The killing of a Palestinian journalist needs to be investigated and prosecuted
On May 11, 2022, Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian/American journalist for Al Jazeera, was killed by the Israeli military. She was wearing a flak jacket with “PRESS” on it. Israel’s official position is this was accidental. They claim she wasn’t targeted but are also refusing a full inquiry into her killing.
A free press is essential to the functioning of any democracy, whether it is here or elsewhere. In areas like Palestine/Israel, it is even more crucial because the world needs to be able to see what is happening there. When Vladimir Putin of Russia executes journalists, the West expresses its justifiable outrage. When Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist with the Washington Post, the world expressed that same outrage, though the United States did almost nothing. With Abu Akleh’s killing, we need to take a real stand.
The evolution of my thoughts about Israel
I know the entire planet is dying to know what I think about the Israeli/Palestinian issue. How have people lived so long not knowing this? (This is sarcasm if you aren’t sure.)
Some people will assume that because I criticize Israel that I am antisemitic (for the purposes of this piece I am using the general definition of that word so that it means anti-Jewish sentiment and actions). I know people who feel that way. Nothing justifies the recent wave of antisemitic actions in the United States or elsewhere.
I grew up on Long Island. My entire worldview was influenced by the people around me, and many of my friends and neighbors are Jewish. We began learning about the Holocaust when I was in the second grade. The idea that Israel should not exist made as much sense to me as the idea that life on Earth is not carbon-based. People supported the Palestinians? Not in my universe.
The first person I knew who did support the Palestinians was my mother. How did I not see that when I was younger? She left when I was about three and I didn’t really see much of her. I spent weekends or summers (sometimes) and holidays with her but not enough to really understand her ideology. I am not even sure now if she actually supported them or told me she did to piss me off. By the time we had our ̶d̶i̶s̶c̶u̶s̶s̶i̶o̶n̶ fight about this, I was still on Long Island and she…