I am not the first person to remark upon the distressing state of Israeli public life, increasingly dominated by zealots and demagogues; the subject is commonplace in Israeli writing, as Amos Elon notes. It is mainly Israel's American defenders who seem blithely unaware of this state of affairs. Lenin used to describe Bolshevism's foreign admirers—fellow-traveling progressives who resolutely heard and saw no ill in their promised land—as "useful idiots."Judt has not visited here (his observations are so way off and anyway he would have mentioned it). He can't be reading much of the Israeli media either (even Haaretz) if he thinks that "public life is increasingly dominated by zealots and demagogues". So where are these ideas (and venom) coming from?
Afterthought: Could well be that Judt would apply the term "zealot" to me (or Gil or Imshin) and only Beilin, Burg etc. are "within the pale" for him. At some British blogs there seems to be an unarguable sensibility under which expressing support for Sharon is regarded as akin to supporting Mugabe.