Lincoln students want ‘compromise’ in Palestinian-Israeli conflict

Controversy over increasing Israeli settlements in Palestine has divided many around the world, and has students at Lincoln concerned, as well.

The United Nations’ Resolution 2334 late last year stressed “that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential” for a two-state solution. However, Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to open 3,000 new settlement homes following President Donald Trump’s inauguration, according to the AP.

The new US president shares a similar stance on issues with Netanyahu. Both leaders condemned the Iran Nuclear Deal, which Trump claimed was “horrible” and “bad for Israel.” Israel’s prime minister referred to the negotiations as a “failed” deal. Moreover, Trump has pledged to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The historical city bears heated debate over who owns it. While Israelis claim ownership over the area, Palestinians disagree. The ongoing tension has resulted in thousands of casualties over the past few decades.

Jewish Student Union leaders see the conflict as unfortunate. The club’s presidents, sophomore Moriah Berkovitch and senior Maya Friedman oppose the conflict.

“Everyone on our border of Israel is not on really good terms with Israelis in general. It’s really sad,” Berkovitch says.

Friedman offers similar views.

“I want a compromise [between the Israelis and Palestinians],” she says, “I want what’s best for everyone.”

Both presidents favor a two-state solution, in which both Israel and Palestine would have independent, sovereign governments. Trump appeared to back away from long-held U.S support for a two-state solution in a news conference with Netanyahu on Feb. 15.

Sophomore Connor Fahey is also for a two-state solution, but he sympathizes more with Israel.

“Israel has to protect itself,” he says, “most regions in that area are in support of Palestine.”

He believes that Israel has good reason to be wary.

“Jews in that area are minorities,” Fahey states. He fears that “a lot of people don’t want [them] there.”

He adds that “Israel has a lot more threats than Palestine to face.”

However, Fahey is quick to remind that he “is not in support of Israel bombing Palestine.” He emphasizes that he opposes violence.

Israel and Palestine: key points

  • 1200 BCE: First mention of Israel; “Israelites” first attributed to villages in the area during the Iron Age.
  • 1050 BCE: Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerge in the same period.
  • Invaders from the Persian Empire, Alexander The Great,  Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire and Islamic Empire would respectively conquer the kingdom in the years to come.
  • Following the Assyrian Empire’s invasion, a diaspora began where many from the kingdom were exiled. This exile sparked a series of exiles years later.
  • Early 20th century: Palestinian national identity emerges, although their establishment remains a polarized debate between scholars.  
  • World War I: Ottoman Empire controls Palestine.
  • 1933: German dictator Adolf Hitler begins the Holocaust which results in the abduction and genocide of millions of Jewish people.
  • 1948: The Jewish people, many Holocaust survivors, declare independence for Israel on Palestinian territory.
  • 1967: The Six-Day War, known as the Arab-Israeli war, fought between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria. When it ends, some Israelis begin to move into Palestine-claimed territory.
  • 2016: United Nations declares that “Israeli settlements have no validity.”