Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU student protests against terrorism at the Hague

On Saturday, Feb. 21 I boarded a plane in Fort Lauderdale headed towards Amsterdam to join 50 other Israeli students who are part of a special organization called Israel at Heart. Israel at Heart is an independent entity whose single concern is the wellbeing of Israel. It was created and is funded by Joey Low, a Jewish-American businessman.

The main goal of the organization is to promote a better understanding of Israel to the public at large by sending young Israeli college students to America, Canada, and Europe to talk about their lives and experiences in Israel.

On Dec. 8, 2003 the United Nations general assembly requested the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on the legality of Israel’s security fence being built around the West Bank. More than 30 countries including Israel, America, the European Union, and Australia submitted affidavits saying that this issue does not fall under the jurisdiction of the court and it would be a grave misuse of its powers to issue an advisory opinion on it. The stance of these countries is that the issue is political and not legal. It needs to be resolved by direct negotiations between the two parties.

But once again the pro-Arab majority at the UN manipulated a UN body to condemn Israel for simply trying to prevent the slaughter of its citizens. We decided we would be there to protest and to highlight that what needs to be put on trial is not Israel’s security fence, a non-violent measure to prevent suicide bombers from entering

Israel, but Palestinian terrorism. What country in the world wouldn’t erect a fence after more than three years of unrelenting Palestinian terrorism that has taken the lives of 935 Israeli citizens, Jews, Christians and Muslims?

On my way to Holland I was thinking about what to expect, but nothing could have prepared me for the experience I had. On Monday, Feb. 23 we marched with over 100,000 people down the streets of the Hague all the way to the International Court of Justice. Nine hundred and twenty-seven of us carried a picture of an Israeli that was murdered by Palestinian terrorism, symbolizing the 927 Israeli’s that have been killed since the start of the violence three and a half years ago.

I carried a picture of Moshe, my commander in the army who was shot to death by two Palestinian terrorists exactly two years ago. As I was carrying his picture up high in front of the court, I was thinking to myself how absurd it is that inside that court the supporters of terrorism, like Saudi Arabia who don’t even provide their own citizens the benefit of a judicial review process, are using the court to condemn the victims of terrorism for simply trying to protect themselves.

Why is the court singling out Israel’s actions? It is obvious that there are many other countries that have built fences to protect themselves, like India along its border with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Botswana and Zimbabwe, yet the International Court has never ruled on them. The one-sidedness is blatantly clear. It was present with the Dutch authorities as well, when they allowed the pro-Palestinian protestors to use means that weren’t allowed to the pro-Israel protestors.

But it was inspiring to see so many people turn out to show their support for Israel and to tell the world that the security fence is a manifestation of Israel’s basic commitment to defend its citizens.

We met people from France, Belgium, England, America and Israel, Jews and non-Jews, all with a passion and a will to tell the world that Israel is just in its action to build a fence meant to prevent innocent Israelis from being blown up in busses, cafes, pizza parlors and malls.

Outside the court was a burnt-up bus that was flown to the Hague a month after a suicide bomber blew it up, killing 11 innocent Israelis and wounding many others. It was a strong symbol of the pain and suffering that Israelis are going through. It was also there to spark the question, “Why are human rights of Israelis not part of the equation?”

We spent three days protesting, attending press conferences, participating in an alternative court hearing, talking with officials of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and listening to two U.S. congressmen who came to monitor the proceedings at the court.

I felt our presence there was important and contributed to the battle for public opinion. We, as Jews and Israelis, will continue to fight for our right to life, for our right to self defense and self determination in the only homeland for the Jewish people: Israel.

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