Pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Washington D.C.'s Freedom Square on Jan. 13. Photo by Khalid Alsadek

I’d like you to join me in submitting a ceasefire resolution to SGA

Israel’s war in the besieged Gaza Strip has left over 32,000 Palestinians dead, mostly women and children, since Oct. 7, the day when the Palestinian Militant group Hamas invaded Israel, killing almost 1,200 people and taking roughly 240 hostages with them back to Gaza.

Since then, Israel has also killed 103 journalists in Gaza, many of whom are arguably targeted alongside their families and homes.

Many have increasingly questioned these strikes as Israel punishes journalists for reporting on Palestinian suffering in the war.

Being both the Editor-In-Chief and Managing Editor of this newspaper, I find it unbefitting to not speak out against this blatant and clear attack on journalism’s core of speaking both truth to power and conveying the actions of the powerful to the public.

However, the journalism industry is not the only one suffering from Israel’s onslaught. Gaza’s Education Ministry has been hit extremely hard, with all 12 of its universities partially or totally destroyed by Israeli airstrikes.

University faculty haven’t been saved from these strikes, as three university presidents and almost 100 professors in Gaza have been killed since Oct. 7.

If this isn’t a war on Palestinian higher education, then what is? 

Universities are supposed to be safe areas where people find their purpose in life through meaningful education, free from bombardment and demolition.

Israel clearly has a difficult time understanding this.

However, I wish that was it. Israel deliberately targeted the Gaza Health Ministry, striking hospitals and ambulances, even holding some ambulances back from rushing to treat the wounded of an area struck by an Israeli missile.

A total of 20 of Gaza’s 22 hospitals have been totally or partially destroyed.

Entire residential areas, parks, mosques, churches, and town squares have also been bombed indiscriminately, with over 35% of Gaza’s infrastructure lying in ruin. Gaza is unlivable in the northern half, with over 1.9 million of the 2.2 million population effectively displaced in their own land, a textbook scenario of ethnic cleansing.

Israel has also carried out movie-like massacres in Gaza, most infamous of all dubbed “The Flour Massacre” where Israeli forces fired indiscriminately into a crowd of Palestinians around an aid truck, killing over 118.

It is becoming clearer that Israel does not wish to bring its hostages back home and destroy Hamas except as a byproduct of turning Gaza into an unlivable wasteland, ethnically and culturally cleansing it of anyone and anything Palestinian.

Some of the oldest churches, mosques, and cultural sites in the world are located in Gaza, all of whom have been destroyed. Over a thousand years of history are gone. 

It is my belief that supporting Israel’s conduct in its war is evil, barbaric, and void of humanity.

Not due to an inherent hatred for Israel and Jews, but due to the reports presented above.

I will not shy away from saying that I am probably the only Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim-American who has run the Picket Newspaper, and I hold that responsibility with great honor.

I see it as holding not only journalism’s weight and values of truth, ethics, and courage on my shoulders, but also the Picket’s tradition that is synonymous with Shepherd University’s values of understanding, inclusiveness, and creating a more prosperous and welcoming campus for all, including Palestinians.

I will call upon Shepherd University’s Student Government Association to remember that it also has these values resting on its shoulders as it represents the Shepherd Student Body, many of whom have exhibited pro-Palestinian and pro-ceasefire sentiment as Israel’s war against Hamas rages on.

Representing both the Picket and newly founded Muslim Students Association of Shepherd University, I will submit and announce the resolution to the SGA in the Storer Ballroom during the SGA’s weekly senate meeting on Tuesday, March 26 at 5:00 p.m. with you in attendance, hopefully.

All SGA senate meetings are open to students, faculty, and staff of Shepherd University.

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