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He led confused Jews down the deadly path of self-delusion

Reader comment on item: [After Sharon:] Israeli Politics Will Revert to Its Past

Submitted by Ezra Ben-Shalom (United States), Jan 5, 2006 at 08:56

Let us hope that with Sharon gone, Israelis and Jews everywhere will have the moral courage and the psychological strength to acknowledge the real character of their jihadist enemies, who will not be satisfied until Israel is completely destroyed as a Jewish State. Concessions, expulsions of Jews from their homes, and the release of these terrorists from prison will only empower them. Let's give a name to the mental disease which infected Jews even before the creation of the modern Jewish State: Identification with the Aggressor (IA), also known as the Stockholm Syndrome. People with this disorder project their own goodness onto their tormentor, see kindness where there is none, and focus on the aggressor's lies and deceptive gestures suggesting compassion. The basic problem is that the opposite response to aggression, active self-defense and honesty about the graveness of the situation, brings a much better chance of survival. Sharon surely understood the intentions of his enemies, but looking at poll after poll reflecting Israel's IA pandemic, he changed his policies and his statements to indulge his people's delusions in a cynical attempt to stay in power. He gave away disputed territories to people who had vowed to use that land as a base to attack and seize more of Israel. He suggested that peace would come not through self-defense and hard work, but through helping Israel's enemies.

It is possible to get someone to snap out of IA by putting him in a polite, safe situation where he cannot escape a discussion of reality. In fact, the deprogramming of Jews affected by IA should have been official policy even before the State of Israel was proclaimed; instead, Sharon exacerbated the problem in exchange for popularity. Let's turn public debate to IA, so that everyone can understand the real reason behind Israel's insane policies.

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