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Why I Refuse to Stand Neutral on the Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Statement Without Mention of Either Side.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

Over the past week, all my social media platforms have been full of posts about the conflict and current events happening in Palestine/Israel. This influx of information can be overwhelming and if you do not belong to either group, it can be hard to know which side to ‘choose’. A lot of people choose to stay neutral due to the uncertainty or lack of information. 

While staying neutral may seem like the reasonable thing to do, it gives up your voice. Your voice is a powerful tool, and as US citizens that live in a democracy it is our civil duty to educate ourselves. Being neutral about a cause is not the same as supporting a cause. Would you rather be on the right side of history or the neutral side of it?

Think back to elementary school, remember when teachers warned us against being a bystander? When someone is being bullied, turning a blind eye and not helping makes you part of the problem.

With all the media, it’s hard to tell the truth from fiction. It’s really important that you learn to differentiate this to avoid being manipulated. Every group has an agenda, and you do not want to fall victim to a harmful one. Think of historic conflicts and how staying neutral resulted in negative effects. 

Think of historical times where the ‘public opinion’ wasn’t right at all, but society was made to believe so. During slavery, people genuinely saw no issue in discriminating based on race. This was because of all the propaganda and media used to spread this mindset. Language such as “animals” was used to convince society and justify horrific actions. Similarly during the Holocaust, those that protected and hid Jewish people in their houses were participating in ‘illegal’ actions. These examples show that something simply being a law or public opinion does not always make it right. Propaganda is a real thing and it can trick both me and you. 

These conflicts involve real human beings’ lives. This makes it such a high stakes situation. Our ignorance will cost us greatly.

It can be easy to make assumptions based on a few online posts. Beware that assumptions can make an a*s out of you. How would you feel if another person’s actions defined your character, even if you had no control over them? Well, people from Muslim/Jewish groups are not fully represented by Palestine/Israel. One country’s government cannot represent an entire religion/ethnicity. Remember that. 

As you see media, make an effort to check sources, elevate the information and form your own opinion. Step in the shoes of both groups, how would you feel in either position? 

Although many people are hearing about this conflict for the first time this week, it has been ongoing for 70 years. Look up the history, understand past events, check the numbers. Do not take the easy way out. 

Ask yourself important questions such as; 

  • What is the media showing? Is this the full story? 
  • Is this real information? Can I find evidence that this happened? 
  • What is the media not covering? 
  • Why are these things happening? Who is responsible? 
  • What have politicians said about this? 
  • What have people experiencing this first-hand said about this? 
  • What doesn’t add up? What more do I need to learn abou
  • Is this information fact? Is this information using tactics (such as tugging on human emotions) to manipulate me? 
  • How is the media wording things? What language is being used? (‘animals’, ‘killed’ vs ‘dead’, ‘terrorism’) Educating yourself is not easy, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Continue to strive advocating for all human rights.
Hala Abdelrazek

Illinois State '24

Hello everyone! I am a current Junior at ISU. Things I enjoy would include: baking, reading, crafting, and watching tiktoks; halaabdelrazek8. I hope to graduate and work as a Secondary Mathematics teacher. However, due to my love for journalism as well, I am eager to write for HerCampus and be part of this community:)