Since the year 2000: approx. 123 Israeli children and 1,435 Palestinian children have been killed
approx. 1,072 Israelis and 6,348 Palestinians have been killed
approx. 8,864 Israelis and 39,019 Palestinians have been injured
During the fiscal year 2009: the U.S. provides $7.0 million taxpayer dollars per day towards the support of the Israeli government and military
1: number of Israeli political prisoners being held by the Palestinians
10,756: number of Palestinian prisoners being held by the Israelis, many of whom have had no chance at a trial
18,147: number of Palestinian homes demolished by the Israeli military
223: number of illegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian land
This is not fiction.
A year or two ago I had the chance to visit Israel. It is a beautiful country full of beautiful people, but I had no idea that I was so close to one of the most brutal occupations in modern history; the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel. I just watched the documentary Occupation 101, and was appalled by the terrible violence being committed on both sides of the border.
It is hard to determine who exactly ‘started’ the conflict, but this is an immature approach to the situation anyway. If both sides are going to play tit-for-tat, then why is the number of Palestinian casualties so disproportionally high in comparison to Israel’s? I hesitate to point the finger in either direction so early in my serious exploration of the issue, but I do believe that the Palestinian people have suffered great injustices with far less representation than the Israeli people. While I know that it would be wrong to compare the occupation to the Holocaust, I still find it horrifying that a people who truly know what suffering is would inflict the same torture on others. When will we learn that acts of violence only further perpetuate the cycle of violence?
I encourage everyone to watch this documentary and research the issue for themselves. While the documentary is admittedly biased in favor of the Palestinians, we get enough pro-Israeli propaganda from the American media, and bias does not discount the facts or the personal stories of suffering told by Palestinian children, which were extremely moving and powerful.
I selected a few images from my trip that captured some of the strong emotions I felt in the country.