ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- St. Louis native and former FOX 2 News intern Leland Vittert is on the front lines of the conflict as a correspondent for FOX News.
After graduating from John Burroughs and Northwestern University, Vittert held several TV jobs before taking the position with FOX based in Egypt. Now he finds himself on the border between Israel and Gaza where tensions are high and rocket and mortar fire is a way of life.
Even with a tentative cease fire in place, Israelis who live within rocket range of the Gaza strip and Palestinians who feel trapped in Gaza under Israeli assault, each feel anger toward the other. But this is the latest in a series of bloodbaths between Palestinians and Israelis going back to when Israel was founded and Palestinians were forced from their homes in 1948. Ever since then, a de facto state of war has existed between the two sides. We asked Vittart about whether there's a feeling of hopelessness or despair with decades of war and slaughter behind them and no end in sight in front of them.
“There is a feeling among a lot of people, and a lot of very smart people, that this is just a kind of replay the tape kind of scenario and that it is going to be almost impossible to break that loop,” stated Vittert. “The experiences of people here have a larger effect on the world if you look at why a large amount of the hate against America happens it's because of things that are said and that are done here. The Burroughs bombers play for the state title on Saturday. You know I heard that and I’m going to be rooting for them from here, no matter which God you pray to it's a local phone call from Jerusalem and I’m calling all.”
Vittert also added on a lighter note that he'll be following the results from half a world away when his alma mater plays for the state class three football championships at the dome Saturday.
Vitert also says when he talks to people back home and they ask why they should care about Israel and Palestine, he tells them that the conflict there is at the root of most of the world's terrorism.