A rocket launched from Gaza City, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement, is intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system, on May 11, 2021. (Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images)

The conflict that has been ongoing between Israel and Palestine has recently moved to the forefront of the world stage, but the two have been at it for ages now. As someone born and raised in the United States, with few connections to my ancestral home, it is still beyond painful to witness this conflict and see the place my family comes from being demolished and tarnished in the name of a “war” where one nation does not even possess an army.

America has chosen to back Israel, consistently sending billions in aid to a place that refuses to acknowledge Palestine as a nation, and continuously pushes forward in an effort to demolish it as a nation despite their presence in the region long before Israel was conceived. Thinking on it, it is relatively understandable that the American government would back such a cultural genocide, as it did in its own past.

Palestine has no true army, no true militant force of any kind, and yet somehow the world has the gall to call this conflict a war. The conflict is rocks against airstrikes. There is no war, this is far more aptly called an invasion. Various buildings in Palestine have been demolished to avoid such statements ever getting out; multiple news sources have had their headquarters demolished by Israeli forces because they published works that were bad for the world’s view of Israel. Yet still, they are supported by governments around the world due to forces in Palestine, such as Hamas, claiming radical statements against Jewish people. These statements, amplified by Israeli media, have turned the world’s view of the conflict from one of a dominant political nation attempting to commit an act of genocide upon a much smaller, completely defenseless state, to one of religious extremists who call for the end of all Jewish people. 

As a citizen of a nation that prides itself so heavily on freedom for all, I find it hypocritical and disgusting that we have chosen to back the oppressors in a conflict between oppressive, genocidal dominators, and those who wish to simply exist without fearing that their home will be taken over and destroyed. There is nothing I fear more than to wake up and discover that the land my family comes from has been overtaken and destroyed because of a conflict that the nation I grew up in could have stopped. There is no greater injustice than a nation claiming they feared for their lives when they easily retaliated with death and murder against something that hurt nobody. Israel is not oppressed, they have no empathy for the neighbors they refuse to acknowledge and wish to annihilate completely. The conflict has nothing to do with religion and faith and everything to do with oppressed people choosing to no longer be oppressed. 

There is a new genocide in this conflict, and I am horrified to see it taking place at all, but especially in a place I claim heritage from. It is not anti-Semitic to side with Palestine, it is anti-genocide to demand that these actions cease and peaceful resolutions be reached. Until such time, this is not a war – it is a massacre, it is an invasion, and it is wrong. Israel built a wall; they want nothing to do with those whose name they refuse to speak and only address as their “neighbors,” and if that is not prejudice then I have no idea what is. 

Marcos Chavez
Reporter | Future educator and proud Palestinian-Mexican American, computer nerd, and general jack-of-all trades.

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