It's late and I've just come back from Neve Tzedek where I sat with some friends and had a few drinks. Rather than blog about events and who we saw and what they said, I thought I'd just convey some thoughts.
I'd like to begin by wishing my wife a Happy Anniversary, our 17th (and Happy Mother's Day, too). It's not easy sharing your husband with the State of Israel. Love you, Deb.
For anyone who knows me or has read this blog, they know I have a deep personal attachment to this place that I cannot explain, and perhaps that is the source of my attachment. I've seen a lot here in the last two weeks, and no matter how much has changed on the surface, it's the same place I left 16 years ago. My friends haven't changed, they just live in different homes and have families of their own now. In many ways, it seems as if not more than a week has passed since 1995.
I count myself as very fortunate to have been on this mission. The people I've met and been around during the last week, particularly the young people involved with J Street and the various organizations from the peace camp, have given me great hope for Israel's future. If there are people that don't believe J Streeters are pro-Israel, it's only because they aren't paying attention. I spoke with a Knesset Member this evening who congratulated us on the work we have done, a refrain that not surprisingly, considering who we have met with, I have heard often during the past seven days. I thought the comment to be perfunctory and asked him what we accomplished. "You have driven the right wing in Israel crazy," he answered. And so I was convinced.
I'm going to sign off for now. Tomorrow we'll be meeting with Kadima chair, Tzipi Livni, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In the next couple days, I hope to get some concluding thoughts together and share them on this blog.
In the meantime, one thing you should know is this is one tough place to leave.
Thanks for reading.