As in any dispute, the world is torn regarding the tragic situation in Gaza. In this age of advanced technology events play out in real time. Passionate opinions concerning these matters are formed and expressed with equal speed and efficiency. Loyalties are, as they have long been, divided vis-a-vis the latest Mideast crisis. Woeful is the ignorance afflicting everyone siding with Hamas.
Domestically, it is natural to empathize with Israel. Americans have witnessed decades of hostility directed toward the lone Jewish state in a troubled, Arab-dominated region. Details of the three kidnapped, then murdered Israeli teens filled our airwaves, as do the subsequent reports of rockets fired indiscriminately into Israeli territory.
But an unfamiliar element clouds this conflict: Israeli missiles striking civilian targets on daytime television. In the past all reliable reporting was done by professionals. Each outlet could put its desired spin on a story, but for the most part, the major news providers didn't/couldn't dictate who are and who are not the good guys.
Today, news comes from anyone whose personal recording device happens to be pointed in the right direction. And every camera angle comes with its own commentary. The viewing public is thus saddled with the task of processing opinions presented from increasingly dubious sources. Many of us are clearly not ready for this responsibility.
Bolstered by the images of Israeli ordinance striking homes, schools and hospitals, many are expressing support for the Palestinian people. Though rarely seen at these levels in the past, the new widespread compassion is understandable given numerous reports of Palestinian casualties, notably, and tragically, children.
A bizarre byproduct of the instantaneous, limitless information is how many people can observe the struggle between Israel and Gaza and then side with Hamas. You may believe Israel has a right to defend itself. You may object that the way they are choosing to do it is resulting in civilian casualties. You may even, despite all that makes sense, want Israel to revert back to the 1967 border agreement. None of these positions, however, rationalize supporting an undeniable, unapologetic terrorist organization bent on Israel's total annihilation. And yet, Hamas has its devotees.
Choose a side, if you must. With all the information, slants and opinions surrounding the situation, you would be hard pressed not to. But, choose the people of Israel, or those of Gaza, or find room in your heart for all of them. Be wary, though, of trusting Hamas sanctioned details from Hamas imbedded reporters spreading Hamas orchestrated hate. At any rate, and someone should have told you this before now, don't trust everything you see online.