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The Israel-Palestinian Ceasefire

By Eun-Jee Kim (DG reporter)

  August 2014, under the mediation of Egypt, the 7 week conflict between Israel and Palestine finally came to a halt through a cooperative ceasefire. 50 days of the Gaza conflict had left over 2,100 people killed, with over 500
of them being children. Additionally, 11,000 people were injured and over 17,000 homes have been destroyed, leaving a majority of the population displaced. The immediate halt of massacres and killings has resulted in the rise of a peaceful atmosphere amongst the citizens of both Israel and the Gaza strip. However, the 9 former ceasefires give us an outlook on what situation this one may bring.


  The contract took place specifically in Tuesday August 26th, between the two largest military groups within the opposing forces ̶ Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Higher authorities agreed to an open-ended ceasefire, directly
banning any rocket firings or air strikes that may take place. Also, as the Gaza strip blockade was the core of the heated debate, Israel has agreed to allow crossings to Gaza to ensure that medical help and other food supplies can be adequately provided. There are divided views on whether the ceasefire is of actual effectiveness, but the dominant views suggest that situations aren’t much different from past ceasefires. The 2014 ceasefire highly resembles the previous ones, and although the treaty has been kept the longest, the specific clauses are similar from the ones agreed 21 months ago.


  The ceasefire postpones any discussion on the fundamental issues behind the long Israel-Palestine conflict. In-depth discussion on the various political, historical, and ethnic crises between the two opposing views is yet to be dealt with. Also, difficult issues prolonged since the 2012 Gaza war, including the release of Palestinian prisoners and the construction of airports, have not been discussed. Additionally, some Israel authorities expressed their negative attitude towards the ceasefire, stating that the Netanyahu office of the Israel government has made a unilateral decision that has not been thoroughly discussed with other political parties.


  In this regard, former president of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas has stated "The question is now 'What's next?' Gaza suffered three wars, and are we expecting another one? We will consult friends and the international community, and we can't continue with cloudy negotiations." As states Abbas, many entitle the most recent ceasefire as nothing but a cloudy negotiation.


  In a sense, the ceasefire is without a doubt the best measure possible for two directly opposing states. However, past the immediate dangers lurking in the Gaza strip, the two parties have a deeper, more historical issue to tackle. The unstable state of the middle-eastern crisis has long been the center of attention for the majority of the past year. What we mustn’t overlook is the importance of understanding how tenuous the ceasefire contract may be. It may not be time for us to celebrate the “end” of a long war. For both the humane lives of the Gazans and the stability of global peace appropriate measures are in high demand.



By Eun-Jee Kim
(DG reporter)
 

dongtan globe

Strong Stride toward Excellence

The pleasant scent of autumn has spread and the campus of Dongtan Global High School is enveloped in cool wisps of the fragrant harvest breezes of fall. Just as the nearby rice fields have grown into sturdy, golden stalks so too has our school matured and taken firm root in the city of Hwaseong.

 

  With the school’s first commencement ceremony last winter, sending the graduates far and wide to make their mark in the world, already another group of seniors are about to take one of the biggest exams of their lives. My fellow students are eager to honor the name of the school, and the new recruits are more competent than ever. The campus has been blooming with special events, academic challenges, and new clubs and activities where students have been showing their persistence, creativity, and expertise. It seems DGHS is ever more fruitful with every year that passes.

 

  In the third publication of the Dongtan Globe, we have taken strides to meet the rising standard of the school. The reporters and editors have tried to deliver the best of their work, striving to meet the high expectations. In consequence, we were able to present more extended and finer edition to you. And I, the third chief editor, will return the honor to the hard-working members of the the Dongtan Globe and contributors who willingly participated in the publication.

 

  Previously, feature stories focused on topics associated with the annual Joint Academic Conference of Global High Schools. This year, however, we’ve taken a different approach and will be discussing the controversy regarding integration of the liberal arts and natural sciences tracks in South Korean high schools.

 

  The topic is fairly recent as the Ministry of Education is starting to implement education of no border between natural sciences and liberal arts. There are many controversies whether the integration is necessary or not. In our feature, we cover various arguments and facts about the issue. Specifically, the feature discusses the issue first in the historical context and then through its progression of current decision to integrate the tracks. Within this discussion, the feature spotlights the concept of consilience of Edward O.Wilson which will help readers to understand the ideology behind the track integration argument.

 

  In addition, we’ve included a wide range of articles covering other domestic and international issues such as Crimean crisis, school life including articles about an invited professor and a reporter, and even reviews of some recent music, book, and movie.

 

As usual, we thank you for your continued support and readership and hope that you enjoy this year’s edition of the Dongtan Globe.

 

By Jong-Seo Park
DG editor-in-chief

 

The Humanities Matter

 Korean high school education has been offering distinct curriculum tracks for the last several decades: liberal arts and natural sciences. As of 2018, however, those two separate tracks are supposed to be integrated into one comprehensive track. Debates are raging surrounding this issue. While advocates argue that the integrated curriculum be implemented in order to produce creative talents fitting the consilience spirit of the 21st century, opponents argue that it is premature to decide that now. Rather, they insist, all we need to do is strengthen basic skills under the current split curriculum.

 

  I believe an integrated curriculum is eventually the right choice to make. This academic approach is already a mainstay of many developed countries such as the United States and most western European countries. The underlying philosophy behind their policy is that both quality of living and competitiveness can be enhanced only when scientists are armed with humanities refinements and entrepreneurs possess good knowledge of natural science.

 

  I support this approach, and believe additionally that humanistic values are closely associated with cultural industries, and developing them in each individual will be beneficial to society. The general idea behind cultural industries is that popular culture produces cultural goods such as printed media, music, television, film, as well as crafts and design. They are knowledge-based and labor-intensive, and not only create employment and wealth, but also drive the norms of a particular society. Thus, in nurturing creativity, analysis and reflection, and fostering innovation, societies will maintain cultural diversity, enhance economic performance, and advance the sciences while also promoting sustainable, peaceful societal standards.

 

  The essential point is that technology alone cannot lead itself to beneficial cultural industries. That is, we cannot produce a movie only with quality cameras, audio, and special effects. The storytelling is indeed crucial to the development of an entertaining and profitable film. In addition, a film that is only entertaining and profitable is also not necessarily a promotion of wholesome societal norms. The story must also celebrate, at least subtly, positive cultural goods to build enthusiasm for positive cultural attitudes such as cooperation and sustainability. Steve Jobs might be a genius, but he is not supposed to create iPhone all by himself. In the modern world, cooperation of the humanities and the sciences is integral to success. And being successful is not just about profitability, but about creating sustainable societies.

 

  Thus, an individual who has built an upright character is one who is not only a master of formulas and rules, but also an engine of creativity and innovation, based on cultural norms which promote peace, cooperation, and sustainability. This is the reason why we study the humanities.

 

By SangYol Cheong
Principal, DGHS