"It's a sign of the end times."
And with that, I had to drop the conversation. Wish I were surprised by it, but I was not. My dad is much, much, much more conservative than I am both politically and socially (over the past few years, he's become a near-daily viewer of John Hagee's televangelist show, which ought to explain quite a few things to those who know of this person) and he has a huge blind spot when it comes to the Middle East. If the exact same thing were happening in say Vietnam (where he served a tour), I would imagine that he would have been near ecstatic at the idea of the people protesting (mostly) peacefully against a corrupt and repressive regime.
Yet if it happens anywhere near Israel, he views it as a sign that malignant anti-Israeli forces are gathering power and that the Anti-Christ will soon emerge and the world will be engulfed in the seven years of Tribulation. I've never bought that nonsense that Hal Lindsey and his ilk have been peddling these past couple of generations, but in the name of keeping family harmony (I do generally get along much better with my parents now that I'm in my 30s and don't need quite the separation that I needed in my late teens and twenties), I keep mum.
However, situations like this do make for conversational buzzkills. Any similar topics that create a similar effect between you and friends/family?