Editor, Daily Nexus,

This week, pro-Palestinian students felt the need to deceive our university by putting up a display showing a false statistic with the respective number of Palestinian and Israeli deaths during the recent conflict in Gaza. Their aim is to rally sympathy for the Palestinian cause, even if they blur real understanding of the issue.

Like any propagandists, they rely on us not seeing the big picture. One statistic does not tell the whole story. It is true that more Palestinians have died than Israelis, but what exactly does that mean? Fourteen times more Germans died in World War II than Americans. Does that statistic tell you anything about the conflict?

To judge a conflict by the number of deaths on either side is only to judge military/defense capabilities, while ignoring everything else. It is important to look at what led up to the conflict. For example, in 2005 Israel left the Gaza strip, part of its historic homeland, in hopes of creating a Palestinian state. Instead, Hamas used the territory to launch rockets at Israeli civilians.

It is also essential to look at each side’s values. While Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy, has proven it wants peace by giving up land to its neighbors, Hamas, a terrorist organization that celebrated 9/11, insists that “Israel will only exist until Islam will obliterate it.”

It is a shame that a small group thinks they can mislead us with one statistic. UCSB students will recognize that this issue requires deeper thought.