Have you heard the one about the Hamas militant and the IDF soldiers?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A Hamas militant fires a rocket into Israel. Israel gets defensive and retaliates, randomly opening fire on Gaza, wounding and killing several innocent civilians. Those in the pro-Israel camp say that these are unfortunate casualties, but will continue as long as fundamentalist Hamas terrorists sacrifice their lives for the destruction of Israel. Those in the pro-Palestine camp mourn the loss of innocent civilians and condemn Israel as the violent, illegitimate state that is robbing them of both their land and their livelihood.
No one ever changes their opinion, but they are both willing to (sometimes literally) fight it to the death. What came first, the rocket fire or the occupation? It can be easily twisted to make either argument seem legitimate. It is frustrating, confusing, and can feel very personal even when the actual conflict is taking place on the other side of the world. People often hide their emotions behind diplomacy, saying that both sides are to blame, one constantly provoking the other either in reaction to either an isolated violent incident or to the pervasive violence of military occupation.