(Source: http://flic.kr/p/bzK4pg)

In the 21st century, there seems to be a global trend on how “informed” people read the news. People would open up their laptops, go to their preferred news site, usually CNN, BBC, Yahoo, or the like, read the first article that catches their eye, and close the page, usually for a couple days. These people then go on to consider themselves “informed” on current events, when really all they know about, or remember, are the headlines, and the main one, or maybe two international conflicts that are going on in the status quo, as well as a couple sports flicks and celebrity scandals, which sadly, but truthfully draw more attention than the actual political scandals, financial blunders, and violent uprisings that appear on the front pages as well. Furthermore, people with access to the news, according to statistics, often stick with one news source, and pay heed to no other. This creates a wealth of problems. For one, these individuals become ever the more vulnerable to political bias and sometimes even false information deliberately crafted by some news sources in order to strengthen the standpoint of the broadcasting system’s respective nationality. In 2010, a study instigated by the University of Maryland showed that Fox news viewers were significantly more likely to believe false information than those watching other news outlets. In fact, people watching only one broadcast, depending on the news service, were sometimes reportedly MORE oblivious to current events than the average Tumblr-flicking joe. (people who don’t follow the news)

And the problem doesn’t stop there. That very ignorance spreads out and results in all sorts of social mishaps, the most prevalent by far being political bias. We can see an example of this in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where the general consensus seems to be, “Israelis are bad, they deserve all the rockets being fired at them.” Even a quick browse through Youtube videos featuring missiles being fired by Hamas into Israeli civilian centers brings to light anti-semitic comments wishing death upon all Jews, and logical leaps that lead to the general conclusion, the Israelis deserve it.

Now the things being done by Israeli soldiers in their occupation of Gaza are terrible, there’s no denying that. War rape, human shields on tanks, rocket misfires hitting civilian targets, all of these are terrible. Combine this with the extremely effective Anti-Palestinian propaganda being utilised to brainwash the Israeli populace against the Muslim majority, like Japan right before the second Sino-Japanese War, and we can see an extremely irresponsible Israel damaging the international standing of not only itself, but it’s allies such as the US and the UK as well.

However as with all things, there are two sides to the conflict. There is a reason Israel had to build up it’s nuclear arsenal and send land based troops into the Gaza Strip. Israel has historically constantly been under attack, sometimes from multiple nations at a time, by equally-brainwashed Arabian nations right on it’s doorsteps. The Yom Kippur War, the Six Day War, and the constant stream of terrorist attacks in the years after show how Israel is only just barely managing to hold on, and the Israeli government’s doing a very good job at protecting it’s people despite the hellish conditions of it’s military tactical situation. (Surrounded on all fronts, terrorists in it’s borders, etc.) Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system has shielded it’s civilians from the numerous rockets launched by Hamas, and Israel has returned fire respectively towards the approximate locations of the Hamas missile systems. The problem is, Hamas shields it’s missile systems in the vicinities or sometimes inside civilian districts, (an example would be the missile systems hidden in two schools in the Gaza Strip) which would result in some unintended civilian casualties. Combined with Israel’s successful Iron Dome technology, this results in numbers that indicate that this conflict is a lopsided one, with Israel doing most of the damage and killing. The manipulation of civilian lives is only one of the many brutal tactics used by terrorist organisations like Hamas to initiate public relations campaigns against Israel, and build it’s own membership.

However Hamas isn’t the only one at fault here. Numerous reports have shown that Israel and it’s allies (the US and the UK) have been mysteriously funding certain terrorist organisations like ISIS (the Islamic State of Iran and Iraq; this organisation has killed thousands of people and waged a war against Iraq, which it is currently winning) and also refusing to prosecute some of it’s own soldiers that have committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Israel is also at the wrong in this conflict, but it’s just not being blamed for the right things. Overly sensationalised manipulations actually caused by Hamas are the real factors driving the anti-Israeli sentiment around the world currently, but not the real crimes of Israel at work here.

All in all, this conflict is an extremely messy one, with unspeakable atrocities being committed by both sides and being ignored by the world, while pretty regular, procedure events (like the exchange of fire in the region that has been going on for a long, long time) are suddenly covered by the media and dispersed around the world, causing the real crimes to go unnoticed. To truly understand and judge this conflict, one has to dig even deeper and look at the history. Don’t look at recent articles, although they may be of some help at the start, they get repetitive and they are the main causes of the misguided general populace’s anti-Israel attitude. Look into articles from two, three, four, five, or even ten years ago. Go into Wikipedia and look up these conflicts and the histories of both nations. Wikipedia provides a lush variety of viewpoints that usually balance each other out quite well, and a satisfactory chronological ordering that makes everything easier to read. 
Also, don’t stick to one source, spread out. Reuters provides a pretty lop-sided Russian bias, while Fox obviously focuses more on the pro-US, pro-Republican area. BBC gives a bit of pro-British bias, but is relatively clean, while Al-Jazeera gives a good (almost?) unbiased look on the political issues of today. Every news outlet (CNBC, Yahoo, Google, CNN) has their own pros and cons, and outlook on the issues of today.

Let’s do our own research, and spread out. You’d be surprised as to see how much your viewpoint may change.

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