Out of the 300 million odd people living in the region, I understand my small sample of friends cannot be taken as a final representation of the Middle East. Nor do I want to gloss over the fact that thousands have been killed and millions have been made homeless. This we cannot forget and maybe, quite rightly, the media aren't letting us.
The twisted wreckage of an ambulance is displayed at Al Shifa Hospital - the largest hospital in Gaza - by way of memorial to three paramedics who died in the recent conflict. At Al Aqsa Hospital there are gaping holes in the outside walls where paramedics tell me the building was hit. Several ambulances still operating have bullet holes in the windscreens.
Nisreen and her 13-year-old twin sons evacuated their house in Abasan, Gaza, during the recent 50-day conflict with Israel - and returned to rubble. "We found our house had been bombed and bulldozed. We couldn't even see where it used to be. My sons were so shocked, so sad," says Nisreen. "We lost everything."
Encouraging the Palestinians to accede to the ICC, which they have been eligible to do since attaining Observer State status at the UN in 2012, would introduce an accountability mechanism that would deter future violence. It would also provide an incentive for each side to stay at the negotiating table.
Yesterday, British MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of recognising Palestine as a state. This followed the earlier declaration by Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven that Sweden would do the same. These gestures demonstrated that international attention would not easily be diverted from the tragic events of Israel's 50-day war on Gaza - not even by the terrible threat to civilization that is ISIS.
By affirming without ambiguity that both Israelis and Palestinians have equal rights to statehood, international recognition of the State of Palestine can help break this impasse. That is why another amendment tabled by Jack Straw and other senior MPs makes clear that by voting for recognition today MPs will contribute to securing a negotiated two state solution.
It is significant that the Labour leadership backs the motion in Parliament on Monday. Hopefully many Conservative politicians will join them so that the motion is passed with the handsome majority that such a mild measure requires. If the British Parliament votes in favour it would be highly important symbolically, a strong expression of Parliamentary support for recognition...
The history of Israel-Palestine is undoubtedly complex, but its present is actually far less so. For when you boil all the issues down to their essence, the fact is that the presence of 550,000 Israeli settlers on land that has been internationally recognised as occupied is what drives this conflict. The two-state solution will continue to be a pipe-dream unless and until Israel decides that it's prepared to end the occupation: it's as simple as that... The world knows that this must never be allowed to happen again, and it recognises more clearly than ever that the onus is now on Israel to come to the negotiating table in good faith. The peace process has seen many false dawns, but it's just possible that this time it could be different.
The scale of Gaza's humanitarian crisis has concerned human rights organisations significantly... Across the world, demonstrators are calling for an end to Israel's offensive and its policy on Gaza. A flourishing percentage of the world's population have concluded that the occupation of Palestine's an ample error and that history must be rectified.
Apparently we are presented with two monochromatic sides of this argument, Team Israel vs. Team Gaza, and failure to select one on the basis of who is or is not a terrorist means that your opinion is unlikely to rear its humdrum head in mainstream news or grant you a few thousand followers on Twitter.