The perpetuating dispute between Israel and Palestine has noticeably escalated over the past two months. Despite both nations slowly reaching a resolution, US involvement seems to hinder further progress. Instead of allowing prejudice to interfere with solid diplomacy, the US government should act more as a neutral mediator.
Tension between Israel and Palestine reignited on June 30, when an Israeli search party discovered the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers buried under a pile of rocks. Hamas, the Muslim fundamentalist group currently in control of the Gaza Strip, denied any involvment, but responded to the news by praising the deaths. Despite this denial, Israel immediately retaliated by kidnapping over 300 Palestinians and raiding private homes.
According to George Conyne, American political historian, the US fundamentally favors Israel and acts as a wedge in possible negotiations. This bias most likely has to do with the US refusal to support “terrorists,” as it describes the Hamas.
While Hamas is linked to terrorism due to its radical inclinations, it is important to consider the circumstances that the Palestinian people suffer. Approximately 1.8 million people live within a 360 square kilometer area, blocked from any outside connection by the 25-feet high West Bank barrier built by the Israeli government. Though terrorism is never justified, the US government should attempt to understand the Palestinian perspective.
Furthermore, US military assistance to Israel has led to civilian casualties. On July 25, the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that of the 857 Palestinian deaths, 75 percent were civilians; Israel’s reaction to Palestinian attacks was too harsh even in retribution. The US should recognize its fault in these atrocities and halt its one-sided support for Israel.
To be fair, the US has addressed complaints about its stance by requiring the White House and State Department to more closely examine matters concerning assistance for Israel. However, as the White House controls the State Department, this act is only symbolic. For the good of the collective, the US must abandon its biased perception of Palestine and aim for conciliation.