How to talk about the violence in Israel and Gaza


The sudden and unexpected onslaught launched by Hamas militants on Israel last weekend has taken both Israel and the world aback.

Hundreds of Israelis have lost their lives, thousands are wounded, and

Israel regaining control?

Hamas continues to hold several hostages, including young children. The ongoing counterattacks by Israel have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians, with at least 90 of them being children, as stated by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. If Israel proceeds with its threat to stop the supply of food, water, and electricity to Gaza, where almost half the population is under 18, humanitarian organizations are predicting an imminent crisis.

This news is deeply distressing for all, as we struggle to understand why, with the help of NPR’s guidance, here are some ways to begin discussing this conflict.

Assess your own understanding and update your knowledge on the facts

Keeping a cautious eye when it comes to information shared on social media is important. Reading from different perspectives this helps with meaningful conversations about challenging topics involves by getting a good grasp of the situation, rather than just focusing on opinions or political views. Take some time to enhance your understanding even news sources have their own perspective/bias. Here are some suggestions:

What is the Gaza Strip?

Ha Aretz (Israeli):

Al Jazeera (Arab):
Another resource is the CQ (Congressional Quarterly).  It is a resource used by and for members of congress and it is fairly up to date. In addition, CQ researcher entries always include Por/Con arguments and lots of maps and charts and background history.


Q & A with the BBC

(Click on photo to watch video)

Books to Read:

Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak In a rehabilitation center for disabled children, twelve-year-old Nora says she loves the color pink and chewing gum and explains that the wheels of her wheelchair are like her legs. Eleven-year-old Mohammad describes how his house was demolished by soldiers. And we meet twelve-year-old Salam, whose older sister walked into a store in Jerusalem and blew herself up, killing herself and two people, and injuring twenty others. All these children live both ordinary and extraordinary lives. They argue with their siblings. They dream about their wishes for the future. They have also seen their homes destroyed, their families killed, and they live in the midst of constant upheaval and violence.

This simple and telling book allows children everywhere to see those caught in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as children just like themselves, but who are living far more difficult, dangerous lives.

Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East, Abdel Monem Said Aly, Shai Feldman, Khalil Shikaki  Written by a collection of Israeli, Egyptian and Palestinian scholars, this is a broad and brilliantly executed discussion on the topic. It provides a wider context to the situation in Gaza, situating it within the complex and ever-shifting world of Middle Eastern politics. Views are well-balanced and considered, making this an essential read for anyone new to the subject.