Palestine, through their eyes.

(This article was also published in The Peace Lens magazine)

“When I was in Palestine, I didn’t need to hear stories from people. What I’ve seen was enough to understand what’s happening with Palestinians.”, as stated by Brittany Renee Arneson, an activist and a member of Students for Justice in Palestine.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has always been a general consensus held by student activists on campus. Many of them obtained their viewpoints by either getting the chance to visit Palestine, or getting involved with local and international peace organizations, like Izzaddine Al-Zaytawy, co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine and a social activist.

Izzaddine Al-Zaytawy
Izzaddine,  just like any other half-palestinian, spent his life teared up between a painful summer witnessing his family being discriminated against and suffering from daily water restriction, and seeing the occupation obtaining more and more power everyday.
This is the catalyst that fueled not only Arabs or Muslims like most people tend to think, but also Americans who took the initiative to educate themselves about the conflict, away from the biased media.
We had also the chance to talk to one of the Peace and Justice Studies intern, Alex Atwell.
Alex is going to Palestine after he graduates with a BA in Anthropology (Ethnology focus).         "The Anthropology of Occupation" class offered students the chance to spend two weeks in the Occupied Territory of the West Bank to approach the field school with a post-colonial critique of the Israeli military occupation.
“This experience is the pinnacle of my undergraduate career. I am very excited!”, said Alex.
Wednesday 15, April 2015 was the day the “Divestment Resolution” got passed through the steering and rules committee to the full senate.

Brittany Renee Arneson
Divestment is the D from Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. It is a social movement that it’s used to ask the University of New Mexico to divest and take off the support for corporations that profit from oppressive policies and human rights.
“We are simply asking UNM to wipe its hands off of the blood and not use US tax dollars to support human rights violators.” said Izzaddine.
64 Israeli soldiers and seven civilians died in 2014.
However, in the same year, 1.8 million people are living in Gaza. 4,505 per square kilometre.475,000 living in emergency shelters. 17,200 homes destroyed or severely damaged by Israeli attacks.
244 schools damaged.
And the number is still increasing everyday.

If you are asking what can you do about it, the majority of activists that we interviewed agreed that education can be the most powerful, non violent, and peaceful weapon against all kinds of trauma and crimes against humanity. Education has always been used to empower any individual to stand up for both peace and justice for Palestine and for any oppressed nation in this world.


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