Oresharski, who heads a fragile coalition led by the Socialist Party, promised a government of cleanhanded
experts, free of the skulduggery redolent of Bulgaria's Communist past, when the intelligence service became infamous as a subcontractor for the K.G.B.
With no television or radio, and no real eagerness to see or hear arrogant western males discussing their military prowess, their delight in their own "cleanhanded
," not at all brave destructiveness, I relied on a friend's phone calls to his son in San Francisco to keep me informed.
When a Palestinian woman tells of her longing for a village the Israelis seized in 1948, Grossman discovers "with some bafflement, I admit, that she reminds me of my grandmother and her stories of Poland, from which she was expelled." At another point, when a woman describes how, as a child, Israeli soldiers blindfolded her father and shot him 30 times, Grossman reexamines Jews' vision of themselves as "cleanhanded
types." "I pondered then about how much one must be suspicious of people who testify about themselves morning and night that they are merciful."