Mark Twain advised to never argue with a fool because onlookers might not be able to tell the difference. Observers unfamiliar with the true nature of the antagonists or unknowledgeable of the intricacies of the struggle may be confused in their analysis as to who is at fault or who started the fight in the first place. Similar logic can be applied to fighting with the violently insane. The best solution is to render psychotic individuals incapable of inflicting harm on others.
There are many characteristics of psychopathology depending on the context of the discussion or the specific psychosis. Einstein famously defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Terrorist organizations, lone wolves, gangs of killer thugs, and martyr wannabees have been trying to dehumanize, intimidate, and discourage us from claiming our historical and legal rights in Eretz-Israel for a long time. They keep committing the same kinds of violent acts and yet they are still expecting different results. They expect us to eventually reach a breaking point and no longer find the promise worth the struggle. According to Einstein’s loose definition, they are insane. We intend to call this land our home for another 4,000 years.
Insane behavior sometimes involves acts of violence so savage, inhumane, and barbaric that the overwhelming majority of human beings would view the behavior as the stuff of nightmares. Witness Tel Aviv burned out buses, pizza parlors, and a host of other Israeli venues that have been targets of unspeakable terror. Sane people view such acts of terror as horrifying, unimaginable, and incomprehensible, whereas terrorists see the violent insane behavior as worthy of praise and emulation.
Another characteristic of insanity sometimes manifests as a warped or hideous pleasure in extreme cruelty. Terrorist recruiters and handlers often experience pleasure from successfully murdering innocent Jewish children as if they were vermin. We have seen such celebrations and expressions of gratification over and over again from Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PLO.
It is unfortunate that too many international journalists who otherwise often display great analytical skills can succumb to terrorist clichés. I have heard CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, for example, parrot that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. I beg to differ. If terrorists were freedom fighters by any stretch of a civilized imagination, they would not deliberately murder innocent civilians simply for the shock effect they can achieve in the daily news for political goals. They would target only enemy soldiers.
Let’s make it more personal so American readers can more intimately understand what we have been going through for decades. When James Holmes walked into the movie theater in Colorado and murdered 12 strangers and injured 70 more innocent lives, few movie goers doubted that this guy had some screws loose. Few parents doubted the insanity of Adam Lanza who murdered so many innocent children in Newtown, Connecticut. How is it different when hundreds of terrorist crazies continuously reinforce and validate each other’s madness through the most horrible acts imaginable? Does well organized financing of terror against Israelis make it somehow less horrendous than the violence perpetrated by so-called lone wolves in America?
It is well known that Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, was responsible for the financing of the 1972 Munich massacre against Israeli Olympic athletes. To this day he continues to celebrate and glorify the bloodiest of terrorists, such as Dalal Mughrabi. Abu Mazen’s dual strategy for the destruction of the Jewish State involves diplomacy in attempts to delegitimize the Jewish State and intimidation through regular acts of terror. Yet we try to extend our hand to him in friendship?
We have continued to make gestures of goodwill toward Abbas and the Palestinian Authority only to discover each time that Abbas seems to only be playing games with us. In early 2010, Netanyahu imposed a 10-month settlement construction moratorium as a gesture of goodwill to entice Abbas to the negotiating table. Abbas wasted nine months before he would even engage in direct negotiations. During this period, he was often seen grinning from ear to ear as if he had really made a fool out of Netanyahu by pressuring him to impose the moratorium without Abbas having to give Israelis anything in return. There was something illogical about this kind of behavior when the stakes were so high.
Hope springs eternal in the Jewish soul. One of the most common words in Hebrew is shalom. The pursuit of peace is so pervasive in our worldview that when we simply ask someone how they are doing, we ask, “What is your peace?” We define ourselves as a people of peace.
Just as terrorists keep committing acts of terror over and over again and hoping for different results, we keep making concessions over and over again to the PA while hoping for different results. How many times do we have to be bitten before we quit extending our hand in gestures of goodwill? According to Einstein, are we ourselves not bordering on the illogical and irrational when we give credibility to terrorists by making concessions, often meeting their demands, and sometimes even paying them to talk to us?
Who is crazier, the terrorists or those of us who continue to bargain with them as if they would ever willingly give up the steady flow of income they receive from various international sponsors of terror? We need to give ourselves a reality check. We need to bring ourselves back to earth and quit flying over the cuckoo’s nest.
The cure is beautiful in its simplicity. There is already a Palestinian state called Jordan where the majority of people are Palestinians. King Abdullah II can earn an honored place in history by enabling a Palestinian democracy in his country. Israel can make Areas A and B permanent semi-autonomous regions for any Palestinians unwilling to become peaceful and loyal citizens of the Jewish State. In the absence of any democratically elected leaders in the Palestinian Authority, Israel needs to move forward unilaterally and assist Jordan and Areas A and B in every way we can to help bring about a prosperous shared future for both Israelis and Palestinians and to encourage an end to the insane barbarity of the last few decades.