Difference in opinion between Gazans & WestBank Palestinians

Sociolinguistics Series: Part 53

Language is a powerful tool.

Irene Yi
Irene Yi

Hello, hello! I'm sure y'all are just as excited as I am to learn about the West Bank Palestinian opinion of Hamas and Gaza Palestinians. Well, here we go.

Dr. Shikaki found that the older the age, the more religious a Palestinian tended to be. This meant that they were usually more supportive of Hamas (remember, Hamas' values lined up more with Islamists' values--the religious ones). At one time, there was even a majority of young people (18 to 22 years old) who supported Hamas. Now, the people who fall into the age range of "young people" tend to be more secular and less supportive of Hamas.

More on the young people today: these people tend to not be in the job market yet and are the most "leaderless," meaning they are the most openly critical about the Palestinian Authority's corruption.

Out of all the people who support a one-state solution (in which Jews and Arabs would get equal rights--which is different from a Jew's perspective of what a one-state solution would look like), the 18 to 22 year olds make up the largest portion of supporters, age range-wise (meaning this: if we had a histogram of every age group polled, there would be the most supporters in the young people category).

The difference in opinion between Gazans and West Bank Palestinians depends on religiousness and socioeconomic status. For the most part, Gazans tend to be more religious--more Islamist, more supportive of Hamas, and less supportive of a two-state solution.

The per capita income in Gaza is much less than that of the West Bank (about 1000 American dollars in Gaza and 2000 American dollars in the West Bank). What's affected by the per capita income and socioeconomic status? For starters, the view on gender equality and education equality is different. There is more support for gender equality and education in the West Bank than in Gaza.

Dr. Shikaki then polled about the acceptance and use for violence, which is the view that "one must inflict pain in order to end Israeli occupation." Just a side note, remember the rhetoric behind the phrase "Israeli occupation."

For a seven year period after the Oslo Accords, the support for the use of violence was small; in the 1990s, about 80% of Palestinians opposed the use for violence. However, the second intifada happened from 2000 to 2004, and there was an increase in the support for the use of violence.

At this time, there was no overlap between support for violence and support for diplomacy--meaning those concepts were mutually exclusive to people. You could either support violence as a way to end the conflict, or you could support diplomacy as a way to end the conflict. By 2005, though, after a few things settled down a bit, the overlap between violence and diplomacy resurfaced. You could support both violent and diplomatic methods in order to achieve peace.

From about 2005 to 2015, there was a decrease in the support of violence all across the board. Today, the view changes depending on whether or not the region is quiet. When there is violence already happening, the support for violence goes up. When it is relatively quiet, the support for violence decreases.

According to Dr. Shikaki, Islamists and people who do not think that diplomacy will be a feasible way to end the occupation are more likely to support violence. Two-state supporters want a mutual recognition of identity.

Everyone wants a unilateral withdrawal of Israel from the West Bank, and many want the settlements to be dismantled as well. For East Jerusalem, the overwhelming majorities of Palestinians will not consider any peace negotiation to be an "end to the conflict" unless East Jerusalem is recognized as Palestine's capital.

When I was in the Arab Bazaar talking to the Palestinian man and the Druze man, I asked them about their feelings on Gaza. The man from the West Bank, Muhsin, said that he feels empathetic toward his fellow Palestinians living in Gaza because they have a much lower standard of living than West Bank Palestinians.

He says that they often do not have water or electricity because they have already damaged their aquifer. However, Muhsin believes that many West Bank Palestinians ultimately feel a sense of helplessness for their brothers in Gaza because there is often little or no help they can offer to Gazans.

The last topic I want to cover from Dr. Shikaki's talk is that of Jordan and Egypt, the region's Arab neighbors. In many of the wars, Jordan and Egypt have helped out on behalf of Palestine, and Jordan used to control the West Bank while Egypt controlled Gaza.

Today, Palestinians rely greatly on these neighbors still. Palestinians rely on Jordan for economic support, travel (many Palestinians who need to fly out of the area actually go into Amman, Jordan and fly from that airport rather than cross the West Bank wall into Jerusalem and/or make the trek out to Tel Aviv because it is much faster for them to go to Jordan than to cross security checkpoints), and social connections.

As for Egypt, Palestinians would like for Egypt and Gazas to have friendlier relations (as Gaza borders Egypt), but Egypt has had a siege over Gaza since the second intifada. After Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, Egypt has not been supplying much help to Gazans and there are actually tight borders between the two regions.

Palestinians have an increasingly critical view of the rest of the Arab world's apathy to their plight. They believe that many neighboring Arab countries are growing tired of the Palestinian issue (for example, the refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria are not being assimilated into those host countries even after 70 years) and want to move on.

Pessimistic Palestinians believe that the Arab world is more concerned with the issue of Iran (and the rift between Shia and Sunni Muslims) and that Arab countries might even see Israel as an ally in their "fight" against Iran. To keep Israel on their side, Arab countries might push Palestine under the rug for now.

Sorry, that was a pretty heavy section--but we are dealing with some pretty heavy stuff. The next stop we make is to a winery in an Israeli settlement, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

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I Might Have Aborted My Fetus When I Was 18, But Looking Back, I Saved A Child’s Life

It may have been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't had done it.


Due to recent political strife happening in the world today, I have decided to write on a very touchy, difficult subject for me that only a handful of people truly know.

When I was 18 years old, I had an abortion.

I was fresh out of high school, and deferring college for a year or two — I wanted to get all of my immature fun out so I was prepared to focus and work in the future. I was going through my hardcore party stage, and I had a boyfriend at the time that truly was a work of art (I mean truly).

Needless to say, I was extremely misinformed on sex education, and I never really thought it could happen to me. I actually thought I was invincible to getting pregnant, and it never really registered to me that if I had unprotected sex, I could actually get pregnant (I was 18, I never said I was smart).

I remember being at my desk job and for weeks, I just felt so nauseous and overly tired. I was late for my period, but it never really registered to me something could be wrong besides just getting the flu — it was November, which is the peak of flu season.

The first person I told was my best friend, and she came with me to get three pregnancy tests at Target. The first one came negative, however, the second two came positive.

I truly believe this was when my anxiety disorder started because I haven't been the same ever since.

Growing up in a conservative, Catholic Italian household, teen pregnancy and especially abortion is 150% frowned upon. So when I went to Planned Parenthood and got the actual lab test done that came out positive, I was heartbroken.

I felt like I was stuck between two roads: Follow how I was raised and have the child, or terminate it and ultimately save myself AND the child from a hard future.

My boyfriend at the time and I were beyond not ready. That same week, I found out he had cheated on me with his ex and finances weren't looking so great, and I was starting to go through the hardest depression of my life. Because of our relationship, I had lost so many friends and family, that I was left to decide the fate of both myself and this fetus. I could barely take care of myself — I was drinking, overcoming drug addictions, slightly suicidal and living with a man who didn't love me.

As selfish as you may think this was, I terminated the fetus and had the abortion.

I knew that if I had the child, I would be continuing the cycle in which my family has created. My goal since I was young was to break the cycle and breakaway from the toxicity in how generations of children in my family were raised. If I had this child, I can assure you my life would be far from how it is now.

If I had carried to term, I would have had a six-year old, and God knows where I would've been.

Now, I am fulfilling my future by getting a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, having several student leadership roles, and looking into law schools for the future.

Although it still haunts me, and the thought of having another abortion truly upsets me, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I get asked constantly "Do you think it's just to kill a valuable future of a child?" and my response to that is this:

It's in the hands of the woman. She is giving away her valuable future to an unwanted pregnancy, which then resentment could cause horror to both the child and the woman.

As horrible as it was for me in my personal experience, I would not be where I am today: a strong woman, who had overcome addiction, her partying stage, and ultimately got her life in order. If I would have had the child, I can assure you that I would have followed the footsteps of my own childhood, and the child would not have had an easy life.

Because of this, I saved both my life and the child's life.

And if you don't agree or you dislike this decision, tough stuff because this is my body, my decision, my choice — no one else.

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Everything You Need To Know About The New Abortion Ban In Several States

DISCLAIMER: the following does not include any of my personal beliefs/opinions.


Abortion has and will always be a controversial and very sensitive topic for all genders. The following article delves into the details about the Alabama abortion ban that was signed to be a law which, if it passes, will be in effect January 2020 and briefly touches on the Georgia Heartbeat Bill.

Roe v. Wade (1973)

In 1973, Roe v. Wade 410 was passed in the U.S. by the Supreme Court. In short, this ruled that the Due Process Clause along with the 14th Amendment in the Constitution would work to give pregnant women the choice to choose whether or not they wanted an abortion AND should coincide with the government's personal agenda to protect the health of all who is involved. What I mean by this is that the Supreme Court decided during the second trimester of a pregnancy, abortions would be allowed. But, if it is the third trimester, abortion is to be prohibited unless the health of the mother is in danger. This law catapulted the abortion debate which is still going on today.

Abortion vs. Alabama

Alabama's governor, Kay Ivey, signed off on a bill that will basically ban all abortions, including rape, incest, any abnormality, and if the mother's life is in danger on May 14, 2019 after acquiring approval from 25 Senators . This could be a problem considering that it very much contradicts Roe v. Wade (1973). To Ivey, the bill is a reflection of the values in which the citizens of Alabama believe: all life is precious and a gift from God.

Governor of the State of Alabama, Kay Ivey (pictured above). home.bt.com

The governor of Georgia also signed a bill to ban abortion after detecting the slightest heartbeat which is approximately around the six-week pregnancy period (around the time most women discover that they are pregnant). Another important take on this is that despite the rift and debate that is going on between Democrats and Republicans, most Republicans believe that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. This is looking more like a possibility considering most of the Supreme Court consists of people who support the Republican party. In short, the main idea is to ban abortion in all of the United States, not just in some states like it is currently. In regards to Alabama, the bill still has not been enacted into a law and could possibly encounter delay in the Supreme Court because, after all, this is a very debated topic. For now, abortion is still legal until January 2020 or when it becomes a law.

Conditions of the Abortion Law

The conditions of the abortion law explicitly states that abortion during any stage of a pregnancy is prohibited and if any medical professional aids in the practice/procedure of an abortion, they will face up to 99 years in prison. If an attempt is made to perform an abortion procedure, an individual can be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Women who successfully get an abortion or attempt to will be prosecuted as well. However, only those who provide another with an abortion will be punished in Alabama, not the one receiving the service.

No form of abortion is allowed including: rape, incest, life-threatening abnormality, or putting the life of the mother in danger.

Alabama expected to approve controversial abortion bill www.youtube.com

Two Sides to the Debate

Although most Republicans support the law, the Democratic party has combatted the notion of it. Many opponents of the ban state that the restriction can put the lives of many in danger and affects women of color and those who are living in poverty heavily. ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights have also declared that they will sue. Many young people have also reached out to social media websites such as Twitter and Instagram to voice their opinions:

Tweets from individuals who are anti-abortion ban www.wnd.com

Many celebrities have also stated their opinions on the matter. Rihanna stated in one of her Instagram posts, "Take a look," referring to a picture of 25 Senators in Alabama who approved the abortion bill, "These are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!"

Although both sides clearly have their opinions on the debate of pro-life/pro-choice, one thing we all can agree on is that this will be a long process that can make or break the lives of a lot of people in our nation.

Until next time,


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