Another tack: Flying saucer fanatics

Even Bin-Laden and his minions could set up housekeeping.

Our submissive silence, lingering from the just-ended annus horribilis, remains pregnant with disquiet about what's to follow in the new year - after Israel surrendered territory (and its honor) to (still) implacable enemies and satisfied world hankering for defeated Jews who admit Jewish guilt (and punish fellow Jews for it). Enter the flying saucers ferrying extraterrestrial harbingers of the New Middle East.

In the 1950s prominent social psychologist Leon Festinger, progenitor of the Cognitive Dissonance theory, focused on the obsessive rejection of tangible reality by fanatic followers of fantasy. He studied a small cult that awaited the imminent arrival of aliens from another galaxy. They fixed dates and prepared meticulously for the great event - which never materialized. Yet members of the flying-saucer cult didn't relinquish their faith in "Guardians" from outer space and their promises for a new universe.

This led Festinger to observe in his ground-breaking 1956 book When Prophecy Fails that the collapse of prophecies disseminated by cults "often has the opposite effect from what the average person might expect. The cult following gets stronger and the members even more convinced of the truth of their actions and beliefs."

For our homegrown Oslo fanatics the phenomenon Festinger identified took on particularly preposterous proportions. So emboldened were they by the fiasco born of their prophecies, that that they went on the offensive to redeem the incontrovertible flop. They brazenly branded insane anyone who dared dispute their clairvoyant wisdom, set in motion witch-hunts that persuaded even their arch-adversary Arik-the-Awful to join 'em if he can't lick 'em, and (with the help of their members in the media) they ostracized and demonized anyone protesting their imposed delusions.

That's why 25 settlements lie in ruins.

But it's not just the settlers' misfortune. We'll all pay when the E.T.s neglect to appear and conjure the New Middle East. Their past no-shows hardly protected us from leftist hallucinatory messianism. Prophetic debacles didn't restore empirical perspectives. No reason to suppose that ushering the Egyptian military back to the gates of Gaza, down the straight road to Tel Aviv, will cure Osloites' terminal cognitive dissonance.

NEITHER WILL carving the Negev in two by allowing "safe passage" between Gaza and the West Bank, something which hadn't existed even before the Six Day War (whose achievements Osloites are intent on erasing). This won't constitute a return to any status quo ante but to something unprecedentedly worse, in which a Palestinian corridor through the Negev is regarded abroad as an inherent right, while Israel's sovereignty in the Negev (well within the supposedly sanctified Green Line) as obstructive.

Osloites won't be disillusioned even when Kassams shatter Kfar Saba's complacence and Gaza is armed to the teeth via sea, air and land (with the assured connivance of Egyptian patrols). The grotesque collapse of even a semblance of order at the Philadelphi corridor was precisely what the vilified Right predicted. Did the fact that even Bin Laden and his minions could have entered and set up housekeeping in Gaza minimally dampen leftist euphoric delirium?

Forget it! Osloites know Arabs don't appreciate Israel's suicidal sacrifices but are inspired by them to greater genocidal schemes. Osloites witnessed all this since 1993. Their compromises regularly blow up in our faces. Nevertheless, though the organized bloodletting (intifada) of October 2000 somewhat dazed them temporarily, they returned reinvigorated in their mystic assertions that retreat can buy conflict-resolution.

However, having dimly discerned that Israeli withdrawals didn't hitherto secure peace, they contrived a modification: they now withdraw for no-peace.

Their self-styled "sanity" makes divesting Israel of its existential strategic assets the end, not just the means.

Obsessive withdrawal-cultists once told us that we sustain casualties because there's no peace process. Later we bled because "enemies of peace" sought to sabotage said process. They'll never acknowledge that Arabs simply want to kill Jews regardless of creative Osloite rationalizations.

Pullback propagandists once told us we're strong enough to cede territory.

Their latest mantra is that we're too weak to hold on to it.

There's good reason why our society won't engage in meaningful forthright deliberation about what's ahead. That would inevitably underscore the folly and horror of the assault it sanctioned against its own villages, the brainwashing precipitated to sway some uniformed personnel to collude, the threats against others and the bribery to entice the rest. That post-Zionist sin, based on prophecies already proven false, beclouds all public discourse.

But on a deeper level we all know what will happen. We know nothing good will come of disengagement and its ramifications. The anti-settler atrocity will aggravate our anyway precarious circumstances.

Last year a Newsweek cover feature asked whether Israel would continue to exist. No such question is ever posed about any other nation. Israel isn't considered a self-evidently normal state. Israel's legitimacy alone is doubted internationally.

We know no flying saucers will swoop down to remedy this situation. But facts won't interfere with the opinions of Israel's obstinate, zealous and imperious saucer cult.

As Festinger noted: "a man with conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts and figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point… presented with evidence - unequivocal and undeniable evidence - that his belief is wrong, he will emerge not only unshaken but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed he may even evince new fervor about convincing and converting others to his view."