Jeff Kingma

The recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas has sent shockwaves across the world. Due to the surprise slaughter and hostage-taking of innocent Israelis have caught both Israeli and U.S. intelligence by surprise. Therefore, leading to a rising death toll of at least 1,200 in the country, including the tragic loss of 22 American lives.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities believe that up to 150 civilians have been seized and taken over the border to Gaza. This new chapter in the long-standing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians threatens to exact a heavy toll on both sides, and it raises critical questions about the U.S. role in the region. The Palestinian territories, including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, remain lands mostly surrounded by Israel, where Hamas has been labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. since 2006. As Israel vows to destroy Hamas, there is a growing fear of an escalation in civilian casualties among both Palestinians and Israelis.  

President Joe Biden’s recent decision to provide military aid to Israel has divided opinion. While he seeks to rally American support for Israel,I oppose this decision. I believe the military aid could be better spent on addressing critical domestic issues, such as homelessness and mental illness especially in African American poverty-stricken communities.

The allocation of $6 billion in aid to Iran in exchange for the release of U.S. hostages has raised concerns for me about the potential indirect support for Hamas through Iran. This war is not just an international relations crisis; it’s also a public health crisis with far-reaching consequences. Civilians, including noncombatants, continue to bear the brunt of war’s horrors. 

The era of social media has brought these horrors closer to our screens, exposing more people to traumatic events. Witnessing such events can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, highlighting the pressing need for a resolution to the conflict.  It is essential to remember that this war is not simply about the struggle for Palestinian liberation. Instead, it has become a senseless cycle of violence that threatens the lives of both Palestinians and Israelis. This violence, driven by political and religious tensions, must be acknowledged for what it is: terrorism.  

Furtherly, what is alarming is the lack of widespread discussion and awareness on social media. People need to understand the root causes of the conflict, the suffering it inflicts on both sides, and why it persists. The war may seem senseless, but it is essential to recognize the complexity and history behind it. 

Finally, while this conflict may be seen by some as a prophetic event, it is our collective responsibility to seek peaceful solutions to end the violence and suffering. Whilst, the fighting may intensify, and the scenes from Gaza may be hard to comprehend, but dialogue and diplomacy must be the ultimate goal. In a world connected more than ever, we must remember that the cost of inaction is measured not just in dollars but in human lives and the long-term stability of a region that yearns for peace.