Muslim in America: The U.S. Involvement in Palestinian and Israeli Relations.

The following editorial is the viewpoint of the writer only and does not reflect the opinions of the Cat’s Eye View staff, as a whole, or the administration, faculty or students of Henry P. Becton Regional High School

Entire towns built with aid from Belgium have been completely engulfed in flames.

@hosney_salah on Instagram

Entire towns built with aid from Belgium have been completely engulfed in flames.

Muslims across the world face harsh discrimination, threats, and overall hate because of attacks committed by others who use Islam to terrorize. Additionally, Fear-mongering is often used by Western powers to justify occupying Muslim countries and even committing bloody massacres. In recent years, conflicts between the Israelis and Palestinians and the United States’ involvement has many questioning why there is little effort by the UN to put a stop to these atrocities or why there is a very minimal amount of coverage on what is currently going on by news outlets. Men, women, and children are being senselessly murdered on their own soil. Their homes, schools, and stores are being destroyed by attacks that are constantly being made on their towns and cities.

You may have a small idea about the negative relations between Palestinians and Israelis. However, you might not know why it all began, what is going on right now, and how it got to this point. On May 14, 1948. Israel was created, enticing a war between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Israel was victorious in winning, with hundreds of Palestinians displaced. Palestine was eventually split into three sections when the war ended in 1949: the Gaza Strip, Israel, and the West Bank. Since then, many wars were fought, and Israel slowly took more and more land away from Palestine. Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, as recent as April 20, 2020, signed an agreement for the unity of the government. In this united government, Netanyahu holds his beliefs that Israel will further extend its sovereignty all the way to the West Bank. These statements were condemned by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh. The Israeli military and Hamas, a Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist organization, yet very militant and nationalistic, recently have been at each other’s throats. Balloons carrying materials that could easily set anything ablaze were launched by Hamas to Israel’s southern border. In retaliation, Israel conducted many air-strikes. The problem here is that Israel has continued these air-strikes on innocent people who had nothing to do with the actions of the Hamas.

Palestinian men, women, and children have been caught up in all of the chaos of the constant attacks by the Israeli government in Gaza. (@hosney_salah on Instagram)

Yomna Hammouda, a Muslim American student here at Becton, expressed her feelings to me regarding the issues going on across the Atlantic. She explained how “the Palestinian community is a high disrespected and harassed group that has been turned into a minority, a victim to the US and Israeli military. These people live each day in fear of which one of them will be next. They have been let down countless times by empty promises of support, or…an end to be put to this harassment.” Hammouda, a junior, continues, “The United States has had a lot of involvement, some may even say too many affairs in the Middle East,” she begins, “I think that if it’s to combat issues regarding the US – if something is harming Americans – yeah [the United States] should have involvement. However, a lot of these issues that the US is getting involved in isn’t really combating anything.”

Miss. Hammouda speaks specifically about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. After recently coming across an article by GV Wire about the signing of a third 10-year Memorandum between both countries from 2016, Hammouda expressed to me her frustration with the US giving millions of dollars to Israel: “Why give 38 million to Israel? With that money, you can help students pay off their loans or help impoverished people. Israel does not need that money.” Curiosity filled my mind, and it led me to search the web to find exactly how much this country has loaned. Evidence from a PDF by the Congressional Research Service shows that the US has given Israel around $146 billion for weaponry since both countries allied back in 1948. “It seems ridiculous to me that the US has poured so much into a country that commits, war crimes, barely even combats terrorism, and violates agreements made with the UN,” Hommounda added, much more upset by the large number.

Overall, if Israel and the United States want to stop terrorism, they should avoid taking the lives of thousands of innocent people. Miss. Hammouda finds the statistics of US affairs with Israel unsettling, sharing, “I mean I’m concerned about the population of Muslims being shrugged off here. If they’re okay with doing this, are they okay with doing it here? I mean you can argue and say they would never, but it’s clearly happening in Israel. China has [its] camps and Europe is integrating laws against Muslims. I understand terrorism is a threat but that neglects the millions of Muslims around the world that have nothing to do with it”.