On June 9, 2005, Ehud Olmert revealed what he is made of in a speech to the Israel Policy Forum in New York.
Israel’s government, of which he was the Vice Premier, was then in the process of preparing some 50,000 soldiers and police to implement Sharon’s plan to withdraw from Gaza and expel its 8,000 Jewish residents. Olmert told his New York audience that the withdrawal represents “a remarkable process … that will have an enormous impact on everything that will happen thereafter, in the State of Israel and in the Middle East.” (Did you hear this Messrs. Abbas and Nasrallah?)
Dwelling in wonderland, Olmert spoke glowingly of the unilateral aspect of the Gaza withdrawal: “We don’t have to wait anymore,” he said. Glib as usual, he even boasted to his American audience: “We really don’t need the United States to lead the [peace] process in the Middle East, we will lead this process …”
Israel will lead the process, he blabbered “because it’s good for us”—really! “And we will lead it because it may do good to the Palestinians.” How generous! “And we believe that if it will be good for us and will be good for the Palestinians, then it will be good.” Impeccable logic! And why will it be good? Because “It will bring more security, greater safety, much more prosperity, and a lot of joy for all the people that live in the Middle East.” Halleluyah!
Intoxicated with himself, Olmert confided:
We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies, we want that we will be able to live in an entirely different environment of relations with our enemies. We want them to be our friends, our partners, our good neighbors.
This confession reveals not only an arrant fool but of a degenerate. Before you unsubscribe, ponder the words of that great Zionist, Max Nordau, a psychologist of profound learning—an atheist who understood the mentality of Jews like Olmert.
I call to your attention Nordau’s 1895 work Degeneration. This heavy tome, which was republished in 1968, has been the subject of several doctoral dissertations. It offers a deep understanding of people of Olmert’s mentality—suffice to mention Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres, and former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak, who decriminalized the government’s expulsion of those thousands of Jews from Gaza.
According to Nordau, “That which nearly all degenerates lack is the sense of morality and of right and wrong.” This degeneracy is widespread in democratic societies where moral relativism is rampant—and I have evidence that the persons mentioned have been tainted by this academic doctrine.
An inevitable consequence or concomitant of moral relativism is what Nordau calls “ego-mania,” which he discusses at great length (pp. 241-372). Ego-mania renders degenerates incapable of empathy. Preoccupied with themselves, they are insensitive to the feelings of others. Degenerates lack public spiritedness, a heightened sense of outrage at the suffering of others, and of course they lack a sense of honor (p. 260).
I dare say it is in these terms that we are to understand not only Sharon’s policy of self-restraint toward Arab terrorists—which made the murder of an indeterminate number of Jews “acceptable”—but also his less deadly policy of expelling Jews from their homes. Did not this ego-maniac tell his cabinet: “Anyone who speaks or writes against disengagement is guilty of incitement!”
Nordau also claims that the degenerate is “incapable of correctly grasping, ordering, or elaborating into ideas and judgments the impressions of the external world …” He “surrenders himself to the perpetual obfuscation of … fugitive ideas” (p. 21). He is given to “fixed” ideas, however nebulous (p. 242) (like “peace”).
Moreover, “facts which do not please him he does not notice, or so interprets that they seem to support his delirium” (p. 31). Here Nordau anticipates Harry Stack Sullivan’s concept of “selective inattention”—typical of Jews whose lust for peace blinds them to fourteen centuries of Arab bellicosity and barbarism.
This selective inattention raises the question of whether degenerates compulsively misrepresent or consciously lie about reality (like unilateral disengagement is good). Nordau contends that they believe in the truth of their fabrications (p. 25). Perhaps, but self-delusion may sometimes be a developmental phenomenon. Selective inattention is often the result of fear as well as of egoism.
Nordau has observed this. Indeed, not only does fear govern many degenerates (p. 19), but such is their inability to face reality that even their instinct of self-preservation is crippled (p. 31).
Nordau’s analysis of degenerates clearly applies to Israel’s ruling elites, a fortiori to Israel’s current prime minister.
● Olmert has witnessed thirteen years of the Oslo policy of “territory for peace” and its consequences: the murder and maiming of thousands of Jewish men, women, and children. Yet he persists in this delusion.
● Olmert continues to condone the arming and release of thousands of Arab terrorists who invariably revert to terrorism.
● Olmert’s aforementioned speech in New York clearly conveys his inability or unwillingness to recognize the obvious: the implacable hatred and genocidal pronouncements of Israel’s enemy.
● Contrary to tons of bloody evidence, Olmert boasted that “unilateral disengagement” from Gaza would be a major step toward peace.
● And now, despite the fact that the Gaza withdrawal brought Hamas to power and made Gaza a center for international terrorism, Olmert wants to withdraw from Judea and Samaria even while arms from Gaza are pouring into these strategically important areas.
All this is not simply a consequence of American pressure. It is not simply a consequence of miscalculation or even of stupidity. Israel has—and not for the first time—a degenerate prime minister.
There is a lesson to be drawn from this analysis. Criticism of Israel’s ruling elites, as if they were rational actors, is misleading if not irrelevant. Another election, even if Olmert were replaced by some other member of the Knesset, will not steer Israel away from the suicidal path of its last seven prime ministers. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. Democracy offers no solution this malaise—certainly not that which passes for a democracy in the shrinking state of Israel.