LANSING, Mich. (WZMQ) – With updates still coming out of Israel following Hamas attacks over the weekend, Political Science and International Relations experts in Lansing are expressing concern over how the impacts of the attacks could be felt in The US.
With the renewed violence over the weekend, so far, more than 1,100 people have been killed in Israel and Gaza, with the death toll expected to rise.
Dr. Yael Aronoff is a Political Science and International Relations professor at Michigan State University who specializes in Israel Studies.
“It’s been pretty upsetting and traumatic.” Dr. Aronoff said. “Hamas came into Israel on Saturday morning, and killed 700 people. They were targeting civilians so they killed about 260 young people. They went home to home in 22 different communities and killed families.”
She says the attacks over territory in Israel could have any number of motivations, but will most likely continue to affect civilians in the crossfire.
“A friend of mine, their daughter and son-in-law was murdered in their home.” Dr. Aronoff explained, “They were covering their son who was shot in the stomach, he survived surgery, but it’s just unspeakable.”
Dr. Aronoff explained that with Israel and Saudi Arabia making progress towards normalized relations, interrupting those discussions could have been a factor.
“If you look at the population which is just under 10 million and compare it to the American population,” Dr. Aronoff said. “It would be like over 25,000 people been killed in a day and massacred in that fashion which would be like 10 9/11’s over.”
While economic impacts are also a concern, Dr. Aronoff says she’s more worried about an increase in antisemitism both overseas and in Michigan.
“There’s so much that we can’t anticipate. Yet, one thing we know is that sometimes in these wars, antisemitism increases even more. We want to be careful of in these wars, not dehumanizing Palestinians and having compassion for them, as Hamas does not represent most Palestinians. We don’t want to export conflicts from abroad into Michigan.” Dr. Aronoff said. “We all have to remember to have compassion for Jews, Israelis, and Palestinians in terms of how they’re deeply affected by these conflicts and by people who are being killed. I think that’s what we can try to do here in Michigan.”
Dr. Aronoff said though it’s and extremely difficult situation, her hope is through direct negotiations, leaders can find a peaceful way out. But Israeli leaders say they are preparing to brace themselves for a long and difficult war.