I have to admit, a few weeks ago, I was quite ignorant about the Israeli- Palestine conflict.

I had a very basic understanding, from tidbits I’d picked up from the news, classes or pieced together from conversations, but by no means would I consider myself well-versed in the subject.

That lack of knowledge has made the past week rather challenging as I’ve navigated the often conflicting, always heated sides of the situation.

For the past week, the I have been working with the staff to read, research and consult outside sources.

However noble our intentions to educate ourselves on the long lived conflict, I worry that it will never be enough.

There is no correct way to please everyone in a situation with such deep emotional, cultural and historical lineage that I doubt that I could ever truly understand.

Not everyone will appreciate or agree with the way we covered the issue, but I promise you that we have done our best.

In the interest of fair coverage, we reached out to both Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) and the Israel Student Association (ISA) to comment on the campus boycott and the situation in general. In the editorials section, Hala Numan, a regular columnist and member of SAIA, shares her passionate opinion on the topic.

In the news section, a story on campus protests by the SAIA on page 6 details their boycott of Sabra hummus.

We were able to reach Miranda Lapides, co-president of ISA, for a comment on the Sabra hummus boycott, but at the time of publication had not received an editorial from ISA to run as a point-counterpoint to Numan’s piece.

My hope was to provide students with the opportunity to read both perspectives and make an educated decision about where they stand on the issue.

The struggle of how to cover such incendiary events is just one of the many difficulties in running a student media organization. The Mason community, that I consider myself a dedicated part of, is a very difficult one to please.

I foresee and welcome many letters to the editor on the topic in the upcoming weeks.

But before you sit down to write a mean spirited attack, I ask you to step back for a moment and think.

Remember that the students from both SAIA and ISA are your peers, and deserve respect and consideration.

Remember that the staff of Broadside, from staff writers to the editorial team, on top of grueling class schedules and a semblance of a personal life, spend countless hours each week to bring you the news of our community.

I hope that this issue sparks conversation across campus. I hope that students who, like me, had a weak base of understanding about Israel and Palestine will take time out of their day to sit down and do their own research.

I hope that students on either side of the conflict consider taking the time to sit down and think about ways they could work together and provide a model for international relations.

Remember that as a university, our greatest strength is our diversity, part of being a student at Mason is to accept and work with the myriad of races, ages, religions and sexualities that makes up our university. These are our classmates, our friends, our neighbors and our fellow Patriots.