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Anti-Israel Bullying on College Campuses
I am a junior at Burlingame High School in Burlingame California, but I could be a junior at any American high school. I am beginning the college application process. And I am scared. I am scared, but not for the reason that you probably assume.
I am scared because of the false propaganda and bullying, yes bullying, taking place on college campuses nation wide. The bullying has to do with the Israeli-Palestinian/Arab conflict.
A large amount of the anti-Israel bullying is led by two main student groups—the Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine. Boycott, divestment, and sanctions are also a popular anti-Israel movement (BDS) among college campuses.
College executives have shown much less sensitivity toward anti-Israel activity on college campuses than to the mistreatment of other minority groups and women.
There is clear moral confusion on college campuses concerning the Israeli-Palestinian/Arab conflict.
I don’t believe that we need to feel the same about the issue, but I do believe, however, that we need to be clear about the facts. I wish that all college professors who teach a class on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict would begin their first lesson with a few simple, yet important facts:
The majority of Palestinians wish for there to be no Jewish state of Israel-- they feel Israel has no right to exist. Since the moment Israel was established in 1948, it has been giving land for peace-- but Israel's enemies do not have a desire for peace. This is evident on Palestinian Television and radio broadcasts where they express their beliefs that Jews do not belong in this world.
Palestinian terrorist and leadership organization, HAMAS says: "We love death as much as the Jews love life." I often see students at my school wearing T-shirts that read “peace in the middle east.” But, what my peers do not understand is that if Israel were to put down its arms the Palestinians would wipe Israel off the map. But if the Palestinians were to put down their armaments peace would be inevitable and take place immediately.
Israel is not an apartheid state. I wish that everyone could visit Israel because they would then realize how absurd this claim is. Arabs make up about 20% of Israel's population and every Israeli citizen has the same exact rights, no matter if he or she is Jewish or Arabic. Arabs can vote, serve in parliament, and be judges. Arabs and Jewish Israelis work along side one another. Miss Israel was an Arab.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Arabs in Israel are freer than the Arabs in their own countries--Arabs have more civil rights in Israel. 82% of Arabs prefer to live in Israel to any other part of the Middle East.
The Palestinian occupied territories are under Palestinian or HAMAS rule. The only time Israel has authority over the population in the occupied territories is when one chooses to enter Israel. Yes, the lines are lingering and the searches are irritating, but Israel has to prevent terrorists from murdering its people. And in fact with this extra security more lives have been saved.
And lastly, the security fence, similar to the one in between the US and Mexico is not an act of apartheid. It was created to protect its citizens from suicide bombers-- and terrorism has significantly decreased because of its existence.
If every college professor were to teach these facts to their students I would feel much more secure about going away to college, however, this is not the case.
College campuses are swarming with anti-Israel propaganda. How does one relate to ones classmates when their truths are so far a part? When the majority of professors are teaching bias propaganda and not facts, how does a student defend himself or herself?
Lies are very dangerous, especially if they are believed. Liars scare me, but liars who believe their lies are frightening and must be called out. I am sick and tiered of the lies. What ever happened to the old adage “the truth will prevail.” I am keeping my fingers crossed.