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Davis, California

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Guest opinion: Sana Benharchache

About a month ago, the Star of David was drawn on the Palestinian flag that stands true on the mural located at Memorial Union. This vandalism of the Palestinian flag should not and will not be forgotten. Yes, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a huge mess, and I can see why it may lead to some confusion among individuals. But I believe that a flat statement of facts will downsize this confusion and lead to some clearing among the foggy skies of the Middle East.

So let’s go back from the beginning and define Israel’s prime ideology: Zionism. In a nutshell, Zionism was created to bring the Jews together, under one land, which we are forced to call Israel.

Here we are already presented with a problem. If a country like Israel really does represent peace and justice for all, then why aren’t all the other inhabitants of that geographic region presented?

Reality is: Israel has one of the strongest air forces in the world, the most advanced nuclear weapon program in the Middle East and their economy is doing great. On the other hand, the Palestinians live in extreme poverty. It was reported by Oxfam International that 46 percent of Palestinians do not have enough food to meet their needs. These people live with less than 50 cents a day! This itself is enough to wave the Palestinian flag and plea for a free land.

My point is, ladies and gentlemen, drawing the Star of David on top of the Palestinian flag is wrong and very offensive to not only Palestinians, but to all of humanity. The settlements, the checkpoints and the wall that separates the “Palestinian territories” and the Israeli land are illegal according to the Geneva Convention laws. As Israel continues to expand, the Palestinian people continue to lose rights to their own land and property. Unfortunately, no one dares to utter a word. The Palestinian issue is very sensitive and thousands of Palestinians have died throughout the conflict. B’TSELEM, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights, calculated that for every 1 Israeli killed, 6 Palestinians were killed under Israeli hands. Now I ask you: With this information, is it really right to draw the Star of David on the Palestinian flag?

I say, absolutely NOT! The Palestinians deserve their right for justice and the dove of freedom raising the Palestinian flag will hold true for years to come, symbolizing the old man who stood true to his olive trees, blocking them from an Israeli bulldozer out to demolish them, or the young Palestinian girl drying up her tears because her crayons were broken after the Israeli checkpoint searched her bag as she made her way to school.

Yes, the Star of David used to represent oppression during the Holocaust. But after being imprinted on the Israeli flag, it has become the symbol of the oppressor.

As far as representation goes, the Israeli supporters in America believe that they’re the ones being oppressed. Last time I heard, Time magazine covered the luxurious life in Israel and Israelis commented outright, “Hey, we’re living the life.”

SANA BENHARCHACHE is a UC Davis senior neurobiology, physiology and behavior major.


  1. Wow, it never ceases to amaze me how Israel’s supporters can convolute information in such clever ways so that they can work in their favor. Why is there not a single Jew living in Gaza? Why would an Israeli citizen live in slums when he can move into a brand new home built on the roots of ancient olive trees? Either you are intentionally pretending to be ignorant to what is really happening, or sadly blind to the truth. The reason for the constant increase in Palestinian populations in Israel is due to the fact that Israel is absorbing Palestinian lands into its own on a daily bases. Even when Israel agrees to put a hold on expanding its settlements to save face when approached with international criticism, it returns to expelling Palestinians and bulldozing their homes as soon as the rest of the world turns its back.

    I agree with your statement about Arabs in Israel having lives better than some in Middle Eastern countries, but only because you again choose your words carefully. This is in reference to the few Arabs which are actually allowed the privilege to live in Israel as second class citizens, not the ones which are being imprisoned by an 8m wall.

    I also don’t understand why both Mash and Storerview even bring up religion. Judaism, Christianity or Islam; these are irrelevant. What is relevant is the oppression which is taking place under the Israeli colonialism known as Zionism. I believe this is the issue Ms. Benharchache has succeeded in bringing to our attention. Storerview, you confirm this yourself when you draw parallels between Afghanistan, a nation and people which have been ravaged by the wars and oppression of colonialism to the point that they are now socially and economically crippled, and Palestine. Do you not realize that the Middle East is infected with “fundamentalist, homophobic, sexist, and violent societies” as you put it thanks to precisely the type acts Israel and other colonial powers have committed in the region under the cover of spreading democracy?

    All anybody asks is that oppression and discrimination be combated equally firmly everywhere, without double standards or exceptions. We can have confidence that justice will prevail in the end, for history has shown time and again that even the greatest world powers collapse when tyranny becomes the policy by which they govern.

  2. Well You’re absolutely Right Sana.. iT’s OBVIOUS That the Palestinian People are SUFFERING everyday from the jews abuse, and that’s a fact that nobody can ignore !!

    but the Problem is that “the world’s most powerful country” wich instead of helping the palestinians, is delivering an incalculable amount of US weaponry and a biannual update of artillery without forgetting the newest F16 Fighter jets technology all this is scheduled to sail to Israel.. WICH is killing innocent people everyday….

    The question is: where is justice.. ??

    PS: iSRAEL iis Nothing without the U.S.A’s support !

  3. Hey Mash, Trust me no Palestinian advocate has the time and energy to go around campus and disrespect Jewish symbols. They have their own problems to worry about. But I do agree with you on one thing: People should read up on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They should also go and see for themselves, with their own eyes, what’s REALLY going on 🙂

    As for you Storer, If my article was garbage why did you spend precious time to read it? You’re right, Palestinians have forgotten what Human Rights are because they apparently haven’t seen them since 1948 so you’ll have to excuse them! And as for your Jewish Democracy theory, your ignorance on that topic is ALMOST pathetic.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I can assure you that Israelis DON’T CARE about Democracy for Palestinians. They said it outright! Go read the papers! Give them a phone call and ask them. They’re living a great life full of peace and fortune and could care less if the Palestinians live or die. And that’s pretty shady for a group of people who should be the first to know about oppression 🙂

  4. Although there is not much else to add in the way of rational opinion(the above comment, and I sincerely hope readers will pursue those neutral sources), Ido have to say that I was completely disgusted by this article. “then why aren’t all the other inhabitants of that geographic region presented?” What does that garbage mean? Arabs in Israel have some of the highest quality of life in the Middle East, which is historically made up of fundamentalist, homophobic, sexist, and violent societies which inflict the worst pain on their own citizens. If the Jews are the oppressors, than why are Arabs allowed in Israel while Jews were forced to flee for their lives elsewhere in the countries of the middle east? Why liberals support Palestine is a mystery to me, because it is the type of society they would usually protest against. Give up Israel to the Arabs, and what you would have is Afghanistan with an seafront view. The reality is: Palestinians don’t care about human rights, they would rather have Palestine in ruins, just as long as there wasn’t a Jewish democracy in it.

  5. I’d rather be a Muslim living in Israel than a Jew in any Muslim country.

    Muslims in Israel are given all the rights of citizens, including the right to vote and serve on office. !2 Arab muslims serve on Israel’s Knesset, the legistlative branch, a full 10%! There are no Jewish citizens in Palestine, and, if they get the state they want, there never will be. Currently there is not a single living Jew in Gaza. Not one. Gaza is completely Judenrein. Now I ask you, who’s ethnically cleansing who, when the Palestinian population in Israel grows annually while the Jewish population in some Muslim nations has hit zero.

    As for poverty, Palestinians are living far, FAR better than people in countries like Yemen or Egypt. How can you blame Israel for that? Remember, when Israel pulled out of Gaza, they left behind irrigation systems, plumbing, farmland, hospitals… everything the Palestinians could need to survive. Hamas burned it all down, and has built nothing. By focusing your hate on Israel, you are ignoring the Palestinians’ number one enemy: their own extremists.

    As for the Davis incident, you seem to have already forgotten the many atrocities committed on this campus against Jews and Israelis. Several swastikas were painted all over this campus last year, and then there’s the arson of the Hillel by pro-Palestinian students a few years back, and the spray painting of “Free Palestine” on a sukkah in the quad. The Palestinian groups on campus have a lot of bad karma coming their way for their hate crimes in the past. Never forget all that Israel has done for peace in the middle east, and all the horrors Arab nations have done to both Israelis and Palestinians for their own benefit.

    I encourage all students not to take my or Sana’s words blindly. Do your own research, from neutral sources, and try to hear the minority voice (which, in the case of Aggie articles and world media, is the pro-Israel one). You may be surprised with what you learn.


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