One of my favorite news analysis web sites for understanding the Middle East is Dr. Guy Bechor's page. No, you won't find conspiracy theories, scoops, or other nonsense. Just level-headed commentary on the situation, free of political agendas, and based on his expert understanding of Middle Eastern mentality, politics and history.
The original Hebrew articles are more elegantly written, but this English translation of a recent post describes the Israeli tendency towards self-criticism, that often reaches a pathological level. Whereas the Arabs do the reverse, blame outsiders for every misfortune that befalls them, we Israelis collectively blame ourselves for everything. Of course, this stops when it comes to an individual politician admitting error. However, every national issue, from the climate, water, security situation, Arab extremism and terrorism, to road accidents and poverty-- are a result, according to our newspapers and politicians, of incompetence, negligence, malice or other preventable causes.
A measured dose of self-criticism is healthy, if it helps to expose and correct mistakes. But here it is unrestrained and used for political purposes, only results in national depression (and embarrassment in the eyes of the world)
The issue of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier being held hostage by the Palestinians, has been getting emphasis again lately. The media converage has been interminable, not out of sympathy for the family, but more out of the desire to blame ourselves-- for the incompetence of the kidnapping in the first place, to the failure to obtain his release. Guy Bechor has written about this, too. In a nutshell, the possibility and timing of a release has more to do with internal Arab politics than with anything we can do.
SO LETS STOP BEATING OURSELVES UP!