According to Diane: "Israeli men are not big on empathy" (Blogger archives, we know we know, scroll down to the 6:33am post).
I object! This is an extremely unfair generalization. Not that I don't know Israeli men who are not big on empathy, plenty of them. But I also know quite a few who are extremely big on empathy. My Bish, for instance, is far more empathic (or is that empathetic?) than I am (and I was a woman, when I last checked). Not that I'm being boastful or anything. And before you make any snide remarks about his masculinity (or lack of it), I'll have you know he's not a bit wimpy, and he works in very "male" occupation, and he owns a big handgun, which he practices shooting regularly, and he is happiest watching soccer or basketball on TV. So there!
A tough exterior doesn't necessarily mean a tough interior. When my mother died, I half-expected some of my more macho male co-workers to be embarrassed and avoid me, but most of them went out of their way to be warm and kind.