Since the start of the latest Israel-Hamas conflict, passionate crowds have been taking to the streets around the world, expressing their frustration, anger, and anxiety over the ongoing hostilities and the resulting casualties. We reached out to demonstrators from both sides to understand their motivations and aspirations. Here’s what we discovered:
Elizabeth Oram, a 70-year-old nurse and lecturer, participated in a pro-Palestinian event in New York City’s Columbus Circle. She waved a Palestinian flag, symbolizing her longstanding support for Palestinian rights. Oram believes that the situation in the occupied territories has deteriorated from “very bad to absolutely barbaric.” Her participation in the rally was driven by her desire to be able to tell her grandchildren that she spoke out against the genocide.
Sami, a 20-year-old student from France, came across the rally while visiting New York. Deeply affected by the distressing images of violence in Gaza circulating on social media, he felt compelled to stay and participate. Sami expressed his pain and called for an end to the ongoing massacre and genocide.
These protesters criticized Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, accusing the country of apartheid and genocide. They demanded a ceasefire in Israel’s military campaign and urged American leaders to reconsider their support for Israel.
During the “March for Israel” in Washington DC, Sara Blau, a student at the University of Maryland, proudly wore a T-shirt with the face of her friend Omer Neutra. Neutra, who was kidnapped by Hamas on October 7th, is still being held captive. Blau joined the march to show solidarity with Israel and her community as a proud Zionist and Jew.
Michal and Noam Sheps, a married couple from New Jersey, also attended the pro-Israeli rally to express support for the hostages and Israel as a whole. They emphasized the importance of unity and called for the release of the hostages, stating that it was crucial for the safety and peace of those in Israel.
Several pro-Israeli demonstrators revealed concerns for their personal safety as Jewish Americans. They demanded the immediate release of more than 200 hostages taken by Hamas on October 7th.
While these accounts provide valuable insights into the motivations behind the protests, it is essential to recognize the complexity of the Israel-Hamas conflict and the deeply held convictions on both sides.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is apartheid?
A: Apartheid refers to a system of institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination. It was previously enforced in South Africa, but the term has also been used to describe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Q: What does genocide mean?
A: Genocide is defined as the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. In the context of this article, protesters express concern about a perceived genocide occurring in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Q: Are the protests only happening in the United States?
A: No, protests have been taking place worldwide in response to the Israel-Hamas war. While this article primarily focuses on demonstrations in the United States, similar rallies have occurred in other countries as well.
Q: Is the conflict purely between Israel and Hamas?
A: The conflict primarily involves Israel and Hamas, but it has broader implications and complexities involving Palestinian territories, neighboring countries, and international relations.
(Sources: None provided)