The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Stand with Israel; stand with peace and humanity

137+innocent+people%2C+including+children%2C+women+and+the+elderly%2C+are+being+held+hostage+by+Hamas+in+Gaza+at+this+very+moment.+Hamas+has+freed+108+hostages+due+to+its+negotiations+with+Israel.
Courtesy The Hostage And Missing Families Forum
137 innocent people, including children, women and the elderly, are being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza at this very moment. Hamas has freed 108 hostages due to its negotiations with Israel.

On Saturday, October 7, the terrorist organization Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern Israel, slaughtering, raping and kidnapping innocent Israeli civilians, killing over 1400 people, and taking about 240 civilian hostages. And as an Israeli teen living in California, it seems like it didn’t take long for the world to forget all of that.

In the last couple of days, many liberal Americans have accused Israel of committing ethnic cleansing and genocide in Gaza, which is simply false. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the term “ethnic cleansing” is the “mass expulsion or killing of one ethnic or religious group by another.”

The definition of this term is not even close to what’s happening in Gaza today, as Israel targets the terror organization Hamas and not the Palestinian people and does its best not to harm any civilians.

The IDF holds itself to a high moral standard as it continually warns Palestinian civilians before attacking Hamas’ terror infrastructure, and allows them to cross toward Southern Gaza safely. Whoever spreads fake news about the IDF and its actions ignores the significant lengths they go to minimize civilian harm, even sometimes using a terrorist organization’s propaganda to support their claims. And that sort of fake news is rampant, even across mainstream media.

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For example, the BBC, which is known for being “a credible source” of news, misquoted a Reuters report about the presence of the IDF in Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital and its mission. The BBC reported that the Israeli military was “targeting people including medical teams as well as Arab speakers,” which is false.

What actually happened is that “the IDF forces included medical teams and Arabic speakers, who have undergone specified training to prepare for this complex and sensitive environment, with the intent that no harm is caused to the civilians.

Another example is the initial reports on the bombing of Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, which stated that Israel was the one who executed the air raid. Again, it was proven wrong by multiple sources. Additionally, intelligence from multiple nations, including the U.S., France, the United Kingdom and Canada, indicates that the cause of the explosion was a Palestinian rocket fired from Gaza.

As evidenced above, the mainstream media is biased toward one side, doing everything in its power to make it look as if Israel is the bad guy. Even though the social media feeds of the Los Altos High School student body are filled with anti-Israel information, students need to think critically about where they get their news from. Don’t fall for misinformation.

In order to identify misinformation, it is necessary to know the history of the state of Israel and its land.

Throughout history, the Palestinians rejected all four proposals for having a state of their own. In 1937, following World War One, they rejected the British offer; following World War Two, in 1947, they rejected the UN’s proposal. Most recently, in 2000, Ehud Barak, Israel’s Prime Minister, met with Yaser Arafat, the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the official representative of the Palestinians. Barak offered him and the Palestinians a Palestinian state, but Arafat rejected it. Similarly, in 2008, Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, tried to convince Mahmud Abas, the president of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, to agree to a two-state solution. Still, for the fifth time, the Palestinians rejected the proposal.

The Instagram post mentioned above is misleading, as there was never a state in this area for the Palestinian people. The name Palestine is the name Greek writers gave to the land back in the 12th century. After the fall of the British Mandate in 1948, Israel got its independence and, as I said, offered the Palestinians a two-state solution and a state of their own. The fact that they rejected the offer isn’t mentioned in the post, which can cause people to think that Israel occupied the land of the Palestinian people.

My fellow Israelis and I sense that Palestinians, or at least their leaders over the years, believed there should be just one Palestinian state. They simply don’t believe in a two-state solution; they believe there shouldn’t be a Jewish state for the Jewish people.

Now, we return to the present, to the tragic day of October 7. Imagine waking up to the sound of gunfire cracking the peace of your property. This is a reality that many Israelis faced on that day.

It’s crucial to state that this time, Israel’s war is not against innocent Palestinians but against the government of the Gaza Strip, Hamas. It’s a fight against a ruthless terrorist organization that has repeatedly shown its disregard for human life — both Israelis and Palestinians.

A place I call home, a state my own family and plenty of people I know are defending, was and still is facing a horrifying hostage crisis. The victims of this disaster consist of women, children and even the elderly. They’re harmless civilians with the desire for a safe and peaceful life.

The continued situation in Israel is heartbreaking: families torn apart, loved ones taken hostage, and civilians living in fear.

Hamas was elected to govern the Gaza Strip in 2007 by the Palestinians, winning 44 percent of the vote. A survey conducted on Monday, November 27, shows that 75 percent of Palestinians support Hamas’ actions on October 7, which brings up a lot of concerns. Moreover, I didn’t hear any condemnation from the “free Palestine” movement. What I did hear was the chant, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” It’s about the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, calling for one Palestinian state, including the eradication of the state of Israel and the Jewish people — antisemitism at its finest. People who are justifying the horrific terror attack of October 7 in such protests are not freedom fighters; they are antisemites. Israel will continue to exist whether you like it or not.

If you don’t stand against the massacre of Saturday, October 7, you stand with terrorism. Children were kidnapped, women were raped and civilians were massacred brutally by Hamas. It’s no longer taking sides with Israel or Palestine; it’s about standing with a nation striving for peace and protection. It’s about opposing terrorism in all its forms.

The voices crying out today in support of Israel are crying out in support of humanity — regardless of nationality, ethnicity or religion. It’s a tragedy that anybody can empathize with. Let’s stand together in opposition to terrorism and for peace, a better world and the innocent lives suffering from this crisis. Today, it’s Israel, and tomorrow it’s the U.S., Europe and the Western world in general. Be on the right side of history.

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Adam Alfi, Staff Writer

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