For many of my American friends and former colleagues in the media, I am the Israeli they know and therefore a go-to person on Israeli affairs. They contact me with questions on Israeli politics, Jerusalem restaurants, Hebrew slang and Israeli popular culture.
Recently, their curiosity is turning into bewilderment and astonishment. Their lovingly inquisitive approach toward
Israel is turning into exasperation. Their focus now is on trying to decipher Israel’s shifting character, on its
changing face, on the fading vision of the Israel they grew up loving and hoped to see thriving — a state that
embodies progressive, democratic, pluralistic, tolerant values.
“What the hell is going on there,” I’m often asked, “have they totally lost it?”