Madness and Method: Part I

By Patricia Berlyn

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t"
Hamlet, Act II, Scene 3

(TI) Hamlet’s madness was feigned in a stage tragedy. The progressive madness of Israel’s governments since 1992 is a real tragedy.

It first manifested itself in adoption of a doctrine contrived by a hostile outside world. It is a doctrine without precedent in history or law, and it applies exclusively to Israel and the Arabs: "To the Repeatedly Defeated Aggressor Belongs the Spoils". Or for short: "Land for Peace".

The irrational rationale of this outlandish doctrine is: The Arab states repeatedly launched wars of destruction against Israel. Israel in the course of defending itself regained the heartland of its historic homeland. This land had never in the history of the world been part of any Arab nation, much less of a "Palestine" that had not yet been invented. Indeed, under the terms of the League of Nations Mandate, it was part of the Jewish National Home, and was alienated only through the treacherous bungling of the British Mandatory Government that thereby created the "Arab-Israel Problem", now abbreviated as "the Palestine Problem".

"The Land for Peace" twaddle is based on the notion that the defeated aggressors must be bribed to cease aggression, and the victorious victim of the aggression has to pay the bribe in the form of relinquishing its homeland to those who have no kind of rightful claim on it. This program began in 1967 with a vague "agreed and secure borders" and the diplomatic authors of that expression gave assurances they did not mean the ceasefire line of 1949, that had never been a border.

Since then, those assurances have been whittled away until it has become the standard demand that Israel itself must be whittled away, until the defeated aggressors have all the spoils, along with the invention of an entirely superfluous 23rd Arab state.

No government of Israel has stood firm against this creeping betrayal — hard as it is indeed for so tiny and vulnerable a country to stand against the great powers. But no government need have adopted this alien program as its own. And surely no government need have perpetrated the folly of the Oslo Accords, that lifted a moribund terrorist gang from the gutter and gave it land, power and the means to kill.

The present incumbent government, under a prime minister who once purported to oppose the Osloids and their deadly doings, has gone on to even more dangerous and self-destructive follies. The PLO-terrorist launching of the Oslo War could have been the chance to undo the lethal errors of the Oslo Accords. Instead, the regime of Ariel Sharon acquiesced to a foreign Quartet Roadmap whose end destination is to turn a strong and sovereign Israel into a shrunken, demeaned, degraded and defenseless vassal of hostile alien overlords.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

After welcoming defeat by way of the Roadmap, the Sharon regime inflated folly into madness. It promulgated a "Disengagement" that if carried out will endanger the nation and bring ineradicable shame and disgrace the Jewish people. Some who supported Oslo — though not those who actually instigated it — might have been naive and thoughtless enough to imagine it might bring benefits. Some of those who reluctantly submitted to the Roadmap may have supposed they had not the power to resist foreign pressure. For the Disengagement there is no rational rationale. It is simply madness.

Imagine a plot in which:

A politician is elevated to Prime Minister because the voters massively prefer his party and its platform to the platform of the main opposition party

He then junks the platform the voters favored and adopts the opposition’s platform that the voters massively rejected.

He then drives out of his government all those ministers who keep faith with the public that elected them.

He then brings into the government the defeated opposition party, and makes its widely-despised leader, the unrepentant arch-perpetrator of Oslo, Deputy Prime Minister and de facto Foreign Minister.

This is not the plot of a bitterly satirical fiction. It is the way the Sharon-Peres duo hijacked a nation and its people. This is the political fraud by which the Disengagement is to be inflicted on the nation and its people.

The Madness

Among Components of Disengagement in Relation to the Enemy:

1] The PLO, still pledged by its charter and declarations to the destruction of Israel, launched and lost the bloody Oslo War. As a reward, it is to be given a victory over the country it could not defeat, enhanced power for terrorism and unimpeded freedom to carry it out.

2] What is no part of Disengagement is a PLO commitment to stop murdering Israelis and stop trying to murder Israel. The PLO did make such commitments in the past and never honored them, nor did any Israeli government expect it to, so there would be little point in repeated a stale charade of reciprocity.

3] The new PLO-terror-chief, who differs from his late predecessor only in style and not in substance, will have at his command an expanded security service that will recruit members from all the sundry terrorist groups. This security service will be trained by professionals from the United States and other civilized nations.

4] The PLO will have unimpeded access to weapons. Brave men of the IDF risked and too often lost their lives in finding and sealing the tunnels used to smuggle weapons from Egypt to Gaza. Now there will be no need for tunnels — Egypt can bring the weapons in quite openly. The PLO is also seeking to acquire heavy weapons from other countries.

5] It will be free to rain missiles on Israeli towns many miles away, and to attack vital water supplies, power stations, fuel depots, roads and highways, and aircraft.

6] The protection of Israeli towns and citizens will be outsourced to Egypt, the leading player in five wars of aggression against Israel. Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1978, as the only way to regain the Sinai and re-open lucrative traffic in the Suez Canal. It has never abided by the spirit of the treaty, and often not by the letter of it. Any terms and conditions in that treaty that hinder this empowerment of Egypt are to be abrogated.

7] There is a cessation of Israeli measures against terrorists and terrorism.

8] The IDF has many times intercepted terrorists attacks before they were carried out, apprehended terrorists on the way to work, and found and uprooted depots of weapons and explosives and factories for producing them. Wherever Sharon means to Disengage, the IDF will no longer be able to carry out these missions.

9] Hundreds of convicted PLO terrorists are being released from Israeli prisons. Hundreds more, perhaps eventually thousands more, are to be released. No heed is given to the statistic that of all the terrorists released in the past, 50 percent have returned to terrorism. Nor is heed given to the betrayal of the victims of their crimes, or of the perils and sacrifices of Israeli soldiers and police who apprehended them.

The released terrorists are, naturally, hailed as conquering heroes. (It is reported that when the first batch was greeted with volleys of celebratory gunfire, three bystanders were accidentally killed.) The message is: Be a terrorist — if caught you will serve little if any jail time and you will become a national hero.

A religious leader promises recruits to terrorism "Kill a Jew and you will go to Paradise". To this assurance, Madam Dr. Secretary Condoleeza Rice, on behalf of the United States, offers a life-time pension of $100 a month for life to "retired terrorists". So, just kill one Jew and you are eligible for Paradise and an income until you get there. The many Arabs who work hard at honest jobs to feed their families need not apply.

Sharon does deign to explain why this mass release of murderers and would-be murderers is necessary:

"It is of supreme importance to the Palestinians. They say to you openly, we sent these people to carry out [attacks], and we travel around the world and stay in hotels, and they support him [PA leader Mahmoud Abbas] today. He told me simply that it is a major problem."

Translation: Incumbent Terror-Chief Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) admits that he sent these terrorists on their mission, and has both a moral obligation to obtain their freedom and a tactical need for their active support. The Prime Minister of Israel feels obliged to cater to these needs.

Madam Dr. Secretary Condoleeza Rice joins in the demand murderers and would-be murderers of Israelis be released. She simultaneously demands that Abbas find and arrest and punish the killers of three American CIA agents on a mission to Gaza.

Four IDF men are known to have been taken captive by Arab forces: Ron Arad, Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman, and Yehuda Katz. For more than 20 years, governments of Israel have been releasing Arab terrorists en masse, without demanding the release of these men or even information on their fates.

10] Such rewards, encouragements, and victories bestowed on terrorist gangs are not deemed detrimental to any other nation’s War on Terror. This instance is unique because the betrayed, the endangered, and the slaughtered are Jews, who can be considered — in Yitzhak Rabin’s grotesque phrase — "victims of peace".

The Methods

Among the Tactics for Forcing Compliance on the Citizens of Israel:

The resistance to this madness was from the start massive and passionate, and grows ever stronger and more determined. The resistance has been carried out within the limits of lawful democratic practices. To squash it, the Sharon regime must squash the normal democratic rights to express dissent.

1] Dissent is characterized as "incitement". Sharon defines all criticism of Disengagement as "incitement".

2] Minister of Justice Ms Tzippi Livni has founded a special legal agency to try to find ways to prosecute dissenters.

3] Attorney General Menahem Mazuz has pointed out that under present law, a person cannot be convicted of "incitement" unless there is evidence that it can lead to violence. Therefore, a new law is needed to remove that requirement and make non-violent "incitement" a crime.

4] In case a practitioner of dissent does not do anything that could grounds for indictment or conviction, the government has the option of "administrative detention". This device is based on a law passed by the British Mandatory Government in the years before Israel was an independent state. It permits authorities to incarcerate a person at its own whim, without charge or trial.

5] The Prison Authority is planning construction of hundreds more jail cells for "inciters" and "resisters". This suggests that the cells vacated by the release of hundreds of PLO terrorists are not expected to suffice.

6] Some remarks by holders of high office expose the intellectual quality on their side of the debate. The remarks may seem ludicrous and farcical, but they are part of a script for tragedy. For example:

a] Moshe Katzav, who holds the ceremonial non-political post of President of Israel, suggests that "sometimes it is necessary to use undemocratic means to save democracy"
b] Meir Shitreet, former Minister of Justice and present Minister of Transport, is shocked at the "incitement" of citizens who intimidate Members of the Knesset with the threat "I Will Not Vote For You".

c] Sharon agrees that such intimidation is an offense against democracy, because a politician who does not please the voters "is threatened with loss of his livelihood and future".

d] A government functionary adds to the charge that dissenters misuse the ballot-box the additional charge that they equip themselves with cell-phones, faxes, and e-mail lines.

e] Minister of Internal Security Gideon Ezra complains that a woman who wrote a letter to an official telling him he was making a mistake "should not be walking free in the street".

f] Minister of Education Ms Limor Livnat, who once opposed Oslo but has now grasped the beauties of Disengagement, brought a grave charge against a rival faction within her Likud Party: "They are trying to use democratic means to get elected!"

g] An official spokesperson blamed dissenters for the PLO bombing of a night club in Tel-Aviv, that killed five people and wounded scores. The terrorists were not detected and apprehended because the police were too busy monitoring peaceful protest meetings.

7] There is no inhibition against out-and-out lies, as when Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told foreign visitors that the border with Lebanon has been quiet since the Israeli rout from the Lebanese security zone, and will be a model for the future border with Gaza. The truth is that the Lebanese border has been a site of shelling, damage, civilian deaths and the kidnapping and murder of Israeli soldiers. Which may indeed make it a model if there is a future border with Gaza.

8] No argument, debate, or free expression of opinion is tolerated.

a] Before Sharon presented the Disengagement proposal for required cabinet approval, he fired several ministers who would have voted against it. Only by this device did he get the majority he needed from the cowed remnant of the cabinet.

b] Both IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon and Intelligence Director Avi Dichter were ousted from their posts because they warned of the disastrous consequences of Disengagement. There will be a disastrous consequence indeed if only obedient yes-men are permitted to hold these vital posts.

c] There was something of a purge of IDF officers who are "religious" and therefore emotionally attached to the Land of Israel. These officers are dedicated and capable. Driving them out of military service weakens the IDF — on which the survival of the nation depends — to promote a reckless political adventure. Indeed, the misuse of the IDF to enforce a hated political scheme is a cruelty to these young men and women that can do grave damage to their morale that will in turn gravely weaken the nation.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Among the most ominous dirty tricks of the Disengagers is the campaign to subdue and discredit the opposition with false allegations that they are a danger to society and the state. In this campaign, they have the enthusiastic cooperation of leftist newspaper and broadcasters

1] These media blare out warnings of plans for violence and even murder. Security authorities have found no evidence of any such plans. The media loudly report threats against members of Knesset. The chief of security at the Knesset reports that there have been no such threats.

2] There has indeed been a stream of threatening letters to officials, that elicited considerable hysteria. The security services tracked them all to a single source — one aged woman survivor of the Holocaust who has been writing such letters for the past 14 years.

3] The media may create an incident just in order to report it. For example, a news reporter told a youth to yell at Minister of Finance Binyamin Netanyahu "You’re a bunny!" This incident of bad manners was presented as dangerous incitement. (In view of how often and easily Netanyahu switches his convictions "You’re a chameleon" might be more apropos.) On the same occasion Netanyahu complained that some dissenter slashed a tire of his car, but his chauffeur diagnosed the damage as a common flat tire.

4] A spate of nasty and threatening stickers supposedly the work of an inciting dissident were actually stuck up by an agent of the police force. This is a chilling reminder of the days when the government had its security services perpetrated acts of counterfeit incitement against itself. It was the government’s agent provocateur Avishai Raviv who carried out a campaign of threats and incitement against Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The purpose was to blame Raviv’s repugnant stunts on the "nationalist" and "religious" opponents of Oslo, and so turn public opinion against them.

This worked so well that when Rabin was assassinated the Osloids could put false blame on the entirely innocent "nationalists" and "religious", and for a time turn the rest of the nation against them. The actual circumstances of the crime have never been the subject of a full official investigation.

The Disengagers of today, like the Osloids of yesterday, have shown themselves frighteningly free of conscience or prudence in the methods by which they advance their madness.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The inventors and would-be enforcers of Disengagement simultaneously weaken Israel and strengthen those bent on annihilating it. They divide the country when it most needs unity. They subvert democracy and liberty. The undermine the IDF and the police and the security services. What various motives drive them is the planned topic of the forthcoming "Madness and Method — Part II".

In the meantime, a diagnosis and a prescription from a venerable source — the hero Moshe Dayan called "the greatest Jewish warrior since Bar-Kokhba." From IsraelNationalNews, 23 February 2005:

"Meir Har-Tzion – whom the late Moshe Dayan referred to as the bravest Jewish warrior of his generation – has publicly called for IDF soldiers to refuse orders to uproot the Jews of Gush Katif. The soldiers who refuse … must be willing to go to jail for insubordination.
"Har-Tzion referred to the government’s Disengagement Plan as a ‘Holocaust’" and said, ‘If a Palestinian State arises here, that will be the beginning of the end for the State of Israel.’

"A founding member alongside Ariel Sharon of the legendary counter-terrorism unit known as Unit 101 in the 1950s, Har-Tzion had harsh words for his erstwhile comrade-in-arms: ‘Sharon’s gone nuts. The great fighter has run away; he is simply a dangerous man.’"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Those closest to Sharon, such as his consigliore Dov Weisglass and his deputy Ehud Olmert, sometimes admit that Disengagement from Gaza and northern Samaria is only a first step, to be followed by Disengagement from virtually all of biblical Judea and Samaria. So if Disengagement goes through, it will bring more and even worse disasters in its wake.

Whether Disengagement is inflicted on Israel or whether Israel saves itself from this scheme may determine which prophecy comes true:

For the sound of wailing
Is heard from Zion.
How we are despoiled!
How greatly we are shamed
Ah, we must leave our land,
Abandon our dwellings!
Jeremiah 9:18


I will restore my people Israel.
They shall rebuild ruined cities and inhabit them.
They shall plant vineyards and drink their wine.
They shall till gardens and eat their fruits.
And I will plant them upon their soil,
Nevermore to the uprooted
From the soil I have given them
Said the Lord your God.

Amos 9:14

Patricia Berlyn is a writer and editor who is a native of New York, N.Y. and now resides in Israel