Israel Is Caught in a Tragic Situation

(New York Times) David Brooks - Israel is caught in a tragic situation. It's surrounded by an Arab world that is largely hostile to its existence. No Arab leader has enough legitimacy to make peace. It is in a region marked by failed states, decentered radical Islam and rampant turmoil. Over the decades, Israelis have collectively adapted to their circumstances with some reasonable degree of success. They didn't recoil from the drama they were caught in. They are nothing if not critical of one another. The society moves forward on a great wave of fevered argument. The failure to deal with ambiguity is one of the great disorders of the age. It's a flight from reality. Often, good people, with high ideals take a dappled society in a tough situation, like Israel, and they want to judge it according to black and white legal abstractions. They find an error and call for blanket condemnation. As critics or pundits, it's worth keeping in mind what psychologists call the fundamental attribution error: don't blame character when the problem is the situation.

2013-12-20 00:00:00

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