If Israel annexes part of the West Bank in early July and denies the Palestinians who come with it equal rights, I will confront one of the deepest dilemmas I have had to face since 1965, when I migrated to Israel from apartheid South Africa.
I fought as an Israeli paratrooper in the Six Day War; was stationed in Sinai during the War of Attrition; spent nine months on the Golan Heights after fighting in the 1973 Yom Kippur War; and performed an average of 60 days of active reserve duty annually for about 15 years.
I have lived with my family through Intifadas and suicide bombers, a succession of unnecessary wars, missile attacks from Iraq, and sporadic but persistent rocket and mortar barrages from over the border with Gaza. My wife walked our four-year old to a birthday party shortly after a suicide bomber detonated himself. His head had landed on a balcony near the kindergarten and a grenade was found in the playground not far from the birthday cake.
I have seen a prime minister assassinated for trying to make peace, and spent many sleepless nights worrying about my children as each served their three years of compulsory military service.
But what has broken my heart is watching what’s happening to my country under the decade-long leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu: The erosion of democracy; the institutionalized greed; the bloated government; the delegitimization of the press (journalists critical of the government now risk bodily harm reporting on right-wing pro-Netanyahu demonstrations); the direct, unrelenting attack on the rule of law led by a prime minister now on trial for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust; and now the insensitivity to those who have lost all to the virus, while those in power line their pockets.