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Hebron High School News Online

The Hawk Eye

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Print Edition

Opinion: Every statistic is a life

It’s not conflict, it’s genocide
Sophomore+Sakina+Macklai+and+her+friend+Sahar+Noor+attended+the+protest+at+the+Akard+Plaza+on+Oct.+15.+Macklai+and+Noor+went+in+hopes+of+spreading+awareness+for+Palestine.
Courtesy of Sakina Macklai
Sophomore Sakina Macklai and her friend Sahar Noor attended the protest at the Akard Plaza on Oct. 15. Macklai and Noor went in hopes of spreading awareness for Palestine.

It’s a different number. 

One day it says 6,999, and, in a matter of seconds, it changes to 7,000. 

Sitting in the comfort of my home, it just looks like a number rising, but it is so much more than that. Every number is a life, and every rise in that number is an increase in lives lost. These are not just any statistics, but they are lives that are being drastically changed every second. 

The “Hamas-Israeli conflict” is one of unnecessary violence and genocide, and the U.S. needs to acknowledge the value and loss of life on both sides.

The surprise attack on Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7 resulted in at least 1,400 dead. After Hamas attacked Israel, Israel retaliated, killing 704 people in a mere 24 hours. 

With losing 704 lives in one day, and 704 families being affected, 704 civilians have to pay the cost of something they cannot control. The death toll in Gaza is constantly rising, sitting at around 7,028 as of today – 2,913 of which are children who were killed by Israeli assault. 

In a response from Texas senator Ted Cruz, he states his viewpoint on the ongoing genocide. However, Cruz only brought up the lives lost in Israel. (Saahir Mawani)

The definition of genocide is “the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.” Texas senator Ted Cruz said, “[Israel is] at war in response to a genocidal assault by the Iran-terrorist group Hamas,” which means the 1,400 lives lost in Israel are considered a “genocidal assault.” Meanwhile, the over 7,000 people lost in Palestine are either considered “war casualties” or not important enough to be mentioned.

People have used different terms to label what is happening, and there is a constant debate on what it actually is. Some have said conflict, some referred to it as the “Israel v. Hamas War,” and some have thought of this as genocide. There are ten classified stages of genocide – there is an explanation and answer as to why it is truly a genocide. 

Stage one and two are classification and symbolization. Israeli law strictly classifies Palestinian and Jewish populations as separate groups. Stage three is discrimination, which is shown as Palestinians in different areas have different rights. Stage four is dehumanization; Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant said, “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food… everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.” 

Stage five is organization; the Israeli army is highly organized and has many allies, unlike Palestine. Stage six is polarization, which includes spreading hate propaganda. Israeli journalists are to be arrested if they are “harming national morale.” Stage seven, preparation, is about making plans for mass extermination. The U.S. is supplying Israel with military aid, which can be seen in the attacks on Gaza. Stage eight and nine are persecution and extermination as the Israel siege brought millions close to death due to the shut down of necessary resources and displacement. Israel has dropped the equivalent of a quarter of a nuclear bomb on Gaza as well as releasing white phosphorus in civilian areas. 

Last is stage ten: denial. People are constantly referring to this as “mass killings” though the two are not synonyms. The statistics are there, and they aren’t just numbers — they’re lives. The median age in the state of Palestine is 19.6, people are constantly dying before experiencing adulthood. Land you have to kill for is not yours, but land you have to die for is. 

With this rhetoric, America is continuing to feed into the harm that is costing thousands of Palestinian people their lives. As a nation, we have given billions of dollars to Israel, and only a mere number of millions to Palestine. Israel has allies, money and power, while Palestine doesn’t even have half of their resources. Regardless of what each nation has or the choices being made, human lives are human lives, and people are people. Both nations are consistently losing civilians, and that is not OK by any means. Being a nation as powerful as we are, The United States of America has to use their power for the better. 

It’s unfair to the civilians of both nations, to those around the world who are losing friends and to those who live their lives around the world, not knowing if their family, in either Israel or Palestine, will survive. It’s unfair to the 2,913 children who never got to grow up and over 1 million people in Gaza who have been displaced. But it is also unfair to those 1,400 Israelis who lost their lives. 

It’s devastating that there are civilians who went from having a home they shared with their family to seeing body bags in ice cream trucks because local morgues are full

Due to attacks from earlier today, the largest telecommunications operator was disrupted and the Gaza-Strip is now experiencing a near-total blackout. No internet, no communication; this is the largest disruption to their connection to the outside world since the start of the dispute. 

I urge you, reader, to repost on social media, do your research, donate to charities and stay educated. Even companies such as Starbucks and McDonald’s are being boycotted around the world to make a difference. Starbucks is suing its union, Starbucks Workers United, after they posted “Solidarity with Palestine” following the Hamas attacks.

It’s time we use our voices, as a collective, and stop sitting in silence against clear injustice. These aren’t just numbers or over-exaggerated stories, they’re real people dying on either side. Using our voices to speak up and spread awareness can help make it possible for a newborn to make it one more week, or a teenager to experience adulthood. 

Our voices have the power to save lives, but choosing to be silent is doing the exact opposite.

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About the Contributor
Shiren Noorani
Shiren Noorani, Opinion Editor
Junior Shiren Noorani is the social media manager and this is her second year on staff. In her free time, she loves to travel with her family and play basketball.

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