The Student News Site of Heschel School




Israel Must Fight a War for Peace, Not Continue the Cycle of Radicalization

In a recent assembly, the Heschel high school hosted IDF Maj. General Nadav Padan, father of senior Jonny Padan, for a Q&A session regarding the current war in Israel. 

One of his key points was that no matter what tactical victories the Israeli military achieves, “we can’t kill ideas.” This implies that after any operation–no matter how successful–terrorist groups like Hamas will persist. I couldn’t agree more. 

Israel and Hamas have been fighting since the terrorist group’s founding in 1987. Through all of the bloodshed, a pattern has emerged: a Palestinian attack radicalizes Israelis, leading Israel to retaliate, which in turn radicalizes Palestinians.

This cyclic radicalization causes both sides to be less likely to compromise and leads to an increase in force used in each new attack. After Oct 7., the IDF is now even less concerned with collateral damage than before. 

Since the start of the current war, the Israeli Air Force has struck mosques and school buildings where Hamas stores weapons and launches rockets. Until now, these types of public buildings have been considered safe havens for Gazans. Many fail to see or care that these kinds of strikes only increase radicalization within the population of Gaza and expedite the cycle of violence.

The best way to cut the cycle is an international effort to help people on both sides unlearn the radicalism that they have been taught. People are products of their environment. If children are raised by ultra-nationalist parents, they will spread that message to their children and so forth. Most people in Israel and Gaza are good and humble people, and should ultimately stand for peace and reason. However, this cannot happen in Gaza until Hamas is dismantled, and in Israel until people can look beyond the horrors of Oct. 7, as they did after the Yom Kippur War by signing a peace treaty with Egypt.

For Israelis, the introduction of such a program would not be easy logistically, politically, or emotionally. However, if Hamas is eliminated not only in its capabilities but also in the continuation of its ideas, Israel may finally be able to curate a lasting peace.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Helios

Your donation will support the student journalists of Heschel School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Helios

Comments (0)

All Helios Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *