Perspectives-Winter 2022-1

In the middle of the night the police stormed the house. They threw stun grenades, dragged out and arrested residents. By sunrise the police had demolished the building. Rahaf Jaradat, Mohanned Jaradat’s daughter and research coordinator in Saskatoon, tells The Sheaf that when people hear about “fights” or “scuffles” in Palestine they are really hearing about Palestinians protesting limitations on their freedom. PROTESTS AROUND THE WORLD Articles like the one in student newspaper, The Sheaf can be a small glimmer of truth in a media landscape studded with bias on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rahaf Jaradat touches upon the pro-Palestine protests around the world to help people see the reality of Palestine. Recently there have been protests in the streets of Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, and more. “Palestinians themselves are saying that spreading awareness and medica coverage is helping them – these actions contribute to change.” –Rahaf told The Sheaf. People in different groups often misjudge the motivations of others. This phenomenon is seen in Israel and Palestine along with many other conflicts throughout the world. In this section, we illustrate this common cause of struggle via various current events. THE BLOCKADE OF THE GAZA STRIP Israel and Egypt have blockaded the Gaza Strip since Hamas gained control of the territory in 2007, a year after winning a Palestinian election. The blockade has devastated Gaza’s economy, caused widespread destruction, and left most people largely cut off from the outside world. What is a blockade but the act of sealing off an area to prevent people from leaving or entering? Judaism teaches us that it’s wrong to mislead people by use of a “stumbling block.” The Hebrew expression Lifnei Iver means that behavior—such as the institution of a blockade that may lead others to sin—should be prohibited. Treating people this way does not seem to be a path to peace. Treating Palestinian families this way after first making and keeping them refugees does not seem consistent with treating others as we would want to be treated. In the tit-for-tat violence, the side that made and keeps Palestinian families refugees from their homes doesn’t hold a moral high ground. WINTER 2022 7