International / News / February 4, 2009

The Knox community reflects on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestine has caused many deaths and confronted agriculturally and historically rich lands with violent destruction. Many Knox students believe awareness of conflicts such as those in Israel and Palestine is important, as are reflection and activism. Here, the Knox community voices their opinions on this issue:

“I have a strong opinion, but it’s not completely clear. I went to a protest in D.C. in front of the State Department. It was mostly Palestinians there and some other Americans, chanting ‘One, two, three, four, stop the war! Five, six, seven, eight, Israel is a terror state!’ I can get behind the ‘one, two, three, four’ part, but the second part is more uncomfortable for me. The killing and violence is the biggest thing I’m conscious of. I’m interested in learning more about it. I feel very implicated as an American.”

Joey Firman, ‘10

“It’s horrible what the Israeli government is doing to Palestinians. People need to be so much more aware of Palestine’s struggle, and so much more sympathetic with them. Basically it’s colonialism in the worst way.”

Shanna Collins, ‘09

“I went to the Gaza Awareness Night and my eyes were opened. I mostly saw the Palestinian side there. I thought, ‘Oh my God, are they actually doing that?’ I don’t agree that Israel is committing its own Holocaust, as some people are saying. When I hear some pro-Israel stuff, I don’t know what to think.”

Cassandra Wylie, ‘09

“Ultimately, everyone hopes for peace, although I don’t know if it’s attainable because of the long religious histories of both countries. I admire what Bisan [Battrawi] is doing to raise awareness about the situation at Knox.”

Lexie Frensley ‘11

“I hate Israel. They’re just as bad as Palestine, but totally blameless in this country. It’s not like Hamas doesn’t do anything: they’re both blamable, but I feel like I have to compensate for Israel’s blamelessness in this country.”

Max Galloway Carson ‘11

“I don’t feel that international violence is a long-lasting means to effect social change. Even if one side succeeds, the other side can use violent means just as effectively. It’s not a wise means towards an end, and that goes for both sides.”

Loren Lindgren, Admissions Counselor

“The conflicts between Israel and Palestine are an example of long-standing aggression by Israel. I have to side with Palestine.”

Neil Richter ‘09

“I feel for the civilians dying in Gaza. War has repercussions. I wish there could be peaceful negotiations. I think that what Hamas is doing is terrible, but I don’t think that all Palestinians are associated with them.”

Abby Harms ‘09 Hillel

“I’m Jewish, and when my parents ask me what I think about it and I tell them ‘It’s complicated.’ My mom just says ‘No it’s not: Israel is in the right.’”

Ben Lee ‘11

“They can fight themselves [in Israel and Palestine], but eventually peace is going to happen. Hate breeds hate, and peace breeds peace. Choose one. Hamas was elected, and is a legitimate organization that has a right to be noticed. We can’t burn out a fire, so we should try to talk to them.”

Ben Boor ‘10

“Israel was somewhat justified in being concerned that missiles launched into their territory, but the extent of their reaction was unwarranted.”

Robin Kristoff, ‘09

“I went to a private Jewish school, where of course most of the people were pro-Israel and therefore pro-Bush. I was passionate about it for a long time, but at this point I’m just sick of hearing about it and want it all to end. It’s been going on for so long and just needs to be over.”

Elizabeth Wolfson ‘09

“I hope that the U.S. doesn’t get more involved, because we’ve been making that mistake a lot. I do think that we should give aid, though. Aid is good!”

Kayla Phelps ‘09

“Violence will not bring anything to anyone except for more miseries and tragedies.”

Bisan Battrawi, ‘10

Kaeli Winberg

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