Israelis are bold and visionary, passionate and generous. But they can also be grandiose and self-absorbed. Emerging from the depths of Jewish history and the drama of the Zionist rebellion against it, they have a deeply conflicted identity. They are willing to sacrifice themselves for the collective, but also to sacrifice that very collective for a higher, and likely unattainable, ideal. Resolving these internal conflicts and coming to terms with the trauma of the Holocaust are imperative to Israel's survival as a nation and to the stability of the world.
Alon Gratch, a clinical psychologist whose family has lived in Israel for generations, is the author of The Israeli Mind.
Listen to Alon Gratch interview on NPR TakeAway