U. South Florida Student Group: Palestinians Victims of ‘New Holocaust’

By By U Wire and By U Wire

By U Wire

Grace AgostinThe Oracle University of South Florida

TAMPA, Fla.?An enlarged photograph reveals an attack on a Palestinian man and below him, the Star of David is shown to be equal to the Nazi swastika. The photograph was one of several graphic images displayed at a table for the Students for International Peace and Justice at Wednesday’s Bull Market.

The University of South Florida organization displayed video footage from an Arabic television station and informed people about what members of the organization said is a recurring Holocaust.”

Layelle Saad, a member of the International Peace and Justice organization, said the ongoing fights in Israel have made Palestinians victims of a “new Holocaust,” and others should be aware of the deaths the media doesn’t report.

“Israelis have built a Jewish settlement, and Palestinians are treated like dogs,” Saad said. “The media only gets the point that we have suicide bombers.”

Saad said the Palestinians in Israel have fewer weapons, and suicide bombings are often the only means of defense for the Palestinian people.

“Israelis have the F-16s and tanks that we don’t have,” Saad said. “If you don’t have weapons what would you do?”

Noran Fishir, member of the organization, said not only are Palestinians becoming victims of a Holocaust, but the media doesn’t acknowledge the deaths of Palestinians as much as those of Israelis.

Above the organization’s table a poster defines the meaning of Holocaust. Fishir said a member of Hillel came to the table and told them the word could not be associated with Palestinians.

“But the definition in the dictionary doesn’t say anything about Jews,” Fishir said.

Nicky Spivak, executive director for USF’s Hillel Foundation, said the Holocaust involved genocide of Jews, and it is unfair for the Israeli Palestinian conflict to be compared to a new Holocaust.

“We don’t have a plan to eliminate the entire Palestinian race, so to compare it to the Holocaust is unfair,” Spivak said. “The issue with the Holocaust is touchy, and yes, both have been dying, but it isn’t just Palestinians who are dying.”

Alia Radwan, member of Students for the International Peace and Justice, said when a Palestinian relative is killed, it is the family’s responsibility to remove the body from the home.

“The Palestinians have to carry out the body themselves because Israelis don’t let the hospitals or Red Cross come and take them,” Radwan said.

Spivak said ambulances aren’t prohibited from traveling through areas of Israel unless the areas are found to be life threatening.

“Whether it be an ambulance, a car or a truck, every vehicle is searched, and a quarter of the vehicles [Israelis] found have suicide bombs,” Spivak said. “It is overstated that the Israeli army has gone into homes, but it is not a free for all; these are door-to-door searches.”

Spivak said the deaths resulting from the conflict in Israel are unfortunate, but everyone has to remember both Israelis and Palestinians are suffering.

“There is a loss of life on either side; it’s a tragedy,” Spivak said. “As Jews, we don’t want to see innocents dying.”

U WIRE