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Global Dispatch: International Reporting and Opinions on Israel-Gaza Conflict Vary – JURIST

In this first JURIST “global dispatch” on a single topic, 15 law students and young lawyers from around the world, all JURIST correspondents outside of Israel and Palestine, come together to offer a panoramic view of how the current conflict is Gaza is taking place in their countries and regions. Beyond the headlines, they delve deeper into the unique perspectives and reactions of their communities and offer compelling insight into the conflict’s profound implications on a global scale. Below are their stories, organized largely by region, starting with Africa, then North and South America, Europe and Asia.

This dispatch was organized and orchestrated by Aynsley Genga, a law student at the University of Nairobi Law School, Chief of Staff of JURIST Correspondents and JURIST Senior Correspondent in Kenya. The dispatch was delivered from Nairobi on November 23, Thanksgiving Day, to JURIST headquarters in the United States. Individual opinions expressed herein are solely those of our field correspondents and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of JURIST’s editors, staff, donors, or the University of Pittsburgh.

KENYA

Aynsley Genga is a senior LEGAL correspondent in Kenya.

In Kenya, updates on the situation between Israel and Gaza have been widely disseminated and sparked widespread public discussion since the initial Hamas attack on October 7, 2023. Various news channels have covered the conflict, but a problem remains to be resolved. One of the controversial points that has emerged is the public’s tendency to align with either Israel or the Palestinians in Gaza. Much of the division and debate began on October 8 after President Ruto declared Kenya joins the rest of the world in solidarity with Israel. Many Kenyans, including Muslim leaders along with other people of Islamic faith and a good number of young Kenyans went online to show their lack of support for Israel and to criticize the president for his statement, as they believe this conflict would never have happened if Israel had arrested him. mistreat Palestinians in Gaza and those residing in Israel. The lack of support for the president’s statement also comes from the fact that there are many Muslim citizens in Kenya, and many have therefore chosen to side with Palestine. However, we also have a fair number of people, especially among the older generation, who have openly expressed their support for Israel and shared the president’s sentiments, blaming the cause of the conflict entirely on Hamas. On top of all this, after the president’s statement, many feared a backlash from the militant group Al-Shabaab to show solidarity with Hamas.

As of October 11, 2023, Kenyans who were resident in Israel, whether to work or study, all were found and the government said they would be repatriated safely. Since then, numerous reports have been published, particularly regarding the various statements by our political leaders on the conflict. Just recently, on November 13, 2023, at a convention consisting mainly of pro-Palestinian leaders such as the Saudi prince, President Ruto changed his previous attitude. position on the conflict and said he believed Palestine should be a free state and that Kenya advocated a two-state solution as a way to resolve the conflict. On November 16, media coverage focused on shock between Foreign Principal Secretary Korir Sing’oei and Kisumu Governor Professor Nyong’o over his remarks on the war. The governor appealed to the African Union (AU) to end all Diplomatic links with Israel to show solidarity with our comrades in Gaza and the West Bank.

It is abundantly clear that lines have been drawn as to where the people’s support lies when it comes to the conflict between Israel and Gaza. However, despite the divergent opinions, one idea is unanimous: that of the hope that the war will soon end and that a peaceful and definitive solution to the tensions between the two groups will be found.

GHANA

Lana Osei is a JURIST Staff Correspondent in Ghana and a recent graduate of the GIMPA (Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration) School of Law. She files this dispatch from Accra.

Ghana, a member state of the United Nations, stood alongside 119 other countries on October 27, 2023, in favor of a humanitarian truce in Gaza. Hundreds of people took to the streets of Accra to join pro-Palestinian protests following Israeli retaliation.

Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, HE Shlomit Sufa, sought solace and support at a local church in Accra, stressing the need for prayer amid the Hamas attack. While the Israeli ambassador sought solace and support in a local church, the Palestinian ambassador to Ghana-Abdalfatah Ahmed Khalil Alsatarri highlighted the political nature of the conflict. In a speech on JoyNews, he affirmed that the current conflict is above all political. The goal, according to the Palestinian representative, is to achieve freedom and maintain peace in their land through open dialogue, free from external control.

The Israeli ambassador, affirming the legality of Israeli reprisals following the October 7 attack, underlined to Ghanaians her country’s commitment to peace and democracy. She argued that Hamas uses its own people as shields in armed conflicts. She then drew a parallel between Hamas and al-Qaeda, stating that no one expected the United States to reconsider and renegotiate with al-Qaeda after 9/11. So the Hamas attack is Israel’s 9/11. This highlights the need for global support.

There is no doubt that not all voices align with Israel’s view. To get a first-hand perspective on the conflict from the Ghanaian perspective, I spoke with Raiian Al-Sayeed, a Ghanaian citizen of Palestinian origin.

She condemned acts of terrorism carried out by Hamas and went on to say that the issue was not as complex as most people think. The scale of the humanitarian crisis triggered by Israel’s occupation of Gaza does not justify the “exorcization” of a terrorist organization. Describing the situation as genocide, ethnic cleansing and apartheid, Al Sayeed highlighted the innate human instinct to resist oppression. “The occupation itself is illegal, and I fail to understand why the rest of the world remains silent while Israel blatantly violates international laws,” al Sayeed said. “While I unequivocally condemn acts of terrorism and the loss of innocent lives, I do not condemn resistance. This situation is a clear illustration of resistance against an oppressor.

In the complex geopolitical landscape surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ghana’s position at the UN reflects a broader international discourse on the humanitarian and political dimensions of the current crisis.

UGANDA

Lawrence Alado is JURIST staff correspondent in Uganda. He tells from Kampala how the conflict is perceived and interpreted there.

Ugandan broadcasts on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis maintain a measured and distanced perspective. Media coverage tends to avoid taking sides and instead emphasizes a neutral position. The reports focus on presenting factual information and international responses without overt bias. Broadcasts have mainly focused on reporting on incidents as they occur rather than commenting on them or discussing whether human rights could have been better recognized or protected . This distanced view is partly explained by the fact that the media consider that the conflict has no major impact on Ugandans and partly by the complex dynamics surrounding the crisis itself.

Ugandan public opinion towards the Israeli-Palestinian crisis is slightly favorable to Palestine. Public discourse tends to highlight the suffering of the Palestinians, thus contributing to a favorable perception of their struggle. This feeling stems from shared historical experiences of colonization and anti-imperialist sentiments. Although not overtly confrontational, mainstream public opinion reflects nuanced support for movements seeking self-determination and justice.

TUNISIA

Jihene Ferchichi is the correspondent for JURIST in Tunisia. She reports from Tunis.

According to the 2023 annual poll of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, Arab public opinion is almost unanimous (76%) on the fact that the Palestinian question is the question of all Arabs and not just the question of the Palestinians. Tunisian public opinion shares the same conviction with an overwhelming majority of 86%. Also note that according to the same survey, 90% of Tunisians reject the recognition of a “State of Israel”. The position of the Tunisian presidency expressed shortly after the “flood of Al-Aqsa”, supporting the right of the Palestinian people to recover “all the land of Palestine” to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, goes beyond the traditional position of the Tunisian presidency. diplomacy, as well as the official Arab position, which is to support political negotiation on the basis of a two-state solution. This presidential statement received broad popular and political support. The Tunisian Foreign Minister also confirmed Tunisia’s position on the Palestinian issue, as it is a matter of principle and denying Tunisia’s interference in Palestinian internal affairs.

We now hope that the law criminalizing normalization with the Zionist entity will see the light of day after a long delay, especially since the commitment and attachment of Tunisians to the Palestinian cause, at the popular, elite and official levels, have been clearly demonstrated and are proven on every occasion. We remember the words of Yasser Arafat, addressing the Palestinians: “If your paths are limited, go to Tunisia, because it has people who love Palestine. » Indeed, since October 7, 2023, popular marches have intensified, at the call of national parties and organizations, in support of…

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