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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Statement regarding Israel’s incursion in Gaza

<t do we do? What do we do in the face of a conflict that never seems to end and only escalates, as it has in Gaza since December 27th? Yes, the rockets Hamas lobs into Israel are a disgusting form of collective punishment. But we must also acknowledge that over 1,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel began its aerial bombardment; several thousand have been injured; and tens of thousands have been forced to leave their homes. UNICEF estimates that one third of the casualties are children. Children. Noncombatant civilians, lost at the hands of a government funded by billions of dollars in US military aid and set to receive $30 billion more over the next decade (NYTimes, 8/16/07). We have seen photos online, read news reports and commentaries, and now wonder, what do we do?

It’s so easy to get caught up in political arguments. These are loaded issues. There is no easy answer. Not even the questions are clear-cut. What we need is a space for dialogue, the recognition of injustice and tragedy and the acknowledgement of a crisis, whether or not it directly affects us. Even Jon Stewart is taking this seriously. Carls are a peaceful people, but too often our efforts toward peace are confined to posters in our dorm rooms and pins on our jackets. How can we live our beliefs, share them, express them? Are there others who grapple with the impossibility of continued violence and also the possibility of breaking its constant cycle? Yes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complicated; but let’s not use that as an excuse to not get involved. As U.S. taxpayers, we’re already involved.

We want conversation. We want understanding. We want to think about this as urgent, now; not as an old and unsolvable problem, but as an immediate issue that can be cared about, confronted, and changed.

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