Illuminating the News for the Students by the Students

Lamplighter Media Productions

Illuminating the News for the Students by the Students

Lamplighter Media Productions

Illuminating the News for the Students by the Students

Lamplighter Media Productions

Generation Rising

College protests against the Israel-Palestine War have deeper impacts than one might imagine.
College+encampments+protesting+university+support+for+Israel.
Anna Baker
College encampments protesting university support for Israel.

Seven months ago, I couldn’t point to Palestine on a map, yet the war between Israel and Palestine has ignited a curiosity to lead me down a path of discovery.

Recently, a wave of student protests have swept across university campuses nationwide, fueled by the ongoing conflict. 

For context, World War I had significant implications for the Middle East, particularly Palestine. The Ottoman Empire, which controlled the region, collapsed, and Britain took control under the Palestine Mandate after the war. Jewish immigration to Palestine increased, driven by anti-Semitism in Europe. In 1947, the UN approved a Partition Plan, creating separate Jewish and Palestinian states. However, fighting erupted over the plan, leading to the establishment of Israel in 1948. Palestinians fled or were displaced, becoming refugees. Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, leading to ongoing conflict and settlement expansion.

On October 7th, an extremist group known as Hamas, a group trying the occupy the Gazan strip, killed around 1,200 Israelis during an escape from North Gaza. In response, Israel launched an ongoing attack against the civilians of the Gaza, displacing almost 2 million Gazans (about 85% of the population).

The Gaza ministry added that at least 36,050 Palestinians have been killed, 10,000 those being children, since the start of the war and 81,026 have been injured.

These continuing deaths of defenseless children and families are encouraging people all over the world to protest against the terrors of the war, most popularly in the United States, college students.

Columbia, one of the first schools to start its encampments and protests, has been the model for other schools around the nation to take part in protesting their universities financially investing in Israel. 

As a junior in high school, witnessing these demonstrations marks a pivotal moment—a connection to a cause that hits closer to home than ever before. Observing these college students who stand on the brink of the future we are soon to enter, is empowering. It is a glimpse into the realm of activism and advocacy, a realm we never imagined our generation would inhabit so boldly.

We are proud of these students, yet afraid for what the future lies for our peers and our country. Over 2,900 students have been arrested. Freedoms are being revoked. Instead of encouraging our voices, our nation seems intent on stifling them. It’s an upsetting reality that while our country, the one that claims to uphold ‘liberty and justice for all’ (something we have been reciting every day for eleven years), is the same country arresting those who speak out. 

We can make a difference. and that is what is supposed to be the most integral part of being American: having the ability to speak the truth. At its core, this is more than just a debate about the Israel-Palestine conflict. It’s a battle for our democracy—a fight to uphold the principles of free speech and civic engagement that lie at its base. Regardless of political affiliations or personal opinions on the matter, it’s imperative that our country rallies behind its youth to ensure the foundations of democracy continue in the future. 

“The very system that has educated us to be afraid of our lives in a classroom, and the fact that we might be in a school shooting, are the same things that have trained students to know how to protect themselves,” said senior Anna Marasco-Quibrera.

The connection between the protest tactics being used at universities, and the safety drills these same students had to learn in high school, is not lost on people.

“It’s a very powerful, intelligent, strategic student movement that is playing a huge role in history.”

 

Contributing author: Anna Baker

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Sia Vaish
Sia Vaish, Staff Reporter
Hi, I am Sia! This is my third year on staff and I am excited to continue being on Lamplighter! Outside of school, I am a big writer, runner, and debater! Therefore, I write articles and love to share stories and opinions on this platform. I hope to make content that leaves an impact!
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