During my lifetime there have only really been two things that divided friends and family. The first was the Vietnam War. I was on the political left side of that one. My parents, and most of their generation, were on the political right side.
Those of us against that war were accused of everything from being communists, to cowards, to outright traitors to our country. It was the age of "America: Love it or leave it!"
Many of my generation did just that, leave it, fleeing to Canada or Europe or just going underground until the whole thing blew over. It was the most divisive and painful national event since the American Civil war a century before.
Now we have another one, only this one is not our doing, but another country's. Still it once again is pitting friend against friend, family against family, community against community. And yes, it's in the Middle East. But it's not Afghanistan or Iraq or Syria or Iran. It's Israel.
I have Jewish and Israeli friends... some whose fingers are now hovering dangerously over the "unfriend" button with my name on it. Not because I am pro-Hamas or a closet anti-Semite. I am neither. (You'll simply have to accept my word for that. It's all I can offer as proof.)
What got me in this trouble is simply seeing matters differently than those who, for religious, ethnic or familial reasons, have a dog(s) in the current events in Israel and Gaza and the occupied West Bank. They are circling the wagons, are hyper-defensive and increasingly angry at those of us who just don't see it their way.
Like with he Vietnam War, offering opinions about what's going on that decidedly un-Holy Land, is dangerous. The safest thing to do is to be certain before you open your mouth that you are with fellow travelers on the subject. Because, if you're not, you're in for being accused of an array of horribles; you're an anti-semite, an apologist for terrorists or just plain uninformed.
If you take Israel's side then you are an enabler of war-crimes and a racist regime.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).