In Netanya, a popular seaside town a few miles North of Tel Aviv, where I am currently spending a few days, life is pretty good, life carries on as normal.
The streets are full of traffic, the shops are full of punters. Recent ceasefires and the distance from Gaza mean that the events in the South seem like a distant conflict in another country.
Yet, it is not forgotten by any means: flags fly, the odd soldier saunters through public squares, newspapers and television reports are keenly followed.
We did some shopping again today and took in the atmosphere of sidewalk restaurants and cafés. A small group of be-jeaned and hijabed Arab girls mixed with Ashkenazi Jews, Russian Jews and Ethiopian shop assistants in a dress shop.
As I previously wrote: So much for Apartheid. This is an accusation persistently peddled by Israel-haters. The same accusation is rebutted easily. Yet it persists. Accusers point to refugee camps, the separation wall, the blockade, purported Jews-only roads in Judea and Samaria.
Let’s not get into Oslo, settlements, PA autonomy or the 2005 evacuation of Gaza.
What I have often felt as I walk around Netanya, where the atmosphere is relaxed and without any sense of danger or threat, is how very different it is from Gaza.
There is a brief sense of guilt; I and everyone here is safe, people seem to have a very nice life, different races and religions mix without enmity. Everyone accepts everyone else: religious and non-religious, Jew and Arab, African and European.
In Gaza, there are no Jews. There are no synagogues. Gaza is Judenrein. If there is ever a Palestinian state, that too would be Judenrein. Many areas are smashed. There is fear and insecurity. Life is not easy.
I have frequently thought of these people, a few kilometres away, living such a different life.
But, despite my concern and my wish that one day they will live like the young Arab girls I saw in town, I remember why they live like they do, and that reason is Hamas, culturally engrained victimhood, decades of Jew-hate, rejection of Israel, abysmal leadership.
The answer to Gaza’s and Palestinians’ woes? Simple. Make peace. Stop hate. Then nothing is impossible.