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Middle East conflict sparks concern for students, families here in Michigan

BIG RAPIDS — The ongoing tension in the Middle East is leaving many Michiganders worried.

Ferris State University political science professor David TakiTaki says he believes the United States will remain on a defensive stance, rather than going on the offensive.

“This is a very delicate balance that the United States has to find in this situation. Obviously, we don’t like to see innocent people being hurt in an offensive attack anywhere on the planet, and there are those who would say that we should then be stepping in right now to help protect the people of Gaza in Palestine from an Israeli attack,” said TakiTaki.


“On the flip side of that, there’s also the consideration that if we step in, what does that look like? What does our intervention look like right now? What’s defensive? We’re preventing things like drones and missiles from striking civilians,” he continued. “If we start stepping in and taking strikes against Iran, we are effectively entering a war.”

Even though these tensions are far from here, Michiganders with friends and family in the military, or who practice the Jewish or Islamic faith, are watching the conflict closely.

“I want to see some kind of a resolution that preserves safety and opportunity for everyone in the region. And I think that’s one of the reasons why my students and your viewers have been following this so closely,” said TakiTaki.

Ferris State University will host an “Understanding the Conflict in Gaza” event at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 16 in the David L. Eisler Center.

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