The Compulsion to Take Sides in This One Conflict out of So Many is Not Innocent

Photo from the first rally by Students Supporting Israel at the University of Minnesota.

What is happening on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border? What is happening on the China-India border? How many of us truly know the details or backgrounds of different conflicts around the world? “20 Indian soldiers killed in a clash with Chinese troops at the disputed border” reads a headline from June 16, 2020. “Serious armed clashes occurred on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan resulting in the death of at least 11 soldiers from the Azerbaijani side and four soldiers from the Armenian side” reports another headline from July 14, 2020.

These above are just two examples of reports from conflicts between nations around the world. Most of the people in the West, and for sure most college students on campuses, have ZERO idea on what is going on in these places, who are the players, what are the historical facts or the reasons for the fighting. The average person does not hear much about many current international topics, let it be from TV, in the classrooms, or elsewhere.

Just regarding the initial examples, did you know that LA is the home of one of the largest Armenian communities outside of Armenia? Did you know that India and Azerbaijan are big US allies when it comes down to politics of the Middle East? Did you know that Azerbaijan shares a border with Iran who tries to build a nuclear bomb and has US sanctions on it? Do we even know what these countries fight about?

I am confident that most of us who do not know much about these situations are not rushing to pick a side, but I always wonder HOW ON EARTH it seems like everyone just knows so much about the Arab-Israeli conflict? Specifically, in the place I observe the most, which is the academic world, why are there students on campuses who spend years spreading false information about Israel? Especially, when just next door by the northern border in Syria an estimated half-million were killed in a civil war, terror group Hezbollah is threatening to take over Lebanon, Turkey is attacking the Kurds, and when around the world other conflicts happen DAILY and no one is saying a word.

All of that leads me to one conclusion. The hate against Israel around us, the compulsion to take sides in this one conflict out of so many, is not innocent. It is an industry of LIES that operates in full force around us with blood money that is being spent on it, and some naive people with extremely limited knowledge about the history of the Jewish people or Zionism, our connection to the land, or the geopolitical events surrounding the area buying these lies.

As usual, seems like when it is about the Jews, there is time to accuse the Jewish people of having a sovereign country, it is also easy to blame, and there is always time to condemn. There will be more people taking sides, and given the propaganda lies it will not be for the Jews.

This piece is written to point out the hypocrisy and double standards that Zionist students and Jewish people deal with on a daily basis, and to remind those who may be discouraged by it that no one should ever preach to us about our rights to our land, our wish to be masters of our own destiny, or what moral standards we should maintain, while not requiring the same standards from anyone else. Some activists talk a lot about justice, but they do not realize that calls for “justice” coming from Israel’s enemies are often a call to arms. So is the example of Students for “Justice” in Palestine, where it seems like this group’s only agenda on campus is not to better the quality of life of the Palestinians by looking into their internal corruption and incitement, but it is to preach for the hate of Israel calling to eliminate the Jewish state all together.

The creation of Israel, is when for the first time in thousands of years, true justice was achieved for the Jewish people. The Jewish people were not only right historically and have every single claim supporting our presence to our land, but it is also the right thing to have one state that is Jewish in the entire world, one state for a nation that for thousands of years was a persecuted minority with no equal rights. Unlike other solutions, the Zionist dream and the creation of the State of Israel is also the type of justice that made the Jewish people STRONG, and in my lifetime I will not let anyone take away from our strength as many individuals or organizations want to see the Jewish people weak again.

For the majority of students who are not familiar with Israel and the conflict it faces, I will share with you that over my years in the United States, I made many friends from different countries, some are from the places I mentioned at the beginning of this article: India and Azerbaijan. I never rushed to jump into conclusions on who is right. I always heard them out and went to read more and research more to hear the story of the other side as every side has its own story. Unfortunately, my generation often does not care to hear the stories of both sides or to do the intensive research on their own. We are falsely satisfied with the information we see on social media because it looks great even if it has zero citations, or if it has citations the sources may be very questionable. We are happy with news from Twitter because you don’t need to read more than 250 characters. We are ok with a title on Facebook. But by feeding from these types of information, we do not grow our knowledge but just get bits of propaganda, because we do not dive into details, into the core of the issue and this is what holds us back.

The Arab Israeli conflict is very complicated and the Jewish connection to Israel is much stronger than your Instagram story, Facebook post, or twitter status. I did my research, I spent years doing so and the learning never stops, and I suggest you all do your research as well.

Students Supporting Israel – SSI will keep working hard on our college campuses sharing the Zionist story and the story of the State of Israel, and we will always stand our ground because we OWN our TRUTH.

About the Author
Ilan Sinelnikov is the Founder and President of the national Students Supporting Israel movement.
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