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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

How many more?

The “antisemitic” label for Arabs is linguistically inaccurate, as the term “semitism” originates from Shem, the ancestor of both Arabs and Israelites through Prophet Abraham.

Challenging common perceptions, under Muslim rule, Jews didn’t lose religious freedom, as seen in their relationship with Omar-ibn al-Khaṭṭāb. Omar’s respect for religious diversity was evident when he prayed outside the Holy Sepulcher rather than inside, allowing it to remain a site for Christianity, and resettled Jewish families in Jerusalem. The Treaty of Omar granted Jews religious freedom and military exemption with a jizya, less than what Muslims paid in zakat, in exchange for military exemption and if unable to pay, an exemption would be granted.

Muslim conquest freed Jews from 500-year Roman oppression, restoring their religious freedom in Jerusalem after their expulsion. When Muslims took a plot of land from Jews to build a mosque, Omar ordered the mosque’s demolition and the return of the land, a site known as Bait al Yahudi that remains in Lebanon today. 

The conflict between Israel and Palestine didn’t begin with Hamas in 2023; it stems from the Zionist movement, founded by Theodor Herzl, seeking a Jewish homeland, when the Balfour Declaration (driven by the Jewish diaspora) initially considered other locations besides Palestine, demonstrating that invading the Palestinian land was not the initial goal. It was to establish a Jewish state.

Hamas was only established in 1987, long after Palestinians were killed and expelled from their land. How can Hamas be the initiator of the conflict when it only came to be 39 years after the establishment of Israel? Killing Palestinians and starving them to death will not help achieve a peaceful resolution of the conflict. If Israel could not defeat Hamas after 200-plus days into the war, then how many more civilian lives have to be lost for this war to end?

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