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  • Meghan Leavitt


Meghan Leavitt

As seen across multiple media platforms, there is tension arising within the Middle East. Historically, Israel and HAMAS have been in multiple wars regarding political indifferences and territories of land. HAMAS stands for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya (Islamic Resistance Movement). A talk given by Professor William Christansen was given at the Model UN meeting this week.

The idea of this discussion was not to spread misinformation but to inform people in a non-influential way about what is going on between Israel and HAMAS. Christansen says, “I was invited by the Mount Model UN Club to speak. I wanted to provide an analytical perspective on the current situation in the Middle East that would aid their efforts to simulate the UN's response to recent events.”

There are multiple reasons for these conflicts. Things such as disagreements over holy sites, territorial division and the rise of Hamas. These conflicts go back all the way to biblical times. When antisemitism was a big deal during and after World War II, people of Jewish descent had nowhere to go after World War II and were seeking a place of their own. While this was happening in 1948, throughout the years there were many more conflicts leading to the PNA government in West Bank territories and Hamas controlling Gaza.

There are many different conflicts and perspectives that are present in these recent 2023 conflicts. To summarize, the group HAMAS fired surprise attacks on Israel from the Gaza strip. These occurred both by air and on land. Israel’s response to these attacks was to initiate ground attacks in Palestine. This included killing people in their homes, suicide bombings and civilians held in captivity, including women and children.

With these conflicts arising in October, there are many current challenges. These two countries have very different morals, ideas and reasonings for this war. HAMAS is a very antisemitic group; they are an Islamic resistance group.

This lecture and the first part of the Model UN meeting was about educating people about background history, major events, conflicts and current challenges. During the second part of the meeting, we participated in the Model UN. This was the simulation in which we chose countries. It allowed us to change perspectives that fit for those countries during the current Israel HAMAS war.

As someone who has never attended a school event like this I found it confusing at first. Overall, this was an activity that allowed for deeper understanding of the UN and the conflicts that are occurring in the Middle East. It was a way to see the possible different sides to the different countries. People worked with one another to implement policies and come up with solutions.

A student Isabelle Ringeval (C’26) who attended the lecture and the simulation said, "The lecture made me more educated on the conflict that is happening overseas and also broadened my perspective.” Regarding the simulation she said, "The simulation also led to a better understanding of the conflict, and an overall incensed understanding of the UN itself.”


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