On the other hand, I've also read the accounts from old high school friends who live in Israel and the stance of the AJC, a Global Jewish Advocacy group in Chicago.
Unlike many of my friends, it's not possible for me to blankly say "I stand with Israel." I do not think the IDF is doing everything 100% right. I think if you look at Samar's website, you'll agree.
For every ten pictures I see that says Palestinians use their children as shields, I see one saying the same thing about the IDF. Just to provide more information, here's an entire IDF blog post about how Hamas uses children as human shields as a defense tactic http://www.idfblog.com/hamas/2012/01/14/hamas-human-shield-tactics/ and above, a picture demonstrating an IDF soldier crouched over what looks like a Palestinian teen "using him as a shield."
Then there are several sources that show Israel as the aggressor. To the left, a video called "Israel teaches children to hate and kill."
I've heard arguments from both sides: (paraphrase) "please don't call this a war when it's between the fourth largest military in the world and a nation with no army, no navy and no airforce; this is genocide."
And on the other hand: "no other nation in the world would standby while there are hundred of rockets being shot daily into towns and villages.
The two videos I found most helpful to me in providing background and perspective for Israel's actions:
The Bottom Line: While I'm Jewish and believe Jews in Israel have a right to a state and to live peacefully without threats, I also think we need to be open-minded, diplomatic and understand other perspectives.It's hard to follow everything, but I encourage people to read instead of following blindly.
I also got more perspective, when one of my friends was impacted personally by a not-so-distant war: she found out this weekend that her boyfriend was deployed to Afghanistan. He will work to break down equipment so other soldiers can go home to their families after serving their tours. He will be serving for six months, time away from his family, girlfriend and friends. Time away from his daily life, time away from the safety we feel at home. I pray for his safety, for the safety of all of our soldiers, and for the safety for the people in Israel and Gaza. The only thing I wish would cease to exist is war, misunderstanding and conflict.