Just read a very good op ed by David Brooks which you can read here. When I was in Israel in May, I was blown away the developments in every area from technology to art. I lived in Israel in the 70s and was one of the first to develop a technology based export business. While I have been back many times, these are different times for Israel. Much of this is due to the increased sense of security that is the the result of the walls built around the border areas. While these walls are there to protect Israel from terrorists (and they have been effective at that) they are a symbol of all that is wrong in the middle east. For not only do they protect Israel but the isolate the Arab countries from all that Israel could have contributed to their development. Israel no longer sees itself as part of the middle east. It is a developed country dealing with other developed countries. Walking around in Tel Aviv is like walking around in parts of LA or Palo Alto. But of course, Israel is located in the middle east. There is no real escape from that. In the meantime I plan to spend many weeks in Tel Aviv this year, proud to be a Jew in a Jewish country and maybe dream a bit about a day when there will be no wall.