In the past few weeks, since Hamas invaded Israel, sparking an unjust war, this ever-lengthy conflict between Israel and Palestine has been a topic that permeates discussions and conversations, sparking fervent debate among students and faculty of Gzaat. The multifaceted nature of this interesting geopolitical affair has given rise to a spectrum of opinions, reflecting, in the microcosm of the American Academy, the multitude of perspectives that characterize broader global discourse all over the world.
At the heart of the war's casus belli lies a historical narrative that predates the modern conflict by thousands of years, rooted in the struggle of a nation vying for legitimacy and sovereignty in a land with profound historical and religious significance: Eretz-Israel, the promised land of the Jewish people.
Israel, as a state, has endured existential threats since its inception (right after the Second World War), grappling with challenges of hatred that transcend mere territorial disputes. While acknowledging the undeniable human cost on both sides, Israel's military actions are driven by a need for self-defense in the face of constant threats.
Within our student body, diverse worldviews and varying levels of information have given rise to a kaleidoscope of perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"I find it important to look at this situation from an objective perspective," says Sandro Kakabadze, a 10th-grade student. "Hamas, an entity that controls the Gaza Strip, has attacked Israel with the intent of killing not only Israeli military personnel but also civilians. Israel has every right to respond to this destructive enemy, besieging it until the last member of Hamas is killed."
Many GZAAT students are highly supportive of Israel; on a purely emotional level, it is hard not to feel empathy for the Jewish people who have experienced so much persecution through thousands of years of history.
There is, however, the other side of the aisle: many students support Palestine, identifying with their perceived striving for freedom as a small nation, likely associating this strife with the history of our Georgian nation. Israel is surrounded by large Arab nations all around, who have dominated the region for hundreds of years. "Palestine" is a proxy state of these Arab nations. Israel is a struggling small nation (in fact smaller than Georgia) with a distinct cultural heritage, attempting to survive the colonial whims of large neighboring empires; much like Georgia.
"I support Palestine. Israel has committed terrible war crimes in the Gaza strip, shooting and stoning children," says Giorgi Akhobadze, an 11th-grade student.
"I don't know much about the war and I'm not too involved in stuff like this," said another student. Many students say they lack sufficient information to form a definitive opinion on the conflict: eager to learn more, most GZAAT students seem committed to participating in proper and informed discourse.
Today, as Palestine wages war on Israel through its puppet organization, Hamas; as they tear apart families, destroying civilization, murdering, raping, and pillaging, abandoning all those values that make us human, my voice goes out to the Jewish people, who have stood strong for thousands of years and will continue to stand strong in the face of unjust persecution.
Upon these values, the Nation of Israel was founded in 1948. The final verse of the Israeli anthem reaffirms this eternal commitment to human values:
"Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free nation in our own land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem. "
We live today in a democratic society, where through free discourse and self-government, monsters, and heroes are made by ordinary men. The strength lies in the hands of the people, in public opinion. We must stay informed, shape righteous opinions, and uphold the founding principles of human civilization.
Edited by: Sofi Asatiani