In the late 1960s, I was a young Israeli journalist, living in Jerusalem at the time of the Yom Kippur War.
I witnessed many a horrific incident of murder and bloodshed, as well as a war that Israel lost.
Many of the victims were children.
One of the most horrific was a 15-year-old Palestinian boy, who was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers.
I was lucky enough to have witnessed the incident from a safe distance, so I don’t know how it happened, but I am very sure that it was a case of mistaken identity.
I can only imagine the anguish and grief that the family of the murdered child would have felt, as they struggled to understand what had happened to their son.
I cannot imagine that a few years later, they would find their son’s remains on the street, still covered in blood.
I know that many Israeli families were traumatized by the death of their loved one, and this is why they would have a hard time dealing with the loss of a loved one who had been killed by a soldier.
The Israeli military did not distinguish between civilians and combatants during the war, but that changed in the 1960s.
I recall seeing photographs of soldiers in the streets with guns drawn, carrying rifles and firing into the air.
These images shocked me, but they also gave me hope.
For the first time in my life, I understood that the military did indeed have a responsibility to protect its soldiers and civilians from the dangers of the battlefield.
The military was also responsible for providing the best possible care for the wounded.
This is why, after the war I returned to the United States, where I was hired by a large media organization, which was based in New York City.
I have worked in journalism since then, and I am happy to say that I have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the war in Lebanon, one of the first wars of the Middle East.
The fact that the United Nations had not recognized Israel as a member state during the conflict in Lebanon was a major factor in the country’s decline during the years following the war.
The United Nations later did recognize Israel in 1993, and since then the country has been one of its strongest partners in the Middle Eastern peace process.
I do not expect the Israeli government to return to the Middle Ages and start shooting Palestinians from their homes, but if the military can do what it does, the Palestinians will understand that the Israeli occupation is not only an obstacle to peace, but an obstacle also to their very existence.
____________________ A version of this article appeared in the May/June 2017 issue of Jerusalem Post.