We were an outsider civilization that was going to calm and shape the Arab Middle East. Today our enterprise is in ruin. The Ottoman metaphor is relevant because we tried, however unconsciously, to be like them.
It may well be that the Israel-Palestine conflict is but a reflection of the Middle East's inherent instability. Unfortunately this means that the area's fate, and that includes Israel's, will be determined by blind historical forces rather than by foresight and planning.