Talking to Israelis feels a bit like talking to fans of Millwall FC. ‘No one likes us, we don’t care,’ sing Millwall fans. Israel is the undoubted Millwall of global affairs, loathed by almost every Westerner who considers himself decent and they’ve adopted a similar cri de coeur. ‘Europe doesn’t like us. Americans do not like us. We can live with this,’ says a kippah-wearing guy at the Western Wall. He sums up a sentiment I hear across this country.
If you were in Iran or North Korea, long-time chart-toppers in the international community’s gallery of rogue states, you wouldn’t bat an eyelid when a citizen expressed disgruntlement with the wicked West. But Israel? This tiny nation was for so long the West’s best bud in the Middle East; a bright democratic outpost in an otherwise autocratic desert. To hear Israelis speak ill of the West, to see them raise their eyes to the heavens at every mention of the United Nations or the European Union, feels weird.
Everywhere I go, people wonder out loud why the West, especially Europe’s chattering classes, hates them so. Israel is being treated like a ‘pariah state’, says Uri Dromi, executive director of the Jerusalem Press Club and former spokesman for the Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres governments. [...]
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