Sometimes it seems as if the world suffers from a collective case of schadenfreude in regards to Israel. Not only does the media evince an obsessive fascination with the minutest details of everything violent, horrifying, and depressing that occurs in this country, but often appears to feel the need to inject the violent, horrifying, and depressing into Israel’s more sanguine moments. Waking up from an evening of fireworks, music, and general enjoyment on the part of thousands at Rabin Square to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day, I was presented—along with many others—by Ethan Bronner’s recent missive, “Mood Is Dark as Israel Marks 62nd Year as a Nation”.
From his post in the Anglo-American Jerusalem bubble, in which most reporters for major English-language newspapers sequester themselves during their required tenure on the Middle East beat, Bronner informs us,
There is something about the mood this year that feels darker than usual. It has a bipartisan quality to it. Both left and right are troubled, and both largely about the same things, especially the Iranian nuclear program combined with growing tensions with the Obama administration.
There is, of course, some truth to this. Given that Iran’s psychotic leader regularly threatens to annihilate us, our anxiety on that count is fairly understandable; add to this the American president’s unwillingness to acknowledge that a man who threatens to annihilate an entire country will probably have to be confronted with the threat of force at some point, and that anxiety is compounded several fold. And certainly, the current impasse between Obama and Netanyahu is worrisome to anyone who thinks that the United States is the only country is the world that tends to treat Israel with anything resembling fairness or even sanity.