You can learn a lot about a nation's health by watching how it celebrates its national holidays. In Israel's case, compare how we celebrated our 50th Independence Day in 1998 to what celebrations involve today.
During the 1990s, Israel's elite took a vacation from reality and history and they brought much of the public with them.
Then-foreign minister Shimon Peres said that history was overrated. The so-called "New Historians," who rummaged through David Ben-Gurion's closet looking for skeletons, were the toast of the academic world. Radicals like Yossi Beilin, Shulamit Aloni and Avrum Burg were dictating government policy.
The media, the...