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It’s both fascinating and ironic how many people unanimously agree on one of the foundational causes of the Israel-Palestine conflict: that the Palestinians are an oppressed people.

However, where we disagree is where this oppression gains life. The standard answer by the hateful and misinformed is that the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria — the West Bank — is the main culprit for Palestinian anguish and its waning human rights.

But what this line of thinking has done is create a tongue-in-cheek situation that causes more pain and suffering for the Palestinian people. It diverts all focus from the evil that is the overwhelming source of Palestinian oppression: their leadership.

For those who take a side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I must ask, what are we doing? Muslims and Jews are dying over the most preventable reasons since polio. This insanity is the culmination of all the moving parts in the Middle East, the West and across university campuses that have created this reality that sees no end in sight.

My dear activists, what we have created is a status quo that sees two unrelenting sides driven by passion and emotion to defeat a side viewed as evil. What we have created is a gang war.

There are few discrepancies between Fatah and Hamas, the dictatorial parties ruling over Gaza and the West Bank respectively.

Both parties have hijacked Palestinian classrooms and have implemented curriculum on why I, a Jew, am literally the devil in flesh. The media in the Palestinian territories are wholly operated by their overlords and produce news segments that discuss how I “bake my matzah with the blood of Arab children” and kids TV shows that demonstrate how to properly stab me in the neck.

This is a heartless philosophy being shoved down the throats of Palestinians that eliminates any semblance of co-existence as a possibility.

A pariah group such as Hamas should not even be close to the second-richest terror organization in the world, yet it is.

The Palestinian leadership within Fatah and Hamas has been caught stealing billions from their own people countless times, yet we say nothing.

No group of people in the history of mankind has received more humanitarian aid than the Palestinians.

How is it that the Palestinians have received a sum of aid 15-times larger than the Marshall Plan, yet live in relative squalor?

Why is The Jerusalem Post reporting that there are 15-year-old Palestinian boys stabbing pregnant mothers of six and then being officially honored as heroes?

Why are Palestinian leaders living lives of luxury when their constituents live so poorly?

If you still believe settlements are the main perpetrator for Palestinian oppression, I suggest you re-examine your motivations in standing with the Palestinians.

Israeli and Palestinian sympathizers at UCF must stand together to defeat the architects of this status quo that produces nothing but death and sorrow.

We must do so for all those who have suffered as well as for those who inevitably will if we continue down this path.

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Ben Suster is a contributing columnist for the Central Florida Future. 

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