Democracies and Orwellian DictatorshipsActually, the difference of opinion about mideast issues between Americans and Israelis is very revealing, but MWO brings up a good point... why on earth would a nation under siege like Israel be more critical than the United States? Personally, I think it's the difference between a President and a Prime Minister; the first is both a political and symbolic position, whereas the latter is purely political. It's much (edit:this is what I get for posting at four A.M.)easier to brutally criticize a politician (whose job it is to be criticized) as opposed to the Man Who Symbolizes a People, where criticism of the President is tantamount to criticism of the people. It's a serious problem with American-style presidencies, one of the reasons why I'm not a huge fan of the system.
Have you noticed... Whatever you think of the issues in Israel, the country is far more in a state of war than the US... Yet the Israeli media don't seem to feel that Sharon must be treated with kid gloves, and it's considered OK for Labor to run ads comparing Sharon to a godfather?
Only in the US, where the war is phony, is criticism of our leader considered unpatriotic.
(Not that the Knesset doesn't have problems of its own, of course. It does. Truckloads. Just not this one.)
Then again, considering that a blatant political attack that was masquerading as an address to the nation was blacked out as inappropriate on Israeli TV when such things pass for information nowadays in the United States, the problem might go a little deeper than the symbolism of the role of the presidency. No surprise: trying to find single answers is a dificult and usually useless process. Problems often have a complex genesis.
Anyway, a request for MWO: now that you're back and that MWO is really recognizably a blog-format site, could you see fit to add permalinks to stories? It's a convenience that is sorely missed.