How Black Folks Really Feel About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Unless you’re under a rock right now, you know that a deadly war has erupted in the Middle East this weekend.

Palestinian militants launched a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday, marking one of the most violent battles in recent years. It brought the longstanding and persistent issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the forefront, a conflict that has plagued the Middle East for decades.

Images after Hamas militants breached Israeli checkpoint locations along the border with Gaza. (Photo: YouTube/WSJ)

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While the conflict has flooded national and international headlines, Black folks have taken to social media to voice their opinions. Some have taken sides as the Americans have often done amid the persistent warfare in the Gaza Strip, but many think we should sit this one out.

Here are a few of the top reactions:

Here’s the latest:

The casualty count has now surpassed 1,000 people, with Israeli media reporting at least 700 Israeli fatalities and the local health ministry in Palestine confirming 560 Palestinian casualties.

Among the victims are nine American citizens, as well as other foreign nationals, according to U.S. officials and world leaders. The Israel Defense Forces report that several Israeli soldiers, civilians, and possibly foreign nationals have been taken as captives, and Israeli media indicates that over 100 people are currently missing.

The weekend conflict began when Hamas militants breached the border barrier between Gaza and Israel. They seized control of Israeli villages and towns near the border, leading U.S. leaders to categorize the attack as terrorism.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister faced backlash for his statement in response to the war in the Middle East. Holness said in a thread of remarks on the social media platform X that the island nation’s government “condemns in strongest terms the attack by the Hamas group on Israel.”

“Jamaica firmly believes that the use of violence and terror has no place in international relations and should never be used against innocent civilians,” Holness wrote.

Many locals and regional citizens took to social media to call him a “disgrace.”

“Never has the region seen, past or present, a CARICOM PM as disgraceful as you,” wrote  Jairo Rodrigues, Guyanese senior gender affairs officer.

Rodrigues took his criticism of Holness further by tagging the prime minister of Jamaica in reply to a statement by Belizean Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay.

Jamaican activist and self-proclaimed socialist Kiggon-Kristov DeKarav referenced a news article about Israel’s prime minister calling for the mass deportation of Africans about a month ago in response to Holness.

“Any thoughts on this? I don’t remember you condemning it in the strongest terms,” DeKarav quipped.

“Yeah, they were quiet as [a] church mouse when that was going on!” wrote California-based author Anita Wills.

According to PBS News Hour, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the immediate deportation of Eritrean migrants involved in a violent clash in Tel Aviv and has initiated a plan to remove all African migrants from the country on Sept. 3.

Reports show Eritreans on opposing political sides engaged in a confrontation using construction lumber, metal pieces, and rocks, resulting in the vandalism of shop windows and police cars. Israeli police responded by firing tear gas, stun grenades, and live rounds.

“We want harsh measures against the rioters, including the immediate deportation of those who took part,” Netanyahu said, according to several reports.

He then requested that the ministers present him with plans “for the removal of all the other illegal infiltrators.”

According to Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, the international spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces, Hamas successfully captured “a significant number” of Israeli citizens.

In response, Israel has initiated a series of airstrikes, with Netanyahu declaring that “the enemy will face an unparalleled cost.”

The mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists is currently underway.

Netanyahu issued a warning to Palestinian residents, urging them to evacuate areas where militants are present and emphasizing Israel’s intention to dismantle all Hamas hideouts.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker says that he was out for a jog in Israel when the chaos started, forcing him to seek cover.

Watch Booker talk about what happened here.

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