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.