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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, April 20, 2024

MisCONceptions: Peace in our times?


Editor’s note: MisCONceptions is a column with four contributors. This article was written by a guest author, Nicholas Femia.

This past weekend, we saw more violence in the Middle East. Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group that receives support from the Iranian government, fired thousands of missiles over the border of the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, killing hundreds and injuring thousands. Israel has declared a state of war after the attacks.

Israel, the only Jewish-majority nation in the world, was created in the wake of World War II to serve as a haven for Jews after Nazi Germany’s genocide of the European Jewish population during the Holocaust. Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, is located in the West Bank territory claimed by both Israel and Palestine and is considered one of the holiest locations for three major religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

According to religious texts, Jews have been displaced from the Palestinian region throughout history after controlling the land in Biblical times — making the Levant, the eastern coastal region of the Mediterranean, a logical choice for the establishment of a Jewish state. However, in the thousands of years since Jews left or were removed from the region, Palestinians came to possess the territory. United Nations Resolution 181, created as a compromise to allow Palestinians to maintain around half of their territory while leaving the governance of Jerusalem up to an international commission, was seen as unsatisfactory to the surrounding Arab-majority states, who unsuccessfully waged a series of wars on the new nation. These wars led Israel to gain control of the Palestinian territories and Jerusalem.

I am glad to see elected leaders, both Republican and Democratic, including President Joe Biden, condemn Hamas’ vicious assault on the Israeli people and stand with our allies in Israel.

The attack by Hamas has implications far beyond the Israeli-Palestinian borders. Iran, which supports Hamas and has condoned its attack on Israel, is currently aligned with Putin’s regime in Russia and has been accused by the United States of providing aid to Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

Last week, the pro-Ukraine House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted by a coalition led by Florida Representative Matt Gaetz and a group of largely far-right MAGA Republicans. Since then, the United States Congress has been virtually paralyzed, unable to continue providing assistance to Ukraine or to support our allies in Israel. This inability to act only further fuels global chaos inflicted by authoritarian regimes abroad that perpetrate and support such violence.

If the United States Congress cannot respond to this war in Israel or keep supplying aid to Ukraine, will there ever be peace in this world? Surely, a “peace” achieved through the success of the Putin regime in Ukraine or a victory for terrorist groups in the Middle East is no peace at all. Victory for regimes that govern through terror and chaos results in a loss of freedom, and a loss of freedom is not peace. Enemies of freedom are likely to take advantage of the infighting taking place among Republicans in Congress, which may have contributed to the attack on Israel this past weekend.

Peace in our times is only possible if the United States can rise to the occasion to provide it.