My last trip to Israel was a memorable personal and family occasion at the turn of the millennium. Israel was enjoying a period of peace and calm between the first and second Palestinian intifada (uprising).
Ending the occupation is not a charitable gift to the Palestinians. Only by accepting their right to a state of their own will Israel remain a Jewish and democratic state enjoying peace and security, instead of being drawn toward an abyss from which there is no salvation.
Looking out on the Mediterranean Sea from Tel Aviv is a good time for reflection when ending a study tour of Israel-Palestine. Just over two weeks here has made a few issues clear.
Israel's extended olive branch to the UAE occurs within a complicated geopolitical context, in which some traditional alliances are strained, several states are exploring new partnerships and various actors are seizing upon newly generated opportunities in the region.
The 20th anniversary of the assassination of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin took place last month, providing a stark reminder of that fateful November 4 for multiple generations of opportunities lost and proving to be a particularly emotional day for his son, Yuval Rabin.
While I applaud the sentiment that Israelis and Palestinians are closely connected, what struck me the most is his characterization of himself, as if being a Jew means automatic support of Netanyahu's policies, regardless of how misguided they may be.
Whereas Israel enjoys a preponderance of military and economic power and negotiates from a position of strength, the Palestinians are living under occupation with a limited ability to challenge Israel.
When Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated 20 years ago, I felt disconnected from the national mourning, like my personal fate was no longer tied up with the fate of Israel.
We have recently marked the 20th anniversary of the assassination of then Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, a good friend
In an environment where the spirit, the ruach, of the commander is the one calling the shots, the rhetoric is the only thing we can cling on to. It won't move mountains, but it will install a discourse of hope.