San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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Hamas-Israel War and its Impact on American Students


On October Seventh, of this year, Hamas attacked a festival of Peace and Love filled with thousands of young Israelis. Terrorists managed to kill over 260 people, and 199 hostages were kidnapped, forced to live under brutal conditions until further negotiations. Whether you were hurt or not, being at the festival you can imagine would have been very traumatizing. Attendees had zero idea what was coming for them. 

When an attack this sweeping occurs, a ripple effect will always follow. However after this particular raid, the impact was truly striking, especially at American universities across the nation. 

At a college as prestigious as Harvard, I know I am not just speaking for myself when I saw I was shocked to hear hundreds of students signed a letter from the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee, claiming Israel was “entirely responsible for all the violence” that took place on October seventh.  

Along with this act of anti-semitism, at Columbia University—another Ivy League—an Israeli student was violently attacked with a stick outside the library. 

Whether you are pro or anti Israel, it is important to realize that in the scheme of things, what Hamas did and is doing is not okay. Taking Israelis and assaulting them in all forms and types of ways is not okay, and overall a pathetic war weapon. 

On another hand, some colleges have been majorly supporting Israel. Former San Marcos High student, Zoë Silverberg, has been raising money for this important cause. 

“Here at Tulane University, many different student groups have organized fundraisers, vigils, and marches in solidarity with Israel,” She explained to me. “As director of service and philanthropy for my sorority Pi Beta Phi, I did a bake sale and lemonade stand with the Jewish fraternity (ZBT) on campus. We donated all proceeds to Magen David Adam, the Israel EMS and paramedics, and were able to raise 2,400 in just 3 hours! On Wednesday, October eleventh, Tulane Students Supporting Israel, Hillel, and Chabad organized a march, which had an incredible turnout. At a school with about 45% Jewish population, there is a great community to support Israel.”

While talking to Zoë on the evening of October sixteenth, I came to the realization that there are more connections to Israel than I originally realized. “I went to Birthright during the summer of 2022 and eight IDF soldiers later joined our group. Two of the girls know many people who attended the rave festival, some who were unfortunately either kidnapped or killed,” Zoë said sadly.  

Additionally, previous student Levi Cooper’s cousin Talia Berman was supposed to go to Israel for a year-long gap year program. “[After Hamas attacked the South of Israel], my plans were changed and my flight got canceled. It is so scary to think that if I had gone to Israel just 2 days earlier, something very similar could have happened to me, and my other friends in the program. Many of my friends were already in Israel, along with my brother and grandparents. They hear sirens everyday, and often have to spend time in bomb shelters,” Talia described. “Israel is small. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who is dead. It is all heartbreaking.”

Israel is approximately the size of New Jersey, which is the eight smallest state in America. Also, Israel is a very new country—it was only founded in 1948, in the middle of nowhere. Since being founded, Israel has offered the whole West Bank to Palestinians, making the reason as to why Hamas attacked Israel quite confusing. Dr. Mark Silverberg (father of Zoë Silverberg) wrote an opinion letter to the New York Times reading, “Why is Israel the only country in the world that gets invaded and needs to defend itself for defending itself?” 

However, it is a very scary time to live in Gaza. Despite the cruelty shown by some Palestinians, not every single person from Hamas and the West Bank is bad. It is common to stereotype one terrible person into a whole group of horrible people, and that is unfortunate for all the Palestinians who are innocent. 

Hopefully this article helps you realize that before you just make your opinion, you should do your research. You never know the other side of the story, and how it impacted families, friends, and spouses. Stay safe royals, and remember to give the benefit of the doubt to everyone.

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About the Contributor
Gemma Cooper
Gemma Cooper, Staff Writer
Gemma is a sophomore at San Marcos High School. This is her first year writing for the King's Page. She joined journalism after reading the articles, and deciding she wanted to be apart of the writing behind it. Her favorite things to write about include school news, fashion, and lifestyle. Her favorite subject in school is language and sport. When not at school, Gemma enjoys spending time with friends, swimming at the beach, and reading.
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