Atrocities in Israel
I have shared my thoughts on the horror of what is happening in Israel on Twitter. I was going to write something longer, but it is simply too painful:
My son, Jonah, asked me why I hadn't written anything about what has happened in Israel. I had to pause and think; I was frozen.
I had to comfort my daughter Hannah, whose boyfriend is visiting Israel, and reassure her that he was going to be okay. (He is fine, spending a lot of time in a bomb shelter.)
Jonah, who is 22, has three of his high school friends in the IDF, most likely going to Gaza soon. He is worried about them, and so am I.
I contacted my friends and clients in Israel to make sure they hadn't been hurt. A big part of me is just in shock at the barbaric, animal-like behavior – beheading civilians with shovels, raping young girls and then murdering them.
What also saddens me is that the Western media is currently supporting Israel, but this will change in about a week after the New York Times starts showing pictures of dead Palestinians. The US administration will be asking Israel to show restraint.
We have seen this movie before so many times, except this time it is a blockbuster.
I have only two words: Never Again.
Seeing images of innocent casualties of Israel's necessary retaliation against Hamas will be as painful as seeing images of tortured Israelis.
This reminds me of what Golda Meir, prime minister of Israel, said half a century ago: “When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons. Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”
The last few days were incredibly challenging, filled with a lot of complex emotions and anger. I was reminded of this Buddhist wisdom: “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Here is what I did and am going to do:
I am going to reduce my consumption of social media (mainly Twitter for me), and I have already asked both of my older kids to get off social media. The images they see there now cannot be unseen; they burn into their psyches and have a lasting, unhealthy impact.
I decided to let go of my anger and channel my energy into something more positive – helping victims of this massacre. I asked my Twitter followers to help me find good charities in Israel that can help those in need right now. You can see their responses here.
Also, a client who lives in Israel suggested another charity, the Jewish National Fund (JNF). He wrote that JNF is currently doing the following: “evacuating the hardest hit communities on the border... providing firefighting and protective equipment ... and supplying bedding and hygiene supplies ... and more.”
My family just made donations to these charities. If you decide to donate $100 or more to any of them, please email a copy of your receipt to Barbara at email@example.com and we will mail you a signed copy of my book Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life. If you already have a copy, we can mail it to your friend or relative. (We can mail the book in the US only.)
I have just finished a fifteen-page seasonal letter to IMA clients. It discusses the economy and the positioning of our stock portfolio, as well as China, fossil fuels, AI, and unions. I will be sharing excerpts from it over the next few weeks, starting tomorrow with a section that discusses my thoughts on the economy.
Vitaliy Katsenelson is the CEO at IMA, a value investing firm in Denver. He has written two books on investing, which were published by John Wiley & Sons and have been translated into eight languages. Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life (Harriman House, 2022) is his first non-investing book. You can get unpublished bonus chapters by forwarding your purchase receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org.