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The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Students grapple with issues raised by war

Due to the ongoing war between Israel and Gaza, student unions like the Middle Eastern and North African Student Union (MENASU), Muslim Student Union (MSU) and the Jewish Student Union (JSU) have met to create safe spaces for students.

In addition, on Oct. 19, the MSU gave a presentation with the goal of fostering education on the history of the region.

According to AP News, “The Israel-Hamas war has resulted in the deaths of over 18,400 Palestinians, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled territory, which does not differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths. Israel says 113 of its soldiers have died in its ground offensive after Hamas raided southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 240 hostages.”

President of the MENA Student Union, Sarah Faik, perceives that a lack of information and attention towards the conflict is horrific.

“It’s been hard to find the words to describe [the war] because it’s genuinely so horrifying and with the amount of deaths and humanitarian crisis calls that have been made, no one’s really talking about it or doing much about it,” said Faik.

She has first hand observed the sorrow the conflict has brought to the community.

“I have Palestinian friends and family friends that are definitely dealing with a lot right now. I think it’s just a really sad and honestly depressing time for everyone,” said Faik.

Junior Malika Brotherson, a member of Arab Student Union, Black Student Union and Sisters of Color puts emphasis on the importance of acknowledging the history of the region.

“It is important to continue to talk about the fact that this did not start on October 7, but has been a 75 year aggression against the Indigenous people of Palestine,” said Brotherson.

Co-president of JSU, JJ Klein-Wolf, thinks it is important to have open conversation with peers of all backgrounds. She appreciates that community members have avoided making assumptions about her beliefs.

“It’s been nice that there have been a lot of students, specifically Palestinian and Arab students who have recognized I am Jewish, but I am not a supporter of the Israeli government,” said Klein-Wolf.

She is concerned that some students are not fully informed on the complexity of the conflict.

“There are a lot of students who do not identify as Arab, Palestinian or Jewish who do not understand the full scope of the issue that assert certain beliefs or feelings onto myself and my community,” she said.

Klein-Wolf advocates for members of the Lincoln community to understand and be informed about the words that they use when talking about the war. She has noticed that sometimes people use terms interchangeably, leading to misinformation and misunderstanding.

“There is not a lot of literacy between Israel, the Israeli government and Jewish people. People think that you can use these terms interchangeably. While I am Jewish, I am not Israeli and I don’t support the Israeli government,” said Klein-Wolf. “When we are using them as interchangeable, synonymous terms, it is only going to alienate all the communities further and make us feel more separated and disconnected.

“At its core, the power of love and community care and coming together to understand one another is what I think we need at this time.”

Faik believes that having an open discussion about the conflict is vital because it can lead to deeper understanding.

“I think people are not talking about it enough,” said Faik. “People need to get educated because when something like this happens, being silent is a part of complying with the issue.”

Junior Tayo Abodunrin is a part of Brothers of Color, Arabic Honor Society and took part in the presentation by MSU. He believes that the community should be looking at diverse news sources due to what he perceives as bias within Western media.

“Look at outlets that aren’t mainstream or Western media because those obviously are heavily biased towards the Israeli side. Look at international media and the Arab side,” said Abodunrin.

Brotherson believes that criticism directed at the Israeli government is often misunderstood as antisemitism and also emphasizes the instances of Islamophobia that have occurred because of the continued conflict.

“What has been frustrating is the continued merging of the criticism of Israel’s violent aggression against Palestinians with antisemitism, which it is not. Along with anti-Arab racism, there is also a very strong presence of Islamophobia,” said Brotherson. Whenever someone says terrorists it always seems to be a reference to Muslims especially since I have been called a terrorist for wearing a scarf at times or speaking arabic. It’s hard to say but Islamophobia has always been there.”

Klein-Wolf encourages people to come together and empathize with one another during the ongoing war.

“At its core, the power of love and community care and coming together to understand one another is what I think we need at this time,” she said.

As published in The Cardinal Times’ October issue, “Students can learn more about the current situation and the vast history of the region through the Global Conflict Tracker and the United Nations.”

Student Unions continue to be a place for students to gain support from peers. A directory of student union, club and affinity group meeting times can be found here.

Other mental health resources are available to students at Lincoln, including the counselors and the school psychologist.

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Addison Locke
Addison Locke, Managing Print Editor
Addison is a senior this year. She is excited for line dancing, and loves going up to random people in the hallway and asking for their opinions! Contact by emailing [email protected] and put the reporter's name in the subject line.

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