My thoughts will never be published by Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor of The New York Times. My views are not leftist, and I have no political ax to grind.
Moreover, I will not be scheduling paid speaking appointments in the United States, given that I hope to spend most of my free time digging in my garden. Somehow, I recently found the time to plant two Ettinger avocado trees, and I look forward to seeing the literal fruits of my labor in 2013.
How do I view the renewed fighting between Israel and Hamas? If I had to choose a word to describe my feelings, I suppose it would be "anguish."
My oldest son, a paratrooper, has not yet been called up by his reserve unit, and I am embarrassed to admit my relief. During Operation Cast Lead, his officer died only a few meters away from where he stood, and I believe there is a limit to the trauma that any person can withstand over the course of a lifetime. I know that I have been left with a very short fuse. Nevertheless, Michael wants very much to again be in the thick of things.
I was in Tel Aviv two days ago when the sirens sounded, announcing an incoming Fajr-5 missile, supplied to Hamas by Iran. Having lived through Iraqi Scud attacks during the First Gulf War, which regularly shook our sixth floor apartment when Michael was just an infant, I couldn't get excited.
Earlier this evening, I stopped by our local grocery store and purchased meat from our Palestinian butcher, who occasionally hitches rides from me back to his neighboring village. He knows that I am a reservist, yet today, like every day, there were only smiles and no signs of enmity.
What will be the future of this conflagration? I don't know, because I don't decide policy.
Yet, I view with horror the demands from Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal that Israel initiate a ceasefire. Is it all just a matter of pride? Doesn't human life mean anything to him? Inasmuch as he heads an organization whose charter calls for the murder of all Jews, perhaps we shouldn't be expecting too much.
The EU is acknowledging Israel's right to defend itself, but is also asking that Israel's response to Hamas and Islamic Jihad missiles be "proportional." In addition, the EU is telling Israel's political leadership that under no circumstances should Israel dare send its ground forces into Gaza.
Fortunately for me, I do not need to make the decision whether to send infantry and tanks into Gaza. However, I would be very curious how European capitals would respond if their civilian centers were, over the course of a week, subjected to a barrage of a thousand rockets and missiles.
Meanwhile, in Antwerp leftists and rightists today staged a protest against Israel and chanted, "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to gas." I find it interesting that only anti-Semitism can bring these two extremes together.
And in the US, although "57% of the public says Israel is justified in taking military action in Gaza against Hamas," only 40% of Democrats agrees with Israel's efforts to defend itself (see: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/19/cnn-poll-57-of-americans-say-israeli-attacks-in-gaza-are-justified/). I wonder what these Democrats would say if New Jersey, which is the same size as Israel, were to come under missile attack.
Hamas rockets today landed on three schools in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, but fortunately classes have been canceled since November 14. I suppose many of these Democrats, including many Jews among them, would prefer that Israel just lay down and die.
Me? I'm not ready to pass on just yet. I'm too busy working to ensure the success of my life science companies, and I can't wait to taste that first avocado from our new trees.