GUEST COLUMN: Supporting Palestine on campus

Condemning the Israeli state does not condemn the Jewish faith

Genocide is defined by the United States’ Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website as “an internationally recognized crime where acts are committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.”

At the North Quad on Oct. 25, members of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance attended a demonstration and distributed information to students on the genocidal acts being committed in front of us. On Oct. 28, I and another two students drove to Grand Rapids to participate in a protest of over 100 people marching in the streets.

Protestors assemble to demonstrate support for Photo courtesy of Forrest Hamilton

According to Mondoweiss, a news source dedicated to covering Israel, Palestine and the US, “On Oct. 25, tens of thousands of students across more than 100 North American campuses united in a walkout to demand an immediate ceasefire, an end to unconditional support for Israel, and university divestment from the corporations funding the occupation of Palestine.”

Israel’s government is currently bombing the Palestinians, who are the native inhabitants of the land Israel has been established on. The intention of this campaign, and of the state of Israel, is to displace or exterminate the people who get in the way of expanding the colony. Do not confuse condemnation of the Israeli state with condemnation of the Jewish faith.

The history of Israel’s settlers occupying land at the expense of displaced and murdered people is alike to the genocide of Native Americans in the United States. Our country provides about $3 billion in military aid to Israel annually.

International news source Al Jazeera published on Oct. 27, “According to the Gaza government’s media office, Israel has bombed the Gaza Strip with more than 12,000 tonnes of explosives, which is equivalent to the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.”

This amount of munitions, funded by the United States, was dropped on a population of 2 million people in an area measuring around 25 by five miles. Further, there is a full blockade of the region: no food, no water and no electricity.

Israel claims the purpose of the bombing is to eliminate the militant group Hamas, which has begun offensive maneuvers against the Israeli Defense Forces with a range of attacks. However, the constant bombings executed on residential buildings, neighborhoods, infrastructure and homes proves the Israeli government sees all Palestinians in this area worthy of death.

Hospitals in Gaza provided detailed information on October 26 that over 7,000 were killed so far. More than 1 million of the people living in the area have been displaced, but they are trapped by walls erected by Israel. Bombs continue to rain in the south of Gaza that the IDF claims is safe.

Protests grow every weekend, and they will not stop until this genocidal war stops. There was a march on Washington on Nov 4, with people from all over the country joining in to protest the genocide of the Palestinians.