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The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

Should the U.S. be sending weapons to the Israeli government?

Julia Jensen/ Art Director

After many years of festering ethnic and religious tension in the region, full-blown war between Israel and neighboring Gaza began in the Middle East on Oct. 7. This conflict began when Hamas, the illegal paramilitary organization that has been serving as the de facto government in Gaza since 2007, launched a surprise offensive on unsuspecting Israeli military outposts.

Since the formal declaration of war on Israel by Hamas that followed the day after these attacks, vicious and deadly attacks and bombings have been launched by both sides on one another. Both sides have virtually limitless vitriolic hatred for one another, and this conflict has put this hatred at center stage for the entire world to see.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with the utmost military aggression in response to the Hamas attacks, unleashing the full arsenal of Israeli artillery and infantry into the war. According to The Guardian Defense and Security Editor Dan Sabbagh, the Israeli Defense Force, or IDF, called upon 300,000 members of the reserves to join 170,000 active-duty soldiers along Gaza’s northern border to prepare for an invasion of Gaza’s northern territory.

According to Netanyahu, the goal of this counter-attack is to “crush and eliminate” Hamas. He advised the 1.1 million Palestinians living in the region to evacuate the northern part of Gaza and flee to the city of Rafah, in the South.

Soon after this warning was issued, Israel made efforts to stop food transport, cut off the water supply and disrupt the access to electricity that Palestinian residents rely on to survive. It then commenced a bombing campaign that has reduced the majority of northern Gaza to merely a heap of rubble. 

The prevention of access to resources that are vital to life by the Israeli government has quickly created a massive humanitarian crisis in Gaza. One Al Jazeera article reports that the restriction on resources in the region has caused hospitals to become overrun, painkillers to no longer be available to those injured by the conflict, extensive food scarcity and the shutdown of a water desalination plant that served over a million people. 

“Food is running out, warehouses are all empty,”said Safwat Kahlout, an Al Jazeera journalist. “In the few supermarkets that are open, most of the shelves are bare. There is also a shortage of water.” 

The evacuation issuance by the Israeli government appears to have been nothing more than a formality. The Israeli military has bombed the southern region of Gaza despite advertising it as a safe haven for Palestinian refugees. It has also deprived innocent civilians of the resources they need to live and has even bombed the evacuation route that Israel told bystanders to take. 

Israel has been a long-standing and valuable ally of the United States since its endowment as the Zionist homeland in 1948. As a result of this, the U.S. has sent Israel advanced weaponry and military technology for many decades. 

This U.S.-manufactured military technology has been employed in the Israeli attacks on Gaza and defense against Hamas. The U.S. has sent munitions and weapons and bolstered the country’s highly advanced Iron Dome defense system with state of the art interceptors.

U.S. weapons are being employed in the Israeli war effort, and this war effort consists of directly killing innocent civilians and indirectly killing them by depriving them of access to resources they cannot live without. Blood is on American hands whether we like it or not, and any continued aid we offer to the Israelis is a direct endorsement of their actions, which I believe to be unethical and immoral. 

The absurdity of America’s reckless financial involvement and irresponsible provision of military technology for this war is demonstrated in the fact that U.S. missiles are being used against U.S. missiles. The U.S. gave Iran around $6 billion to release U.S. prisoners — money that is now being used to finance Hamas. 

What is especially troubling is that President Joe Biden is only doubling down on requesting money to send to Israel for the war. On Oct. 19, a CNN broadcast captured Biden’s address to the public, where he detailed a plan to request an additional $10 billion from Congress to send to Israel. 

“History has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay the price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and more death and more destruction,” Biden said. “They keep going, and the costs and the threats to America keep rising.” 

This was just his second Oval Office address in his stint as president. 

 Israel’s continued use of US military technology in the killing of innocent Palestinians and in insidious efforts to deprive them of resources comes in violation of its obligations to protect civilian persons in the time of war, as enumerated in the Geneva Convention. The treatises of the convention have been in place since 1949, and outline the “rules of engagement” for how citizen’s of the country you are fighting should be treated in war time. 

Children are being deprived of food and medicine by the Israeli blockade, which is a direct violation of the treatise in the Geneva Convention, which requires a nation to ensure access to “essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics” for children in areas that are under siege. 

We cannot possibly continue to endorse the Israeli’s violative and inconsiderate conduct in this war if we want to consider our nation to be the protector of human rights and freedom everywhere, that we so often strive to be thought of as a country. If we continue to send money and aid to Israel we are condoning and abetting in the murder of these Palestinian citizens by supplying the weapons that will dig their graves.  

As a result of this, I believe that the U.S. should immediately cease sending money, military technology, and weaponry of any kind to the Israeli Government. 


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