Middle East conflict comes to CSUN

Daniel Williams

Palestinian students were set to hold a protest against the Israeli government yesterday until around 40 students for Israel gathered in a counter protest.’ The Palestinian students decided to not to hold the protest after discovering they were outnumbered, but the Israeli rally continued with chants of ‘no mas Hamas’ and ‘we want peace, we don’t want war.’

Political science major Julia Pitt, sophomore, said in an e-mail sent to the Daily Sundial that the Palestinian protest was rescheduled to a later date because there was concern of whether or not they had enough people to make an impact.

The protest comes in the wake of a conflict between Palestinians and Israelis when Israel launched a military campaign in the Gaza Strip Dec. 27. Israel’s stated goal was to stop Hamas rocket attacks on southern Israel and included the targeting of Hamas’ members and infrastructure.

‘The people of Israel would like to live in peace, we suffer from attacks daily,’ said Rabbi Chaim Brooke.

Pitt believes that CSUN is pro-Israel ever since a pro-Palistine speaker was nearly sent away due to protests from Students for Israel.

‘He was eventually allowed to speak here, but Students for Israel still weren’t happy, and since then they’ve been playing the victim card,’ said Pitt.

Julie Sager, member of the Zionist Organization of America, said the war is not against Palestine but is against Hamas which hides in public areas such as schools and hospitals.’
Finance and marketing major Liran Machlouf said that Hamas only agreed to cease-fire to gain time to rearm.’

‘In that past 24 hours, more than a dozen rockets have fallen on Israel that were fired from Gaza,’ said Sager.’

Pitt said, ‘I feel as if they feel threatened by the truth, and that’s why they get so defensive about this issue. Any mention of the Israel-Palestine conflict will send them into a fit, because they know they can’t defend what Israel is doing using any type of ethical or logical standards.’

In regards to yesterday’s rally, Pitt said, ‘If they can make Hamas, or all Palestinian people in general, look like uncivil savages, they can make the case for a ‘just war’ or ‘just occupation’ by saying that western Israel is ‘modernizing’ them by occupying their lands. This is often the message the pro-Israel crowd uses and it was very prevalent in their rally.’

Jonathon Mann, senior, said the point of the rally was not only to represent the side of Israel, but also to speak on the behalf of silenced Palestinians.’

‘We want Hamas to stop ruling people by fear,’ said Machlouf.’ ‘We don’t hate Palestinians.’ We support them and we want them to be freed from Hamas.’