There are two types of inveterate peaceniks, like there are two types of incurable smokers. The first variety adamantly refuses to consider conclusive evidence about the detrimental effects of tar and nicotine. Exhaling vaporous clouds from their nostrils, type-one sorts attest to the virtues of their harmful habit. Not only do they continue to light up, but they preach to the rest of us to consume more packs. The more we smoke, the more we'll deserve being counted among the beautiful people - by their own say-so - stronger and saner than all others.
Lost in a time warp and having learned nothing for decades, they hold fast to old propaganda - like that in the 1946 Camel ad which extolled the strides of modern medicine while claiming that "more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette."
Can there be a more mind-bending tie-in between prolonging life and an unhealthy obsession? Can there be a more convincing endorsement than when physicians, with their supposed superior knowledge, recommend "costlier tobaccos"?
Can there be a more convincing endorsement of the Israeli establishment's peace fixation than hearing an array of highbrow know-it-alls, trendy left-wing literati and flunky politicians recommend the deep satisfaction and rich flavor of whatever they have come to depend on?
They guarantee that subscribing to their hazy vision of peace will get us counted among the cool and progressive. This class of incorrigible peaceniks will never own up to the downside of their compulsive compromising.
Their wrongheadedness is crucially egged on by unconscionable substance-abuse pushers - EU hypocrites, State Department serial salespersons and corrupt UN racketeers - all complicit in a seductive marketing gambit to assure the saps who fall for their pitch that their motives are purely honorable and altruistic. All these hypemeisters desire is to ease our nervous tension and make us content (though lulling serenity may be catastrophic in situations where anxious vigilance is a lifesaving prerequisite).
THE SECOND - seemingly less detached - category of insistent smokers acknowledges that tobacco is a killer. They reluctantly realize that it chars their lungs and shortens their lives. They know they'll develop hacking coughs, harbingers of emphysema, cancer, cardiovascular disease or some other terminal whatnot. They admit cigarettes are bad for them, yet they keep on inhaling - after the fashion of that immortal nameless chain-puffing icon who quipped: "I want to stop smoking, but I'm not a quitter."
Just like him are Israel's Peace Now junkies. Bombarded daily with explosive reminders of the deadliness of their peace infatuation, they can no longer deny danger, but - heck - they're no quitters.
Olmert, Barak, Livni - along with their ragtag coterie of cool and progressive proverbial users - can no longer rebuff what anti-smoking campaigners tirelessly warned against ever since the massively ballyhooed Oslo filter tip became the hottest brand for the hippest followers of fads. How they roared with derision when warned that their concessions would result in Katyushas raining down on Ashkelon.
"Where are those Katyushas?" sardonically teased Oslo's first sucker, Yitzhak Rabin. As more and more political fortunes were invested in Osloite peace and as more and more smoke got in more and more gullible and/or opportunist eyes, so it became harder to kick the addiction. Even those not previously hooked expediently took up the habit - like the two Ehuds and Tzipi. How quickly and overpoweringly they got hooked. How unremitting were their efforts to hook others. No ploy was too objectionable.
Thus, on the eve of disengagement, Olmert energetically peddled Oslo's derivative pipe dream: "Disengagement will bring better defense, greater security, significantly more prosperity and much joy to all who live in the Middle East... Together we will move forward in the direction of forging new relationships, improved mutual understanding and enhanced trust. We will sit with our neighbors, talk to them, help them, cooperate with them, become their partners, so that the Middle East will indeed transform into what it was supposed to be to begin with - the Garden of Eden upon this Earth."
Olmert's shameless superlatives contained as much truth-in-advertising as did yesteryear's Camel promotion, although disengagement's more predictable ill effects manifested themselves incomparably quicker.
Emboldened Hamas took over Gaza, imported military arsenals via the relinquished Philadelphi corridor, mercilessly rocketed Sderot and finally let Katyushas (a.k.a. Grads) loose on Ashkelon. Olmert's hotshots latterly mull over protective cement contraptions for large Ashkelon which didn't work in small Sderot. As if this were an unavoidable natural disaster, Ashdod is now on notice that it's next in line - like Haifa and the outskirts of Hadera were in 2006 at the country's other end. Indubitably a Garden of Eden.
WHILE IN Umm el-Fahm, Haifa University and Jerusalem, Arab nominal-Israelis openly and violently demonstrate their allegiance to the enemy, scream "death to the Jews" and envisage the day "the flag of Islam flies over Tel Aviv," Olmert plots further disengagements. His peace may be lethal, but Olmert & Co. are no quitters. They won't let a few incidents cause them to ditch the delusion.
As compelling as the link between tobacco and cancer, so is the link between territorial surrenders and terror. Every single stretch of land Israel ceded invariably became a platform for aggression. The incontrovertible proof is tangible, yet the non-quitter trio advocates handing over everything that overlooks jam-packed central Israel to still viable foes who don't conceal their refusal to recognize any Jewish sovereignty in their proximity.
Better warn not just Ashdod, but also every place between it and Hadera. According to our national leadership, rockets slamming into urban apartment blocks are but negligible and eminently worthwhile risks to take for peace - the be-all and end-all. Israel's raison d'etre isn't Jewish survival but apparent peace at any price.
In the pseudo-scientific idiom of that timeless vintage ad, the sole "proving ground" is one's "T (taste) zone," where fleeting gratification is gauged. Only enjoyment matters. Therefore, come what may - to whatever additional parts of weakened Israel - the self-professedly sane Ehuds and Tzipi still proclaim that what they persistently promote as peace will "suit our T-zone to a T."
Like smoking, peace - even if it kills - is too pleasurable a prospect to give up.