My cousins the Palestinian people are suffering. The people of my birthplace of Detroit are suffering.

I am not suffering.

I have been blessed with so many things in my life. I come from a loving and supportive family. I had the opportunity of receiving an excellent education. I have wonderful and healthy children. I own a successful business. I have my health. I have a wife who loves me. Baruch Hashem.

It is natural for people to look at successful people and rationalize that their success came from taking advantage of other people. It is called jealousy. I hear that all the time, especially about Jewish people. Yes there are people who have made it rich by taking advantage of other people. They are called criminals. But most successful people are not criminals. In fact, most successful people got successful because they produced something that made other people’s lives better.

My success in school, my success in business, my success as a parent and my success as a husband came from hard work, sacrifice and luck. I am proud of my accomplishments. I accept that with success comes responsibility. I understand that I have the obligation of tzedakah. I care. I want to help. There are things that I can and must do to help.

But I can’t solve the problems in Detroit. I can help the people of Detroit. I can buy their cars and I can visit their city and I can even donate to their schools and hospitals. But most of the work of fixing Detroit has to come from the people living there.

Israel is a country with so many blessings. It has a thriving economy. It has incredible natural beauty. It is even now discovering natural resources. Baruch Hashem

People are jealous of Israel’s success. People claim Israel’s success came from criminal action. Israel is blamed for the suffering of the Palestinians. But Israel is not responsible. Building homes in disputed territory is not a crime. Blowing up buses is a crime. Israel’s success came from hard work, incredible sacrifice and a lot of luck. Israel’s success has helped make the world a better place. Not just for the Jewish people but for all the people in the world. I am proud of Israel’s accomplishments.

David and a Druze

My Druze Cousin and I Baking Bread in the Golan

As a result of its success, Israel feels obligated to try and help the Palestinian people. Israel is trying to find a way through negotiations to help Palestinians create their own state. From Oslo to Camp David Israel has tried and tried again to find ways to give up a portion of its land to help create a Palestinian state. Israel helps with the building of infrastructure, medical care, water, electricity, food and on and on.

The Palestinians need to take responsibility for solving their problems. When they start building a government that helps their people instead of stealing from them; when they stop inciting hatred in their schools; and when they realize that the Jewish people are their cousins who also have a right to their own country then Israelis will be their greatest supporters.