“Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth.” – Ludwig Börne
One of the wittier and more brilliant satirists ever to have come out of
Germany, Börne identified with characteristic precision that indispensable
preliminary step in Everyman’s quest for solutions to whatever plagues us. “If
you seek wisdom,” he advised, “seek the destruction of the illusions you hold as
true more than you seek new truths.”
This is counsel that should be
heeded here and now by our inveterate hawkers of megadelusion – Israel’s very
own proponents of the two-state solution. Unflaggingly they peddle tattered,
intrinsically disorienting delirium. Incredibly they never seem to tire
of pulling the wool over their own and our eyes. They present themselves as
possessors of singular insight, as harbingers of a greater truth and as wise
beyond our plebeian grasp.
They won’t let go of the grand delusion that
underlies their self-professed wisdom and purported truth. Their two-state
delusion was certainly sweet – simplistically and seductively so. It claimed
that all conflicts can be amicably and fairly settled by just dividing up
whatever is contested. It touted idealistic goodwill and seemed compellingly
rational. But it was from the start delusionary.
By all empirical
yardsticks, that delusion has finally and undeniably crumbled into grimy dust.
The illusion of a reasonable accommodation with genocidal foes – which without
fail anyhow failed the test of coolheaded analysis – ignobly disintegrated when
Ramallah’s Fatah and Gaza’s Hamas banded back together, at least pro forma, for
the sake of expediency.
Whatever their motives and whatever the
long-range plans of the old-new partners, their joint venture should persuade
even the most diehard of our peaceniks that the time has come to finally wise up
and lose the illusion.
The prevalent illusion thus far was that we face
two dissimilar Palestinian entities – negotiation- espousing Ramallah and Gaza,
whose unaltered goal is Israel’s annihilation. Now that the pair has retied the
knot, their deception has been exposed. That should mean that the illusion has
been shattered irrefutably once and for all.
In reality the only
distinction between the two always was tactical. Ramallah excels at propaganda
warfare, while Gaza fires rockets. Ramallah is funded by the Quartet,
while Gaza is underpinned by Damascus and Tehran. Both wish to obliterate
Israel, but Ramallah is more cunning and Gaza more candidly
Neither Ramallah nor Gaza was ever a reliable or viable
peace partner. Only our indomitable wishful thinking and obsessive illusion kept
conjuring up interlocutors on whom we could unload slices of homeland, directly
atop the soft underbelly of our densest population centers.
thumbs its nose at us and glorifies the IslamoNazism of infamous Second World
War-criminal Haj Amin al-Husseini, who from his Berlin residence avidly abetted
Hitler’s Final Solution, recruited Muslims to the SS and actively foiled the
rescue even of several thousand Jewish children.
Conversely, in his
Moscow Friendship University PhD treatise, Fatah figurehead Mahmoud Abbas
attempted to dwarf the Holocaust’s proportions drastically, while simultaneously
accusing Zionists of colluding in Holocaust perpetration – i.e., it didn’t
happen, but Israel is guilty. This history-warping dissertation is compulsory
study material in his fiefdom’s schools.
ABBAS’S FATAHLAND is nothing but
a more outwardly decorous version of Hamastan. All the rest is desperate
Moreover, our self-imposed hallucination arises from deep
desires for something that far transcends Israel’s well-intentioned, if
strategically misguided, yen for compromise. Our irredeemable devotion to
delusion is inherently Jewish. Perhaps it’s the defensive adaptation of the
Most members of the dysfunctional family of nations indeed advocate
the two-state solution, but we alone are delusional. All the others are
stimulated by cynical vested interests, which impair our self-preservation
prospects. In other words, other states don’t push us into the two-state
abyss for our own good. Quite the contrary.
Nevertheless, too many of our
headliners and opinion-molders voluntarily embrace that detrimental external
pressure. They avidly engage in scare-mongering. If we don’t succumb to what’s
dictated from abroad, they hector, we’ll be left alone, ostracized, vulnerable
and on the verge of extinction.
But are these demoralizers weakening our
resolve for altruistic ends? Or, perhaps, are they identifying with foreigners
whom they regard as sources of clout and influence? Are they obsequiously out to
win coveted international credentials of enlightenment, that would differentiate
them from all those bothersome insular, intransigent and politically incorrect
A cooperatively toadying disposition could secure Israel’s peaceniks
the acceptance they crave, allow them to bask in the limelight of those who
really scorn Israel, win accolades in places Israelis should naturally shun, and
earn approval from the most disapproving sorts.
The illusion is that
serving the purposes of powers whose greedy, shortsighted interests negate one’s
own interests will help promote personal or factional aggrandizement. This isn’t
a recently evolved illusion. It has been with us for at least two millennia,
perhaps the manifestation of a persistent, pesky mutation in the Jewish genome
that keeps popping up exasperatingly in all manner of circumstances, no matter
how superficially different.
Somehow Jews appear to crave acceptance, to
seek to bask in the limelight of those who really revile them, to win accolades
in places they should naturally shun, to yearn for approval from the most
inimically disapproving sorts. Ingratiating ourselves with our enemies – and
friends-of-enemies – seems preprogrammed into too many of us.
The Jews of
Germany, who historically comprised one of the most successful of Diaspora
communities, were mind-bogglingly susceptible to the aberration. The list of
famous Germans who were born Jewish yet strove not to stay Jewish is
unbelievably long. For those cursed with Jewish parentage, talent and brains
were never enough to make it in intensely Judeophobic surroundings.
many Jews with both talent and brains deluded themselves that Christian
credentials would secure them the acceptance they craved, allow them to bask in
the limelight of those who really reviled them, win accolades in places they
should naturally have shunned, and earn approval from the most disapproving
Razor-sharp Börne was disturbingly typical. He was born in
Frankfurt as Leib Baruch, and that critically was a colossal fly in his
ointment. He couldn’t even keep a bureaucratic public-sector job because
of his Jewishness. His illusion was to ditch said Jewishness by becoming
a Lutheran convert with a suitably Teutonic name.
Gallingly, though, even
that failed to erase the original sin of Baruch’s extraction. Eventually he
ended up in Paris banding with other frustrated Jews to fix up the
Börne-Baruch’s illusion of ingratiating himself didn’t pan out. He
didn’t succeed in currying the favor of non-Jews. To them Börne remained who he
was born. Perhaps it was this life experience that led him to conclude that the
prelude to any progress is losing one’s illusions.
Illusions won’t lead
any of us anywhere – not to peace with Ramallah or with Gaza, and certainly not
with both. Before we rummage around for yet more appeasement-expediting
supplementary sacrifices, we must rid ourselves of specious illusion. First
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