David Brooks goes on to add "Public culture is one long cacophony of criticism."
My impression of the New York Times is that its editorial policy towards Israel has been less than sympathetic over the last several years, "several" being since the death of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. Regardless of whether or not you agree, yesterday's op-ed piece by David Brooks (I think a subscription is required to view the article) was a refreshing departure. Of course many of Brooks's commenters immediately pounced on him for ignoring the Palestinians' plight, as though his short bit of cultural appraisal was intended as a poitical statement. As soon as I read the comments I realized that, while Israel may be held together by passionate argument, it sucks everyone else into argument too. If it makes you feel worn out, I recommend my personal survival strategy of afternoon naps, prozac, and a dog.