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Kentucky Kernel

The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

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Editorial: A plea for peace: A ceasefire in Gaza is imperative

A man stands in protest for the lives killed in Gaza holding a sign that reads ‘ceasefire now’ on Nov. 7, 2023, in Frankfort, Kentucky. Photo by Matthew Mueller | Staff

It is time for a ceasefire in Gaza. We must put an end to the bloodshed and suffering.

The Kentucky Kernel Editorial Board reached an unanimous decision and believe a ceasefire is not a sign of weakness but a courageous step towards peace for the region by leaders who prioritize the well-being of their people over political agendas and power struggles. 

More than 30,000 people have died in the hostility between Israel and Palestine since Oct. 7, 2023. Of those lives, 29,782 were Palestinian and 1,200 Israeli, according to The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

In the midst of Israel’s 57-year occupation of Palestine, it is high time that the world, the international community and the leaders of both nations come together and demand an immediate ceasefire. 

This is an issue that has plagued the region for generations, which started in 1948 after the mass displacement and dispossession of Palestinians during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, according to the U.N. It is more urgent than ever to put an end to the cycle of violence. 

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas initiated a surprise attack on Israel resulting in the deaths of 1,200 Israelis. Following this attack, the Israel Defense Forces’ response to the conflict has persisted, according to Aljazeera.

The escalation of violence in Gaza has resulted in suffering, loss of life and devastation throughout this long-standing conflict. Israel has attacked hospitals, schools, churches, homes and safe zones, according to The Associated Press, leaving these families without somewhere safe to go.

Some of these families include journalists working to survive every day in their own backyards. As journalists, our first obligation is to the truth, and it pains us to see our fellow reporters being killed for doing just that — a job that we aspire to do every day. 

In nearly five months, 88 journalists and media workers have been confirmed dead by the Committee to Protect Journalists, 83 of whom are Palestinian, two Israeli and three Lebanese. According to Reuters, this surpasses the total number of independent journalist deaths in the six years of World War II and the 20 years of the Vietnam War combined. 

Aside from the lives killed by acts of violence, Gaza has now entered a state of humanitarian crisis because of the lack of aid allowed into the city, according to the Red Cross. The entire population of Gaza — 2.2 million people — is experiencing food insecurity at a crisis level, as well as a lack of clean water, proper sanitation and shelter.

Innocent families are experiencing the repercussions of this crisis and are reaping the consequences of other people’s actions. PBS reported that two-thirds of those killed were women and children, most of whom have no control over political decisions and conflicts.

The scars of this violence will leave a lasting impact on the younger generation, making it even more challenging to achieve lasting peace in the future. It is only through dialogue and diplomacy that sustainable peace can be achieved.

However, a ceasefire by no means would be an end to all turmoil in the Middle East. It is important to recognize the role of the international community in supporting the peace process. World nations can help to rebuild trust, provide humanitarian assistance and ensure that both Palestinians and Israelis are guaranteed a peaceful future.

In November 1947, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution dividing Palestine into two states: one for Jews and one for Arabs, with Jerusalem placed under the administration of the U.N. The Arab nations rejected this proposal and in response, Jewish militias initiated assaults on Palestinian communities, resulting in the displacement of thousands of individuals, according to the U.N.

On Feb. 20, 2024, the AP reported that the United States voted against the UN resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The U.S. must use its influence to push for a ceasefire and create the conditions for meaningful negotiations toward peace. 

Both nations have concerns and grievances, but these must be addressed peacefully and a ceasefire is an opportunity to break the cycle of violence and move towards a more hopeful and secure future for all.

The people of Palestine and Israel deserve to live in a region where they can pursue their dreams, raise their families and build a better future. A ceasefire is the first step toward that vision. The violence must stop, the guns must fall silent and the path to peace must be taken.

Amidst the bloodshed, we call on all parties involved to set aside their differences, prioritize the well-being of their people and come to the table to discuss peace moving forward. A ceasefire is not a sign of surrender but a demonstration of strength and a commitment to the future.

Let this be the turning point where the world says “enough” and works together to bring an end to the suffering in Gaza, paving the way for a brighter and more peaceful future for all.

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  • A

    Amy BrooksFeb 29, 2024 at 8:40 am

    I could not be prouder of our award-winning student journalists for publishing this important statement. As a Jewish staff member at UK who is alarmed by the silencing of Palestinian voices in our community, thank you for your humanity and moral clarity, Kernel Editorial Board.

  • A

    Anne G. WoodheadFeb 28, 2024 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you so much. Wonderfully said. Very well done. You have made your own courageous peace piece.

  • E

    Elisabeth CutrerFeb 28, 2024 at 10:10 am

    Beautifully said. It takes strength to stand for peace.