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

Why I am pro-Palestine

Makbula Nassar via Wikimedia Commons
Palestinian flag waving in the air with a smaller Palestinian flag below it.

Let me start by saying that in no way, shape or form am I supporting Hamas. Hamas is labeled as a terrorist organization, and I will view them as such. I condemn Hamas and I am not justifying any of their horrific actions — rape, murder, kidnapping and acts of antisemitism. 

However, just because I condemn Hamas doesn’t mean I support Israel. Various people state that the war started long before October 7, 2023. Israel has been terrorizing Gaza and the West Bank for decades. Throughout the decades of the Israel-Palestine conflict, Israel has bombed Gaza and illegally occupied the West Bank. 

I think that the state of Israel has gone too far in its retaliation. According to the Euro-Med Monitor, Israel has dropped the equivalent of two nuclear bombs worth of explosives on the Gaza Strip as of November 2, 2023. According to OCHA, over 36 thousand Palestinians, a huge number of which are civilians, have been killed, and over 83 thousand have been injured from Israel’s attacks. 

On October 7th, 2023, Hamas attacked, killed and kidnapped hundreds of Israelis. Furthermore, according to Israel, Hamas beheaded 40 babies. Despite Israel’s claim, there is no evidence of Hamas beheading children. This is a part of a more wide-reaching disinformation Israel has spread to gain more sympathy for their side. 

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If the goal was to eradicate Hamas and bring the hostages back, how would mass bombing help bring them back? How will destroying thousands of homes and ending thousands of lives help bring them back? Here’s a hint: it doesn’t. On top of that, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has already accidentally killed three Israeli hostages in this war. If Israel was so focused on bringing the hostages back alive, a permanent ceasefire would ensure the safety of the hostages when being held in the Gaza Strip. On top of that, Hamas has offered to release a hostage per 50 Palestinian prisoners during a two-phase ceasefire deal, with each phase lasting 42 days. However, Israel declined that offer. 

Israel has decided to enforce collective punishment to reprimand Hamas. Since the October 7 attack, Israel has justified their retaliation by claiming that Hamas could be anywhere and thereby justifies the bombings and killings of thousands of people. 

All of these actions done by Israel have led experts and myself to believe that the Israeli Government is committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. According to the Jewish Voice for Peace, Israel has committed acts that are textbook examples of genocide. 

On top of killing Palestinians, Israel has also been kidnapping Palestinians. According to CNN, Israeli whistleblowers have reported that in Sde Teiman, there is a brutal prison camp that is holding Palestinians. Israel has been blindfolding, zip-tying and beating the Palestinians held in those camps. The people there are treated less than human and are being tortured to the point of coming home underfed, missing limbs, and with traumatic horror stories from their confinement.

The brutality in Gaza is worse for those who suffer from extreme injuries. Many US medical volunteers in Gaza claim that they can’t do necessary medical procedures. This is because Israel has banned essential things such as tarps for medical tents and sterile medical equipment. The situation has become so severe that Doctors can’t even prescribe the most basic thing; Painkillers. People can’t even die pain-free

Experts on this topic argue that Israel has been committing war crimes. According to the Human Rights Watch, Israel cut off the water pipes that supply water to the Gaza Strip. They have since October 29 reactivated the second pipeline. However, more than 96% of the water is undrinkable and unsafe to consume. Throughout the war, Israel has also bombed schools and hospitals, which has led to hundreds of lives being taken. On top of all this, Israel has launched white phosphorus into the Gaza Strip, an illegal weapon that can cause 3rd-degree burns and cannot be put out by water. It is labeled by the World Health Organization as a war crime. 

Not only has Israel been killing Palestinian civilians, but they have also been killing journalists. According to Reporters Without Borders, as of March 7, 2024, Israeli bombs have already killed 103 journalists, making the war by far one of the deadliest for journalists. The death rate of reporters is higher than the wars in Syria and Iraq combined, higher than the Russia-Ukraine war, and surpassed the 20-year war in Afghanistan.

Despite my sympathy for the Israeli families that have suffered due to the war, I have found that I am more supportive of pro-Palestine independence. I fully support the existence of Israel; However, I strongly oppose Israel’s violence in the West Bank, and its conduct in Gaza. Israel is guilty of plenty of war crimes and their leaders should be held accountable for their horrible actions. 

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Sara Lahr
Sara Lahr, Staff Writer

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