In light of the many recent articles, comments and demonstrations regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I have found myself somewhat disenchanted by the proponent groups of both sides. Don’t get me wrong, I believe it is entirely justified and powerful to write, speak and demonstrate, so long as it is done in a respectful, open-minded manner.
Unfortunately, this is exactly what I feel these groups lack. While the intentions are well thought out, the resulting effects of some recent demonstrations on campus are not beneficial for any party. Ironically, these groups are becoming everything the conflicts of the Middle East are at the moment: poking at each other’s sides and seeing how hard one can push (whether passive-aggressively or just plain aggressively) to receive a reaction and before receiving some sort of consequence.
These groups need to embody the peace process that we all hope to see in the world through mediated discussion. So to those involved in these groups, I say put your money where your mouth is: Have a discussion in front of an audience, possibly one mediated by unbiased members of the international relations and peace and justice studies departments. Show us that conflict can be resolved peacefully, that people can compromise and understand someone else’s beliefs (and why they have them) while maintaining their own and that there is hope for the present and future outcomes of the conflict and the region as a whole.
Class of 2017