David Brooks Lands in Israel, Is Bemused

In today’s New York Times, columnist David Brooks does a nice job capturing what so many of us civilized Jews feel when we touch down in Israel:

“As an American Jew, I was taught to go all gooey-eyed at the thought of Israel, but I have to confess, I find the place by turns exhausting, admirable, annoying, impressive and foreign.”

It’s a nice, gentle piece—probably like Brooks himself. And it shows up as clearly as anything the difference between the Israeli and American Jew.  There’s a fish out of water quality to Brooks’ observations and experiences that even Palestinians in Israel couldn’t relate to—they’re more Israeli than him.  He ends his piece holding out the hope that one day Israelis won’t cut in line. He can rest assured that they don’t—after they’ve lived in America for a while.