In 1993 they opened their ears to peace with PLO leader Yasser Arafat (the Oslo Accords); in 2000 they tried to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (the Camp David peace summit); and in 2005 they withdrew unilaterally from the Gaza Strip (the Disengagement). These efforts did not lead to quiet, calm and security, but to violence, terror and instability.
It is impossible to answer “who is Israel” without examining and understanding the shared traumas that Israelis experienced in the last four years: all around them the Arab world crumbled into chaos (the slaughter in Syria, Islamic State in Iraq, al-Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula, violence in Libya, Yemen and Lebanon). And the Gaza Strip, from which they had withdrawn, became the heavily armed and hostile base of Hamas, raining down a barrage of missiles on Tel Aviv for 50 days in the summer of 2014. The aggregate result of these traumas is an understandable but dangerous shift to the right. Because the old peace-idea was not replaced by a new peace-idea, many Israelis fear for their future and are no longer willing to embrace American and European peace initiatives, which seem to them completely divorced from reality. At the same time, some Israelis have developed xenophobic tendencies that do not stem from inherent racism, but from a deep fear that the center-left in Israel and the international community cannot assuage.
Ari Shavit, “Is Israel Losing Its Soul?”, Politico (20 March 2015) [http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/israeli-elections-israel-future-116266.html]