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The Age of Psychobabble Print E-mail

By Sarah Honig
June 4, 2009

There never were good old days. Olden times produced heaps of evil, torment and immeasurable pain - foremost for the long-suffering Jewish people. But at least psychologically the bad old days were simpler and therefore the misery was more straightforward.

In bygone decades things weren't as prettied up and obfuscated as in our age of psychobabble. Yesteryear's concepts included Good and Bad - absolute truths and values that inspired and guided folks. By postmodern scales only rival self-serving narratives exist.

That's why US President Barack Obama prattles about US arrogance and bows before the corrupt Saudi potentate and the democracy-deficient Islamic world. That's why his Israeli and voluble American-Jewish soul-mates are so appalled by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's anti-Annapolis sacrilege - never mind that his predecessor should have said the same for the sake of her people's self-preservation prospects, to say nothing of her country's self-respect.

The underlying premise is that our world must be perceived as benign and that to diagnose it as otherwise is a profound mental aberration. In other words, not only is Lieberman sick in the head, but so are the majority of Israelis who voted against the ongoing Osloite inanity, including its Annapolis derivative.

Anything not in keeping with Obama's visions of sugarplums - even killjoy genocidal aggression - can presumably be overcome by expressions of affection and therapeutic introspection. That's what progressive professors inculcated into Obama, and why he now atones to ungrateful Europeans and hostile Muslims for supposed American conceit. That's why he intimates Israel had been "disrespectful" of the pitiable Palestinians who failed in their tireless efforts to obliterate it. We Israelis are just the victims of an anomaly, of untreated maladjustment, of a complex of gross irrationality.

To achieve enlightenment and rehabilitation in the eyes of those who know better, we need only cease seeing the worst in our mortal enemies. We must stop focusing on Arab media's harangues against us, on mosque sermons demonizing Jews and on kindergarten exhortations to please Allah by slaying Israeli infidels.

Only if we plug our ears and put blinders on will we regain normalcy and acceptance. Obama-speak compromise obliges Israel to take existential risks. Arab cooperation requires they wait patiently for Israeli suicide rather than rush in for the precipitous slaughter.

Coated with enough sugar, this poison pill appears the perfect cure. Refusal to swallow it becomes unreasonable rejectionism, which upsets the delicate international equilibrium.

In a world where the three-word slogan and five-second sound bite prevail, it doesn't matter that all the palaver in Annapolis was never translated into binding agreements, which consequently were never brought to a Knesset vote and were never democratically ratified. For moral relativists, Israeli democracy is anyway not preferable to PA thuggery.

If anything, Annapolis should teach Israel's Left how dangerous even suggested concessions are. Even what was never approved or implemented becomes willy-nilly the next square-one. That's how Annapolis emerged as a nonagreement to contend with.

THREE LAME DUCKS (George Bush, Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas) convened in Annapolis on November 27, 2008 and produced a catalog of cliches unsurprisingly extolling the virtues of ending "bloodshed, suffering and decades of conflict," of ushering in "a new era of peace, based on freedom, security, justice, dignity, respect and mutual recognition," of propagating "a culture of peace and nonviolence," of "confronting terrorism and incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis."

That last phrase of course is the ultimate epitome of vapid moral relativism. Israelis have never sent suicide bombers to Arab streets nor incited Jewish masses to annihilate Muslims, but fair-mindedness ostensibly demands that guilt for Arab/Muslim crimes be shared equally even when there's not a shred of justification for the galling impudence. Yet Israel's previous PM never saw fit to protest the transparent misrepresentation. When Israel's new government objects, it's judged as blaspheming against the gospel of Annapolis.

Next in the inventory of Annapolis platitudes is verbiage on "good-faith bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception." This was supposed to have been achieved by the end of 2008. Failure to do so still presumably obliges us in 2009 and indefinitely beyond.

The Annapolis three also resurrected that crumpled tattered 2003 road map and chattered about its implementation, as if the PA ever moved one step along its chartered track.

Additionally the US was empowered to "monitor and judge the fulfillment of the commitment of both sides of the road map." Israeli sovereignty thus was ad hoc surrendered by a departing premier to a departing US president. Nevertheless, Israel's status as a banana republic must, apparently, in the view of the Obama administration, remain irrevocable.

Obama is free to change course and deviate radically from the policy of his predecessor, but he denies like privilege to his Israeli counterpart. How very liberal. The adamant insistence on the Annapolis "understandings," moreover, is based on studious disregard for the actual facts on the ground. If anything, these underscore the utter hollowness of those Annapolis truisms.

In the far-from-Annapolis real world, Arabs arrive with axes at a playground and crack open the heads of Jewish children. Not only does the Arab side betray its road map obligations by not fighting terror, it resorts to terror as policy. Rabid incitement continues as an instrument of mass indoctrination.

The road map was blueprinted by the Saudis to whom Obama demonstrated obeisance, and they do not have Israeli welfare at heart. And oh, yes, the Palestinian state already exists on nearly 80 percent of Palestine, even if, for reasons of political expedience, it's called Jordan.

But who cares about pesky reality which mars enticing illusions? Tzipi Livni doesn't give a hoot. Instead, she haughtily carps that "in 20 minutes Lieberman managed to undo years of peacemaking." So what if those years produced nothing but abysmal flops? Olmert crowed that he offered Abbas even more than the 98% of everything which Ehud Barak was willing to give Yasser Arafat. Presumably only disaffected Israeli voters prevented peace from blossoming all over. The fact that the voters refused the Annapolis toxic potion doesn't count, according to Obama-Olmert-Livni. Their concept of democracy coerces all future governments to subscribe to the rebuffed folly.

This becomes the unassailable criterion for sanity and righteousness. Why not? It's more likely than well-founded pessimism to fly in a world where there are no deadly dangers and no ill will. At most we're sometimes impeded by fleeting frustrations. We can quell all irritations with compassion for the adversary's tribulations and with a whole lot of self-improvement techniques.

We can make this a nice world if we only make nice. Yet we mustn't force our perception of nice on the bad guys who're anyway not bad - only misunderstood - victims of our narrow-mindedness.

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