Thursday, July 17, 2014

Community Discussion Highlights ASP's Global Awareness

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The Mass Media class held a discussion during lunch on Tuesday to confer about community members’ interpretations and curiosities in the Palestine-Israel global crisis. Tacos were eaten and intellectual conversations were exchanged.

Community members talked about many aspects of this conflict, they most frequently discussed how the unrest could cease, and which side is responsible for taking actions. Greg Cowan, an ASP student who participated in the discussion, stated that “it’s less of a question of who started the conflict and more of who is going to end it.” There was a strong consensus, from many participants, that Israel needs to take the first steps towards peace.

Although many people could agree that the burden lies on Israel, not everyone shared the same opinion as to why. Bowman Dickson, the Simpson house supervisor, who lived in Jordan for four years, argued that the conflict between Israel and Hamas persists as a reaction to Israel’s consistent expansion of land. When asked about potential solutions, Bowman commented “First thing is to stop building settlements. They’re indications that they’re (Israel) not taking the peace-plan seriously.”

Many people also agreed with Bowman’s statement that the increase of Israeli settlements on the Gaza strip is the primary contributor to this conflict. Greg added, “I think the perpetuation of the conflict has definitely been Israeli expansion.”

Other individuals argued that Israel needs to move towards peace because they’re economy is financially sound. It’s well known that Israel has one of the most advanced militaries in the world. The Israeli Government is also in possession of a special technology called the “Iron Dome,” which allows air strikes to be monitored and then eliminated, keeping the Israeli casualty rate at almost zero. 

Student, Jack Sheffer chimed in, claiming “currently Israel is the most capable (of change).” Bowman stated “Israel is like the sixteenth most powerful military on earth. Palestine has no money, Israel controls the borders. They’re the ones who actually have the power to change the dynamic.” Devon Washington, a writing workshop intern, also agreed that “being in power, Israel is going to have to make the first steps towards change.”

Following the lead of their discussion leaders and the facts presented to them, community members debated passionately. The lower dining hall filled with chatter until past 2:00, when the final participants ended their conversations. It was a wonderful display of ASP democracy and global awareness.

For more information on this conflict, check out the “Israel Palestine Conflict” podcast on the Media Machine 14 blogspot.

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