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Adrienne Lawrence

Legal analyst, law professor & award-winning author

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Possible to support both Israelis and Palestinians simultaneously

Oct 18, 2023

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The war between Israel and Hamas, now the deadliest of five Gaza conflicts, has sparked global demonstrations. College campuses like Columbia University have seen protests from pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups. Nations are also divided, with some calling on Israel to stop its aggression and others joining the U.S. in their unequivocal support of Israel.

Straight Arrow News contributor Adrienne Lawrence suggests that our reaction to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does not need to be one-sided. She argues that all human life is precious and supporting only one side in a “monolithic outlook” is precisely what gets people killed.

We do know that there’s been considerable anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim messaging in the media and that members of government have also been engaged in such since the attacks. Condemning an entire group of people as the enemy reinforces the message that they are not actually people but an entire group, i.e., less than human and okay to harm. The one-sided monolithic messaging treats conflict and war like sport.

And this isn’t the Jets playing the Niners here. You can appreciate that innocent Israelis deserve to live in peace and defend themselves without condoning the use of war crimes, apartheid, and genocide. You can also support innocent Palestinians being protected from unnecessary attacks in retaliation for Hamas and having the opportunity to live in peace and to thrive.

While I understand that neutrality and silence side with the oppressor, I know this isn’t sports. You don’t have to be all-in for the win of a nation. In fact, you can’t be if you proclaim to be all-in for preserving innocent human life.

When Hamas attacked the Israeli people earlier this month, killing some 1200 and kidnapping near 200. There were a wave of reactions from those in the West. Some reactions attracted more attention than others. And one of those polarizing reactions came from NYU Law student Rhino workman as the president of the NYU Student Bar Association, workman released a statement blaming Israel fully for Hamas actions and stating that she will not condemn Palestinian resistance. Perhaps she wasn’t necessarily aware that most Palestinians do not support him us, and that many Israelis take issue with their ultra far right government. Either way, workman statement cost her a lucrative future. The big law firm Winston and strong well, they quickly and publicly pulled her post law school job offer. Although I left big law life years ago, as a professor of law now who educates on speech and its breadth of freedoms, I fully appreciate the firm’s decision to cut workmen Lutz, she conflated an entire people with the actions of those in power, condemning a nation as a whole, she fell into a dangerous mindset that many hold today, and that we must interrupt for the safety of innocent Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East, and Jews and Muslims everywhere for that matter. People must stop with this one sided, monolithic messaging of support for a nation because it breeds in US them outlook that gets people killed. Foremost, that mindset is harmful because an entire people doesn’t necessarily align with those in power. You think many Americans would appreciate that after the majority of us voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Yet we got Donald Trump, nearly 3 million of us didn’t want his policies and practices attributed to us as individuals, right? Because we didn’t support them. As it concerns the Middle East, I can tell you that many Israelis do not support the current Ultra far right government. And there’s also a number of Israelis that are fighting against the occupation in Palestine. Not to mention that some 20% of Israelis are Arab Israelis of Palestinian descent. That’s to assume every Israeli is on board with the attacks in Gaza is not only intellectually dishonest, but ignorant, as is it to assume that Palestinians are all on board with Hamas, a faction that was voted into power in 2006, but has refused to leave and it’s causing destruction and harm to the Palestinian people. Basically, lumping everyone together and assuming that they must support wrongdoers and power is dangerous. This monolithic outlook again gets people killed this weekend in an Illinois suburb for example, a 71 year old white landlord broke into his tenants home to stab them to death because they’re Muslim.

If he fatally stabbed a six year old boy 26 times are reportedly screaming that Muslims must die. Well, we don’t know the landlord’s sentiments toward Muslims before Hamas is attack. We do know that there’s been considerable anti Palestinian and anti Muslim messaging in the media, and that members of government has also been engaged in such since the attacks, condemning an entire group of people, as the enemy reinforces the message that they are not actually people, but an entire group. I eat less than human and okay to harm. The one sided monolithic messaging treats conflict and war like sport. And this isn’t the Jets playing the Niners here, you can appreciate that innocent Israelis deserve to live in peace and defend themselves without condoning the use of war crimes apartheid in genocide. You can also support innocent Palestinians being protected from unnecessary attacks in retaliation for Hamas, and having the opportunity to live in peace and to thrive. While I understand that neutrality and silence side with the oppressor. I know this isn’t sports. You don’t have to be all in for the win of a nation. In fact, you can’t be if you proclaim to be all in for preserving innocent human life.

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