Letter to the Editor: Israel/Palestine conflict gets biased coverage

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    Dear Editor,

    I have recently become concerned with the lack of understanding some BYU students have shown concerning the increasing violence in the area of Israel/Palestine. Many BYU students are enthusiastic about completing a semester at the BYU Jerusalem Center, but at the same time they care very little about some of the problems that exist in the area. Even worse, many BYU students have extremely uninformed opinions about the conflict.

    Many of the BYU students I have spoken with view the Palestinians as terrorists. At the same time they believe that the Israelis are entitled to the area of Palestine simply because of the Abrahamic covenant. These are bad conclusions.

    When the media reports on violence in Israel/Palestine, it is usually Palestinian attacks. The media rarely reports that in most cases these attacks have been provoked by the Israelis. In studying the conflict in the Holy Land, I’ve learned that the Israeli government is one of the worst violators of human rights. At the same time it is the number one receiver of foreign aid from the United States. In the past year there has been much discussion over the human rights violations of China and whether China should be allowed to join the WTO. It is time that we give Israel the same scrutiny that we have given to China.

    The Abrahamic covenant promised the land of Israel/Palestine to the descendants of Abraham, which includes both Jews and Arabs, who remained true to the covenant. As Latter-day Saints we should not favor one group over the other, but should work and pray for peace and justice that both groups might share the promised land and enter back into the blessings and responsibilities of that covenant.

    It is time for BYU students to learn more about this conflict. The United States needs to use its foreign aid to Israel as leverage to force the Israeli government to make compromises with the Palestinians. As Latter-day Saints, we have a vested interest in what happens in the Holy Land.

    Spencer Kyle

    Orleans, Ontario

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