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The Complexities of the Israel-Palestine Conflict

By April 14, 2016December 16th, 2019JIJ, Student Staff
This semester I am working on a project that involves the Palestinian refugee camps for the Jerusalem Institute for Justice.

“Palestinian refugeesare defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.[1]

Here are a few questions we should ask before labeling ourselves as “Anti-Israel” or “Anti-Palestine”:

1. What are the issues?
            a. Is this conflict simply about land?
            b. Does religion play a role?
2. How many Palestinians fled Israel in 1948?
3. How many Palestinian refugees are there today?
4. Do these refugees have a “right to return”?
            a. If not, why?
            b. If so, why?
5. Has there been injustice done by both sides?
6. Have any steps been taken to remedy this conflict?
            a. Were those steps successful? If not, why?
7. What are some possible solutions?
a. What will be the short-term and long-term effects of the proposed solutions?

Growing up in New York City, I’ve always heard lots of Anti-Israel sentiment–including from the Jewish community, and lots of Anti-Palestine sentiments. The one thing both groups had in common is they consistently yelled out the atrocities being committed by the other party. All of the shouting left me confused about my stance. In order to form my own opinion, I needed to witness more than the mere pointing of fingers. Starting with the questions above, this project has challenged me to form an informed opinion for myself. When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict we want “a quick fix or at least a defined solution to the prejudice and pain we saw all around us.”[2] However, this conflict is not simple,nor are its solutions. I challenge you all to pray for the people living in the Palestinian refugee camps.