OPINION: Should Israeli Settlements expand in the West Bank?

Should Israeli Settlements expand in the West Bank? It’s a controversial question. As a Middle East Studies scholar, Israelis and Palestinians need a state where both parties are equally represented in politic decisions. Moreover, I think the settlements should be integrated such as America has integrated communities, work among other communities and aim to develop and support a culture of tolerance. You do not have to like everybody but respect is fundamental to any type of successful interpersonal relationship. At the end of the day, land disputes are about greed and as someone who comes from a heritage of diaspora, I understand that both groups have gone through challenges as well as defeats, but there comes a time when you cannot simply go off the past. Be present for the future and learn from the past to make way for a better tomorrow. This is that moment for Israelis and Palestinians to come together to set up healthier relationships between each other. At the end of the day, you cannot take the land with you after death but you can work together now so generations following can truly reap the benefits of the land together. Below are great videos from Vox.com. One explains the history of Israeli settlements ( Israeli settlements explained in 8 minutes) and the second gives first hand encounters from those known as Israeli settlers.

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Human Rights in Syria: Should the U.S. intervene in Syria?

By Briana Booker

Human rights violations are happening in Syria.  Many Americans are against  the U.S. Intervening in Syria. Do I believe the United States of America government should intervene in Syria with military action?

In my honest opinion, I believe intervention is necessary. I believe we cannot turn a blind eye as chemical warfare used on innocent people.

Who will protect these innocent people from their own government?

The Syrian government has the upper-hand and the citizens are helpless.

I know a U.S. military strike can cost millions of dollars. I know U.S. militants could die in the process of protecting Syrians.

I know there are no winners in war.

But my soul believes in doing something when injustice happens to the vulnerable.

With that said, I also know there are great risks that come with a Syria intervention.

Here are some of the risks:

  • Any U.S. military strike against Syria could stack up the civilian casualties even more. This is why the U.S. government has to make a careful, wise decision.  The U.S. government must come up with a target list that truly will dismantle the corrupt Syrian government.
  • Syria is having a civil war. If Assad feels the civilians are gaining an edge on his military strikes, he will increase the initiative to massacre more civilians so that he may break down his opposition.
  • More chemical weapon usage. Anyone that believes Assad isn’t using chemical warfare is living in a fantasy world. People don’t foam from the mouth without cause.
  • If the U.S. strikes are ineffective, Assad will appear stronger to his allies.  Remember, power is all about perception.
  • Democracy as we know it doesn’t work too well in the Arab world. We cannot take strike on Syria with the goal to make it a mini America.  The U.S. has very little allies in the Arab world. We do not need anymore anti-American movements in the Arab world.
  • The chemical weapons Assad is using on his own people can fall in the wrong hands after the regime collapses. When trouble comes, the chemical weapons will sell fast. There’s always the chance a more horrible villain will take Assad’s place.

With all the risks at hand, I still believe an intervention is necessary.

I believe the U.S. government needs to protect Syrians because  the United States is a world leader and we say we stand for human rights.

When we say we stand for something, we have to show we stand for protecting human rights. Otherwise, we down play our creditable as true leaders of human rights.

What’s happening in Syria is a genocide. It is a war crime, a crime against all humanity.

More than 100,000 Syrians have already died at the hands of their own government. 5 million Syrians are already displaced.

2 million Syrians are now refugees because of the atrocities the Syrian government has committed.

If this civil war continues to escalate Christians, Sunnis, Alawites and other groups in Syria could become victims of genocidal violence.

Yet we are okay with the international community ignoring  cries for help by Syrian civilians?

I am not okay with that.

When we allow injustice to happen, we volunteer ourselves to repeat history.

Do we save lives or do we say “not our problem,”?

Would we want the world to ignore our cries for help if our government violently attacked us?

I think not.

If you are not familiar with R2P, also known as the responsibility to protect,  you need to get familiar.

R2P allows the international community to protect civilians from governments that fail to protect civilians or willingly attack their civilians.

Under R2P, military action is  a last resort and the U.N. Security Council must approve of military action.

However many in the Arab World believe R2P actually helps regimes to harm their civilians by impeding the process for civilian protection.

But the high level of political involvement correlated with R2P can help subdue violence, from diplomatic efforts to outright military action.

In the case of Syria, I think diplomatic efforts are out of the question.  No conversation is going to stop Assad from slaughtering civilians.

Syria we  should have addressed two years ago with R2P when the Assad Regime shot protesters to death. Now, it’s out of control.  It is time to dismantle the Assad regime. I think it’s time for a military strike and not just from America. The international community needs to come together about this crisis.

What are your thoughts? Should we intervene or not? Why?

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Giveaway: Free Guitar Purse From ViolettesByBecky.com

It’s Giveaway time for all you fashionista out there! Violettes By Becky is having a giveaway on the a brand new guitar purse! Here it is:

Win a Free Guitar Purse from ViolettesByBecky.com!
Win a Free Guitar Purse from ViolettesByBecky.com!

Enter the drawing for your chance to win this gorgeous handcrafted guitar purse!

All you have to do is Share and Like this Facebook Page: ViolettesByBecky then head to the official website www.violettesbybecky.com to send your email address to the contact us page!

The guitar purse giveaway runs until Monday July 1st, 4:00 PM ( EST) ! Good luck!

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Government Legitimacy: Protecting Human Rights In The Arab World

By Briana Booker

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a government legitimacy conflict.


The protection of human rights by government is not being upheld.

A rule of law that protects human rights of Palestinians and Israelis has implementation potential (whether a one state or two state solution).

Which statehood would truly legitimize Palestinians and Israelis’ human rights?

There are two proposed state solutions. One is a bi-national state where the two groups agree to power-sharing but have distinctive collective identities within one polity.

The other proposed solution is a single democratic polity where ethnic and national distinction would not exist between civilians.

What state do I believe would work best in the long-term?

I think the single democratic polity without ethnic distinction would work best because it removes collective entitlements and focuses more on personal rights. Individual rights are components of universal human rights we can all appreciate. It’s America morals.

Individual rights are components of universal human rights we can all appreciate.

I feel an Israeli rule over a Palestinian majority is out of the question. Peaceful resolution can never come from schemes of coercion.

Prominent Zionist leaders did favor a Jewish rule over Palestinians such as Chaim Weizmann and Chaim Arlozoroff.

This idea reminds me of racial movements and separatism in America.

I do believe a well-balanced political institution of Palestinians and Israelis is an effective conflict resolution.

This political process can begin with training the youth to focus on social/political compromise for the greater good.

If neither group has over representation in political institutions, ambiguity about ill intentions towards one group could be prevented.

The core problem between Palestinians and Israelis is accepting unilateral actions as the only means of getting their needs met.

Unilateral actions are the reason bi-nationalism has failed in history.

If human rights are the focus, it could legitimize the needs of both groups. Empathy for others can transform foes into friends.

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