Both Can Be True

Human life is not up for debate

Hadiya Ahmed (she/her) // Contributor
Tara Asadi (they/them) // Illustrator

Amidst the increasing violence that’s currently taking place in the Middle East, the question of the Israel-Palestine conflict has become more apparent than ever. We are starting to see more divide in the outrage that is expressed by the general public. Generally, the majority of western leaders like President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have expressed their support for Israel and its right to defend itself. 

On the other hand, a large number of the residents in both countries have taken a stance against Israel and the brutal attacks it has inflicted on innocent Palestinians. While both stances can be justified in their own unique ways, it is important to adequately address problems such as anti-semitism and the idea of expecting the perfect victim in order to find a safe space where individuals can express their outrage and stand for human rights.

With the rise of a strong pro-Palestine movement both online as well in person, the risk of some individuals expressing their blatant anti-semitism is apparent. While it is clear that the pro-Palestinian movement does not condone anti-semitism, with its main objective consisting of the liberation and self-determination of Palestinians, fringe individuals still take advantage of this platform to spread hate. It’s unfair to expect Palestinians currently experiencing the conflict to condemn this group of people. It is important, however, for other supporters to separate themselves from hateful, anti-semitic rhetoric. This not only protects the innocent lives of Jewish individuals, it also helps carry the pro-Palestinian movement forward. 

On the other hand, an issue faced by Palestinians is subjecting them to the idea of the perfect victim. Historically, Palestinians have been through many atrocities that often border on genocide at the hands of the Israeli government and the Israel defence force. Any form of resistance shown by Palestinians in response to this has been met with condemnation from the global community, as well as increased brutal force by the Israeli government often backed and funded by countries like the United states. This forces Palestinians to pick the lesser of two evils, whether that is staying silent and continuing to live under apartheid, or turning to resistance and risking the possibility of a war they can’t win. 

Ultimately, it is imperative to realize the importance of standing up for the basic human rights of Palestinians while condemning any form of hateful rhetoric that may put the lives of Jewish individuals at risk. It is also equally important to forfeit the idea of subjecting Palestinians to be the perfect victims or accept their current situation. Both can be true. To put it simply, the current situation in Gaza is a genocide where the residents are subjected to live under apartheid. In order to reach a political solution that benefits both states and protects lives on both ends, we must create spaces for activism and awareness to flourish peacefully.

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