The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

Thirty-two years ago, the Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat traveled to Israel in hopes of seeking a permanent peace settlement with the Jewish state, with President Jimmy Carter acting as arbiter, in what is now known as the Camp David Accords.

This cost Sadat his life. A militant Islamist would later assassinate the Egyptian president over the agreement after a fatwa was issued by an influential extremist cleric calling for his death.

Such is the path that the “road plan for peace” has taken; indeed, it seems that two steps are taken backward every time one step is taken forward.

The situation has not improved much. Although Israel is not at war with Egypt or with any other Middle Eastern nation at the moment, the Gaza Strip remains under control by Hamas, and Israel Defense Forces have been targeting parts of the Gaza Strip for some time.

People have to ask themselves why so many Palestinians have abandoned the nationalist Fatah and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in order to support Hamas. Without a doubt, part of it had to do with the corruption that started to become rife in Fatah.

But the majority of Palestinians have turned to Hamas out of desperation. The organization only began to really grow after the Oslo Accords resulted in nothing short of abject failure.

Why were they a failure? The reason is simple: The two-state solution will not work. The Jewish settlement movement in the West Bank has done much to blur the lines between what parts of the Palestinian territories are truly owned by Palestinians and which are owned by Jewish settlers.

Additionally, while the Palestinians will perhaps receive more self-determination by being allowed to govern themselves, the Palestinian state would likely only exist as a rump state with only the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as theirs.

What needs to happen instead is that Israelis and Palestinians must coexist and live in one state, together. Only then will there truly be peace in the Holy Land.

Perhaps we won’t have to wait too long for this: Demographic trends show that there will come a time where Israel must decide whether or not it wishes to regard itself as a Jewish state or as a democratic one.

Frequently overlooked by the United States’ media is the horrific nature of the world in which Palestinians must live in and deal with on a daily basis.

Most Americans, unfortunately, do not pay as much attention to Palestinians’ suffering as we do other issues, and we ignore the innocent blood spilled both intentionally and accidentally, such as during the Gaza War earlier this year.

I believe that, with student clubs such as the Jewish Hillel on campus supporting Israel, there is a need for a strong voice showing solidarity to the Palestinians.

I believe that a voice sympathetic to the Palestinian people is something that ought to be heard, and yet is rarely the loudest voice we as Americans hear. We should work to rectify this.

Just because Israel is an important ally in the region does not mean they are sacrosanct and immune to criticism, either.

After all, this is a free country, if but nominally so, and it’s necessary for Americans to hear two voices, not one.

Jaron is a Junior history major from Thomasville. Contact Jaron at  

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