Lately there have been letters to the Daily Nexus about Students for Justice in Palestine being harassed and having their Gaza Awareness Week display vandalized. While I do not condone vandalism, the display in front of the UCen was extremely biased and did not reflect the overall situation. The “memorial” was deliberately meant to show the large number of Palestinians killed in contrast to the small number of Israelis killed, not to mourn the loss of these Israelis along with the Palestinians. The display also did not reflect the reason why Israel attacked Gaza: militant members of Hamas refused to renew a ceasefire and proceeded to fire rockets into Israel. Students for Justice in Palestine are right to be upset at their display being vandalized, but observers such as myself are also right to be offended at such a misrepresentation of the situation. Furthermore, SJP should not blame American Students for Israel when they have no proof that ASI vandalized their display. SJP complains that ASI passes out fliers to counteract their own and sets up tables across from SJP tables, but ASI is perfectly within their rights to do these things, especially when SJP is only presenting a biased account of the situation.
I personally think that both Israel and Palestine are not handling the situation correctly, but I would have more sympathy for the Palestinians in Gaza if they did not elect a terrorist group to control their government and show their children propaganda promoting racist stereotypes and the killing of Jews. Israel’s attacks on Gaza are in response to Hamas rockets fired at Israeli civilians. Israel is not targeting Palestinian citizens, they are targeting Hamas terrorists. Though Israel should be more willing to compromise in matters of diplomacy with Palestine, there should be no compromise when it comes to the defense of their civilians against an adversary who refuses to cease fire.