If George F. Will comes across to some as a starchy combination of ministerial and professorial, he can blame it on his genes: The longtime columnist is, after all, the grandson of a Lutheran minister and the son of a philosophy professor.
He is also as unflinching a defender of Israel as they come in the American media. Will first came to public attention in the 1970s as an articulate, polished representative of the emerging backlash against political and cultural liberalism. He always evinced a strong sympathy for Israel.
Writing in 1977 when the Carter administration was blaming Israel for its alleged intransigence, Will framed the issue in terms that resonate 32 years later:
"[T]he contagious crossness between Washington and Jerusalem that originated in Washington is a compound of Washington impatience and Israeli anxiety. The anxiety is more reasonable than the impatience…. The secure are always exhorting Israel to be daring."