 2012