J Street U breaks down Gaza conflict

J Street U USC held a discussion Thursday night in Seeley G. Mudd Hall entitled “Groundhog Day in Gaza: What Drives Cycles of Violence Between Israel and Hamas and How It Can End” concerning the future of the Gaza region in light of this past summer’s outbreak of violence.

Expert opinion · Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, spoke to students about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Thursday.  - Samhita Swamy | Daily Trojan

Expert opinion · Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, spoke to students about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Thursday. – Samhita Swamy | Daily Trojan

The event featured Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine.

“We are a Washington, D.C.-based office of six people who believe that the focal point of the issue has to be American foreign policy and American national interest,” Ibish said.

J Street U is a national organization that advocates for long-term peaceful solutions to the conflict in the region. The USC chapter is one of more than  50 and began in the spring of last year.

“The reason we brought it [to USC] was because we recognized that there was a vacuum of discussion on campus,” said Yasmeen Serhan, co-founder of USC’s chapter and special projects editor of the Daily Trojan. “There wasn’t a space for us to really discuss the pragmatic steps being taken on the international level, so we felt like bringing this organization would provide students a space to respectfully discuss the issues.”

About 35 students from various demographic backgrounds attended the discussion.

“I came to the discussion because I was interested in hearing both sides,” said Mackenzie Gansert, a senior majoring in political economy. “I think it’s really important that we have a dialogue on campus, and this was the first time I had heard of such dialogue going on. I thought it was really interesting to hear the perspective of someone who has written books on this topic.”

Specifically, J Street U supports a two-state solution in which the sovereignties of both Israel and Palestine can be respected separately.

“Our purpose is to support a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with an independent, secure state of Israel alongside an independent, secure state of Palestine,” Serhan said. “Ibish has a very solid understanding of this issue. He really does focus on the Middle East region as a whole, which allows for an analytical, philosophical perspective.”

Ibish expressed his concern with both Israel’s and Hamas’ aggression actions throughout history, which have often involved territorial occupation.

“Israel and Palestine both have a right to defend themselves, but occupying an enemy territory is an illegal imposition on a people who deserve, and have every right, to live in freedom,” he said.

Estee Chandler, an organizer for the L.A. Jewish Voice for Peace, expressed concern with Ibish’s stance on U.S. national interest in the region.

“What would happen if [the United States] had an outside entity imposing a solution on us?” Chandler asked.

Chandler also disagreed with the notion that the region must necessarily split into two states.

“Whether two states or one, the outcome should include security, justice and equality for all people,” she added.

Ibish, however, said he felt a two-state solution was necessary to bring stability to the region.

“I’ve becoming disenchanted with the one-state solution,” Ibish said. “We’ve had a single state since 1967, and it’s awful and immoral. The people there are non-citizens. They are living in fear. There’s no way to tweak this reality we have. Something revolutionary needs to happen there, and the only way I can think to do it is by having two states.”

The J Street U USC will be having its next discussion at Ground Zero on Oct. 27 at 6:00 p.m.


2 replies
  1. Arafat
    Arafat says:

    “Why is it Muslims are free to violently conquer lands
    anywhere and everywhere without a word of protest from American Muslims, or any
    Muslims or any liberals?

    But if Jews have a legally established homeland Muslims and
    Liberals and their ilk will never stop protesting against it? Why is this do
    you suppose? What explanation can be given other than as the Qur’an states
    repeatedly that Islam’s goal is to establish a worldwide caliphate in which all
    non-Muslims are subjugated.

    For instance, Mohammed was born around 571 AD thousands and
    thousands of years after Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism existed. But within a
    few centuries of Mohammed’s birth Islam had violently conquered vast sections
    of Asia, all of North Africa and smaller sections of Southern Europe.

    Now Muslims tell us that all this land belongs to them even
    though, for instance, in Afghanistan they killed every last Buddhist who once
    lived there. According to Muslim logic per Israel shouldn’t this land belong to
    the Buddhists?

    Or in North Africa all the Berbers have been forcibly
    converted to Islam or have been killed and now we’re told all this vast
    landmass belongs to Islam. That’s interesting, if not completely hypocritical.

    And what about Southern Thailand. Did anyone know that in
    the last several years something like 5,000 Buddhists have been killed by
    Muslims because, or so we’re told, the land the Buddhists are on belongs to

    And Southern Russia? Muslims are relentlessly waging a slow
    reign of terror in Russia because, you guessed it, Russians are treating
    Muslims poorly and they should give up the Southern section of that country to
    Muslims since Islam deserves all lands.

    Or, let’s take Sudan as another example. How many millions
    have been killed in Sudan? How many babies and children have starved in Sudan
    while Islamists steal the food from aid compounds? How many women have Muslims
    gang-raped in Sudan all because that land belongs to Muslims and only Muslims.
    All other people can go somewhere else to live, I guess. They can go to South
    Sudan, but wait a minute, now Muslims are killing the people of South Sudan

    And Kashmir? The same. Despite Hindus having lived there for
    3,000 years – something like 2,000+ years before Mohammed was born – Muslims
    tell us Kashmir belongs to them. Amazing logic isn’t it? Muslim logic, I guess.

    And that brings us to Israel. Israel also belongs to Islam
    too. Did you know that? It’s true. Just ask a Muslim or a liberal if you
    prefer. Even though it’s no bigger than a small pimple on the caliphate’s ass
    it is still their land and they will fight to the death to prove their point.

    Doesn’t the logic here make a lot of sense. Isn’t it as
    clear as day? Of course it does. The world belongs to Islam and we’re mere
    players on their stage.

Comments are closed.