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Hi all-

Just thought I’d share a few informative, easy to follow videos (similar to the one Professor Ewen showed us in class). Above all, and throughout my slogan has been: BE AWARE. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

1. Here’s a video that traces the COMPLETE history of the region, and the formation of the state- BE INFORMED, KNOW YOUR HISTORY, MAKE INFORMED JUDGMENTS.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=_ZY8m0cm1oY

2. These three videos that directly address the Peace Conflict, Refugee Situation,  and history of the west bank (a contentious area in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that borders the Jordan river).

Refugees:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_3A6_qSBBQ

 

history of west bank:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGYxLWUKwWo&feature=relmfu

 

peace process:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAuBc_cbXo0&feature=relmfu

 

3. Understanding who is responsible for a situation can make them accountable for their actions, This blog post will help you to understand why neighboring Arab nations and their leaders are choosing to keep Palestinians in a state of poverty.

who is truly causing tensions/giving cause for occupation: http://www.idfblog.com/2012/03/10/popular-resistance-committee/

 

As informed university students, it is our job to make sure that we fully understand an opinion before calling it our own. The ever present grain of salt and crucial cynicism is what separates a blind follower from an enlightened, thinking individual. In today’s world, mass media has more than a few ways of capturing our attention, and our minds. The Middle Eastern conflict has had presses rolling, and students shouting; the average follower will not bother to investigate what their chosen media outlet is presenting as fact.

My aim in this pitch is to present the cold, factual events that have occurred from the onset of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so that we may help those who are suffering. The pitiful state of the Palestinians must first be understood intellectually; only then can the right steps be taken towards peace. Upon intensive research and careful study, Israel has proven over time to be the progressive power of the region. Israel is certainly not the villain from which to demand answers.Three tentative ways of presenting the historically accurate side of this conflict are as follows:

1. The facts are the same in every history book, history is constant. I will blow up various blurbs and paragraphs from assigned textbooks, and plaster the halls with the facts written in YOUR course books. This is at its core an intellectual debate, a factual debate. It should be supported by facts. Other parts of this approach include plastering the hallways at Hunter College with other academic sources that will allow students to see the truth for themselves, rather than have an impassioned person tell them how they’re supposed to feel. These sources will explain the underlying causes of the Palestinian plight, taking the unwarranted heat away from the Israelis.

2. The Underdog: We have discussed in Media 180 that there is an official story and an unofficial story. The Palestinian situation has been given a one sided ear, ignorant to other versions of the same story. It is important that University Students, the professionals of our future, understand that there is no such thing as a clear cut, one sided issue. I intend to bring an underdog, the condemned Israeli soldier to life. He has a story to tell, and it deserves to be heard. Through a series of interviews and film documentation, Israeli soldiers that I am acquainted with can give personal accounts of their time spent in Gaza. Hunter College students will have the opportunity to hear about the conflict areas from someone who has actually been there, and actively participated. Additionally, I’d like to bring in an Israeli spokesperson to hold an assembly, for all curious students to ask questions of.

3. With the help of Hunter Hillel and fellow students from around campus, I would like to make the Israeli voice heard, just as much as the Palestinian voice permeates campus activity. Stands, posters, signs, active protest, and any other conventional form of mass communication must be utilized, as they have failed to be utilized in the past.

This is a cause for the intellectual, this is a cause for the forward thinker. For problems to be solved and for people to be helped, the proper villains must be identified. Israel is not responsible for the plight of the Palestinians. Know your history, look at the facts, and believe only what is relevant. Stand up for Israel; Stand up for what is true.     

At Hunter College, it isn’t uncommon to see tables and stands set up for the purpose of condemning Israel for crimes of humanity against Palestinians. I have a unique sensitivity towards that particular topic. Israel is the country of my birth, the homeland of my people, and a region plagued with conflict and contempt. The stands at Hunter College, and very likely in universities across the world, have denounced this country of mine as a human rights offender, a barbarous conqueror, and a twisted devil of an oppressor. Quite frankly, Jews have a habit of keeping silent for too long until it is too late. After 1945 we swore that we would never let our name as a people be libeled again. Never again, we told the world, and that is what i am here to tell you.

The “official” story so to speak, is that Israel has committed heinous crimes against Palestinians. While it can in no way be denied that the Palestinian population is in a desolate state, it can certainly  in no way shape or form be blamed on the Israelis. As educated and skeptical readers, I beg of you to examine the policies of Yasser Arafat, an Arab leader who put his wife up in a Paris hotel while his own people starved. I beg you to look at Israel’s recent history, where a unilateral pullout of Gaza was enacted, and relinquished to Palestinians. This was only to be rewarded with militant activities, terror attacks on civilians, and destruction of infrastructure. It is also an indisputable fact that the PLO was formed in 1964, well before there were any “occupied territories.” The question begs to be asked: what is it that the PLO wanted then?

My pitch is simply this: EXAMINE THE HISTORY BOOKS. THERE IS MORE TO THIS CONFLICT THAT MEETS THE EYE. ISRAEL IS NOT TO BLAME.

It is time to stop pointing fingers at the wrong people. There is Joseph Kony, there was Hitler, there was Stalin. These are true human rights offenders. In framing this issue as it deserves to be framed (with hard, cold evidence) I hope to reverse a stark perversion of the truth. Israel is no oppressor, and certainly has not set the standard for mistreatment in the Middle East. I can certainly name a few countries that have done far worse. By examining history, I will present the facts, and the truth will be there for those who have the courage to see it. Only through understanding, rather than emotional appeal and good PR, can the conflict in the Middle East  be resolved.

Frederick Douglas and Frankie Mae were similar in that they suffered from an outside oppression; or in other words, that it came from beyond their innermost circles. Imagine an oppression that your mother, father, friends, and contemporaries agree with and furthermore, insists that you go along with them. I speak, of the ever confining world of ultra-orthodox Jewish women.

Completely opposite of Frankie Mae and Frederick Douglas, the oppression spoken of here is invisible, and apparently non-existent. There is no twitter, facebook, or even a Harry Potter book permitted into the lives of these women. There is no contact with the outside world, save for the professions they must acquire in order to support a husband. Usually, these professions are part time, so as also to be able to run a family. The husband, goes to an ultra orthodox yeshivah to learn. Such is the life of a married woman, and the emotional and physical strains are instantly apparent. Of course, while juggling all of this, she is forbidden from socializing with men, and in literally and figuratively told to use thee back door to many areas of life. Women are always in the back, and out of sight; maintaining the ultra-orthodox level of tsnius, or modesty.

For a very scarce few, there are holes in this system of living. These people leave the fold and are ostracized. Most are to afraid to speak out because if they do, the futures of extended family and close friends would assuredly be in jeopardy. Everyone knows, of course, that no yeshivah boy would want to marry a girl with a shifty relative. The girls are frightened into obedience with the prospect of not having a future, and are thus kept down. In some ways, they remind me of Frankie Mae, resigned and beaten into place. It is my hope that more will come to resemble the courage of Frederick Douglas, and will have the courage to be the oddball cousin.

What they call reality

is dubious to me.

Where are the facts,

the fantasies-to-be?

Brashly well known,

and stretched quite thin,

underdogs outspoken,

set a general tone.

Evil cigar makers and big bad men,

destroy human spirit,

and are demonic,

nine times out of ten.

I believe what is true,

and reject what is real.

Reality is what they are feeding you,

Bon Appetit.