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Israeli-Palestinian student activism causes more harm

Published: Monday, November 19, 2012

Updated: Monday, November 19, 2012 06:11

Once again an international incident has set off a fever pitch of protests and demonstrations across USF.

Following a heavy barrage of artillery exchanges, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to have entered yet another phase of finger pointing, media condemnation and bloodshed on both sides of the aisle.  
Aside from the immediate crossfire in the region, what is more alarming is the extemporaneous mobilization of students, visibly polarized, urging swift action to either condemn or support Israeli action. These trend du jour activists seem to spawn from thin air, like matches ignited against sandpaper, slowly setting the USF campus on fire with their rhetoric.  The Palestinian camp decries Israeli action as inhumane — contrary to international law — and in some instances, genocide. The Israeli camp insists on Israel’s long history of invading Arab states and claims the right of defense.  
In either case, both sides have gone to egregious lengths to have their voices heard — some emphasizing anti-semitic conspiracy theories while others insist that innocent Palestinians caught in the carnage were collateral damage resulting from fighting “terrorism.”

The divisive nature has met no moral or ethical bounds. On campus, both sides have feigned being victimized, each picking and choosing the information they present to their target audience that would make their case more appealing to the masses. The opposing hoards of students have become so entrenched in the propagation of their views that they’ve left no room for objective history, or more pressing, the fact that their picketing, quarreling and point-counterpoint sabotage hasn’t lent repose to the conflict itself.

Where were these pro-Palestinian activists when Turkish fighter planes rained death over Kurdish villages?  Where were the pro-Israeli activists when Kosovo, in a manner befitting the inception of Israel, was lobbying for statehood in the United Nations? Neither side seems to be interested in ending the bloodshed, but rather inciting remorse for their ranks while provoking hatred for the opposition. Neither has what seems to be an accurate understanding of the conflict but rather an undying will to simply muffle the voice of their opponents.

In either case, once the conflict has simmered, these supposed “activists” will simply go back to leading their regular lives, having absolutely no impact on the humanitarian aspect of the issue at hand and leaving behind a more divided world.

Konstantin Ravvin is a senior majoring in biomedical sciences.

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