Perhaps there are countries where drivers stuck in traffic jams don't get annoyed. They know they can do nothing about it, so they wait patiently. Think their own thoughts, listen to the radio or read until the jam disperses.And here's another, more telling one:
We Israelis are not like that. We are a nervous lot. We have no patience. When we are stuck in a jam, we curse the world and the government, demanding a solution, perhaps a dirt road by which we might escape.
This is why I find it so hard to understand the tactics of the settlers, who use the traffic jam as their main weapon. If they believe that by blocking major traffic arteries, burning tires and creating huge jams throughout the country they are going to win the sympathy of the public, they are even more divorced from reality than it seemed already.
Actually, the blocking of roads is a declaration of war against the Israeli public. It marks a clear front-line: the settlers and their adherents on one side and the majority of the population on the other.
The settlers are playing a very sophisticated double game. Their leaders threaten civil war. On the walls there appear graffiti announcing "We have killed Rabin, we shall kill Sharon!" (Rabin's murderer did indeed come from this camp, but for years we were admonished not to mention this, because it might "split the nation".) Every day, spokespersons use the media to sketch blood-curdling scenarios: masses of sympathizers will march on Gush Katif, traffic throughout the country will come to a standstill, matters will "get out of hand", blood will be spilled.Thus the settlers aim to put the pain into "painful concessions".