Only after my first visit did I realize that many friends and colleagues were quite literally picturing Gaza news photos of balaclava'ed snipers on the roofs and IDF tanks in the streets --- of Tel Aviv!! After the 2nd Lebanon War broke out a few weeks later, I don't think they believed me or my actual photos until my friend Marlene came back in March also raving about Israel. So I guess we shouldn't be too hard on parents and friends who express what they THINK to be legitimate concern.
I have just learned first-hand about media blowing things out of proportion -- my young AZ Diamondbacks are in the baseball playoffs :-) against the (doomed I hope) Chicago Cubs, an historic ball club. At our home game, the national TV media described '25,000 Cubs fans' taking control of our ballpark! --- the only problem was, of the 48,000 fans, no more than 20% were Cubs fans! We completely drowned them out. The media had turned their cameras on the little pockets of Cub blue scattered in the stands, skipping over the huge swaths of DBack red. It was dishonest, infuriating, and insulting -- but it gave them a better story. Of course, this is not even a drop in the bucket compared to the constant media portrayal of Israel.