The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


War for a Home

A war against Hamas has been officially declared

On Oct. 7, 2023, Israel declared war on Hamas, a terrorist group, after Hamas bombed and stormed the walls that were built around the Gaza Strip. Hamas raided villages, homes, and even a music festival in Israel. During their attack, Hamas took more than 100 hostages, at least ten of whom are Americans. The numbers have risen to more than 200 in the last couple weeks. On Oct. 20, two American hostages were released, their names are Judith and Natalie Raanan. In retaliation for these attacks, Israel responded with airstrikes over the last couple weeks throughout the Gaza Strip where Hamas is said to be operating. Israel’s airstrikes have brought down entire residential areas.

According to a poll done by NPR, PBS, Newshour and Marist National, 48% of American Millennials and Gen Z support Israel, 40% are neutral and 12% criticize Israel. Older generations have been more openly supporting Israel, about  83% of Baby Boomers support them, 14% are neutral and 3% criticize Israel.

“War is just indiscriminate,” Daniah Hammouda, English teacher and Palestinian, said. “A lot of the people who have died in this specific war right now, are children.”

The Israeli government — in order to get the hostages that were taken during the attack — shut off Gaza’s supply of water and electricity after declaring war, in hopes that Hamas would give back the hostages. Israel’s acts have been condemned by much of the international community, countries like Jordan and Egypt. While countries like France, Germany, and the U.S. have condemned the acts of Hamas.

“Hamas and Palestine are separate entities,” Tad Lambert, a member of BBYO (A Jewish Teen Organization), said. “Hamas is a terrorist group, Palestine is a group of people.”

President Joe Biden on Oct. 18, 2023, made a wartime trip to Israel where he would talk with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urged Israel and Egypt to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, he also made a promise to provide $100 Million in aid to the Palestinian people. Congress has still not provided funding for this. The next day after his visit President Biden would make a 15 minute long broadcast inside of the Oval office.

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

This war is one of many in the last 80 years between Israel and Palestine. Israel was made into a Jewish state by the United Kingdom, who shortly after WWII gave the land to the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. That state that had already been promised to the Palistinians for their support against the Ottoman Empire during WWI. Ever since then, there have been dozens of wars to gain that land back. 

“Both Jews and Palestinians have had claims to that land at different times,” Lambert said. “They both believe that they should get it.”

Many Palestinian’s have spoken out against the extreme measures Hamas has taken. Many Israelis have spoken out as well, criticizing their government for the way they are treating the Palestinian people. 

“A lot of people keep referring to it as a conflict. We have never seen it as a conflict.” Hammouda said. “We see it as an occupation. We see it as settler colonialism, I see it as a humanitarian conflict.”

This war overseas has been particularly traumatic for those with close ties to the area like Lambert and Hammouda.

“I saw a video of this man holding his dead baby. The buildings all around him are exploding and people are screaming. But nobody cares if it’s not their baby.  Nobody cares if it’s not their baby,” Hammouda said. “But why are we like that? As human nature, why do we only care when it’s our baby?  Why don’t we care when the injustice is happening to other people? Because injustice is a bouncing ball. Today it’s me, tomorrow it can be you. Your freedom is wrapped up in my freedom, so collectively we need to care about this. But unfortunately, we as Americans are conditioned to think that only we matter. And only our life matters. But when people are dying overseas, it’s okay, it’s fine, they deserve it. It’s their fault for living there.

According to PBS, more than 8,000 people have died in Gaza and according to CNBC 13,500 people have been injured since the war began on Oct. 7.

“I’ve seen a lot of stuff online,” Lambert said. “I’ve had to take a few breaks from social media, because one, it’s so hard to go and watch these innocent Palestinian and Jewish lives brutally killed. But it’s also hard to watch the general public’s reaction to it. To see Jewish organizations make posts about the innocent lives and atrocities of both the Palestinian and Jewish people. Hamas is killing innocent Palestinians too, and then having people just flood the comments being like, they’re getting what they deserve, free Palestine, Israel had it coming. It’s just hard.”

The war has caused death and destruction to rain over Gaza and Israel, innocent men, women, and children are being killed everyday as the clash between Hamas and Israel goes on. 

“In a world full of hate, don’t be the person that makes the issue worse. Be the person that brings the peace,” Lambert said.

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