A popular Yiddish quotation notes, "The truth is not always what we want to hear." Unfortunately, the truth is what Ryan Chapman seems to be running from in his article, "Rewarding Terrorism; a Really Bad Idea" that was published in Wednesday's paper. This quote also brings light to the true image of the conflict in Palestine, which is intentionally kept hidden by the media. I am really concerned about the readers who will once again be driven away from the truth by the myths and extreme thoughts of the ignorant.
The main point of his article was the return of the Gaza Strip; supposedly due to the thirty-eight years of Palestinian terrorists blowing up buses and cafes. Now, I have not given a definition of "terrorists," but I was wondering if Mr. Chapman could do that. The term is used only when addressing Muslims or dealing with Islam. I am curious as to what he would call the Israeli Hagana troops (or goldshtain) who in 1994 killed 350 Palestinian civilians while they were praying at mosque. What about the Israeli soldiers who barbarically attacked Mohammel Aldurrah, a 12-year-old boy, with four brutal shots?
Terrorism on both sides is a horrible corruption of values and we hope that the recent changes in Gaza will help bring peace to that area of the world. However, terms such as "barbaric murderers" or "animals" that were used in the article cannot help in achieving this peace; they can only increase the violence that has plagued Palestinians every day for so many years.
You, Mr. Chapman, talked about the terrorists on the Palestinian side, but you never mentioned the many factors that may have contributed to their actions. Just as the "Why they hate us" question is continually asked, but nobody really wants to give the answer. Since September 2000, 686 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis. That is roughly six times the number of Israeli children that have suffered the same fate. Victims on both sides have included innocent civilians, but the pain caused by the Israelis towards the Palestinians always appears to be more.
The writer stopped at 1967, but the history goes beyond that. Mr. Chapman, those thirty-eight years (1967 – 2005) were absolutely horrible years for the Palestinians who were occupied by the Israelis. The occupation aimed at stripping the Palestinians from their land, dignity, and humanity. The occupation imprisoned the Palestinians inside the Gaza Strip, even when every single country condemned it. Several UN Security Council resolutions were issued calling for Israel to withdraw from the land it illegally occupied in 1967, but nothing more than ignorance and the development of nuclear weapons was received in response.
The writer claimed that Israel captured the Gaza Strip and West Bank as a result of the 1967 war that was allegedly instigated by their Arab neighbors. However, the 1967 war was not a real war and it was a just a strike initiated by Israel against the Arabs. When the writer said "Now while these areas are the spoils of war, Israel has no responsibility to return them," he simply emphasizes that capturing a people's land by force and keeping it is a legal issue, which can then be applied to the war in Iraq and other places in the world.
Mr. Chapman, Israel is giving back the Gaza Strip not as a reward for terrorism, but because it doesn't belong to them. The term "giving back" is the correct approach to solve the problem. Israel is just now responding to what the rest of the world had already called for. The settlements are illegal; only Israel, with the full backing of the United States, could thumb its nose at the rest of the world for so long.
The frock is not the only dress of terrorism. It can also be a very nice black suit with a neck tie. Irresponsible words can be terrorism as well. I advise you, Mr. Chapman, to improve your own knowledge by reading the true history of the world. I wish you successful assignments in this semester since your first try obviously failed.
President of Muslim Student Association