"The fury of international condemnation that erupted against Israel following the raid caught Israeli diplomats flatfooted, even though it came in a climate when singers were already canceling shows and academics were being disinvited from international conferences. ...

What has been most surprising for Israelis in recent months is that criticism has come not only from traditional detractors in the Muslim world but also from the West. Israel is "making it so difficult for even its truest friends to understand its behavior," Germany's development minister said Sunday after Israel barred him from entering the Gaza Strip. ...

Frustration with Israel's international isolation is coupled with Israeli anxieties about the country's seemingly dwindling capabilities, said Oz Almog, a sociologist at Haifa University. "We are not as strong as we used to perceive ourselves," Almog said. "Our army is not as victorious as it used to be." ...

Israelis may be indifferent to criticism when it's in their own media or when it comes from Israeli human rights groups, Segev said, "but we are not indifferent to these signs coming from abroad." "

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