As a young academic-in-training, I partook in the political ethos of the group that considered itself Israel's elite - an ethos resembling European social-democracy, more or less, in the broadest meaning of the term including many components beyond daily politics. In retrospect my doctoral dissertation, which argued that the Nazi program of murder was less a result of circumstances and more a result of purposeful decision-making, was a fundamental departure from this ethos, though at the time it didn't effect the way I voted in elections. That departure had been a painful intellectual process, and happened over 3-4 years in which the large amounts of documents I was reading demanded of me that I recognize their content was different from what my expectations had been. I eventually published all this in Hitler's Bureaucrats.
The change in my voting habits came very abruptly, within the three months of November 2000-January 2001. This abruptness was caused by the Palestinians, as I described in Right to Exist. It was about then, say, in 2001, that I became aware of what Americans would call the conservative intellectual tradition.
Among Israelis there had always been a large number of highly and extremely highly intelligent and educated people who stood outside, even against, the reigning intellectual mainstream. Most of them, however, belonged to one of the various orthodox strands of Judaism, and they mostly didn't engage the secular thinkers at all: they were indifferent to them. The academia-media-secular elites had their shticks, the orthodox had theirs, and the two never touched (and each group observed the others mostly with disdain). As I looked around the new political scenery in early 2001, however, I needed secular intellectual voices on my new part of the field, and I remember my surprise and relief that in the US there were large numbers of them. Not everything they were saying was convincing to me, of course. I was, and remained, a graft between a centrist and a Querdenker (someone who holds opinions for their value, not for their political hue). Still, it was comforting to know they were there.
Anyway, what was novel for me was stale news for many people in the US. One of them, it seems, was Adam Bellow, whom I met in 2002 when he took upon himself to be the editor of Right to Exist. (He was a terrific editor). He recently published an article - or perhaps it's something of an intellectual memoir - about his life on the front lines of the American intellectual culture wars. You don't have to agree with all of his positions, but it's an interesting story.