One of my morning routines is reading the daily on-line versions of the various Israeli newspapers (commencing with The Times of Israel ) and other related news or interest websites originating in Israel.

Though present year round, there is right now, just prior to this election, a heady mix of ‘news’ and opinion that both informs and entertains those of us who live outside of Israel.

It is to Israel’s credit that such conversations can rage on and rage they do at times ! However volatile, I think they can and should be viewed as an important indicator of the state of democracy in Israel as a whole.

What is entirely more problamatic is the degree of self control one must exercise so as not to venture forth and wade into the discussion. As a frequent visitor to Israel one can not help but relate to some of the subjects and have formed an opinion of one’s own on the topic under discussion.

However, it is precisely because one is a visitor and not a resident, that it is incumbent upon those of us in the diaspora to defer, to resist and to merely watch the views being expressed by those whose daily lives give them a vested interest and/or responsiblity in such matters. And also perhaps a more informed opinion than we imagine that we possess.

Several years ago I remember reading a quote from an Israeli on a certain topic to the effect that, unless one had a son or daughter in the IDF on the Golan Heights, then one could cheerfully keep one’s opinion to one’s self. Or words to that effect.

Though the mental pressure is at times is enormous, it was I think sage, though pointed, advice at that time and has served me well as a yardstick over the years.