Is there a difference between Israeli tourists viewing the conflict in Syria through binoculars and Americans following the same events on the internet? Sometimes maybe not, but largely I would say there is a significant difference.
For Israelis the spectacle of regional violence is self-affirming.
It reinforces the idea that Israel is justifiably obsessed with its own security because it is surrounded by a ‘dangerous neighborhood.’
It confirms Ehud Barak’s racist notion that Israel is a villa in a jungle and that tranquility inside this villa can only be afforded by high walls.
It defines neighbors on the basis of their otherness and legitimizes indifference in preference to empathy.
It denies the common ground of human existence and suggests that the miserable plight of those who live literally a stone’s throw outside Israel need not impinge on the good life inside the Jewish state.