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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fear of victory

I saw a great analysis of the current climate in Israel, but to understand it, you're going to have to watch an episode of Batman. I kid you not. So for those who have not seen it before, please spend the next 20 minutes or so watching Fear of Victory, an episode of Batman.

Let's go to the videotape.

Part I

Part II

The reason I was just caught by my 17-year old daughter watching Batman (which has convinced her that I have returned to my childhood) is this article by Sarah Honig in the weekend JPost. I had not seen the episode of Batman when I started reading this....
IT'S NOT that the country under Olmert/Livni couldn't win. It was afraid to. We were turned into the unhappy real-life equivalent of the unnerved athletes in a uniquely effective episode of TV's animated Batman series. Aptly entitled "Fear of Victory," this classic features the recurrent villain Scarecrow, who slips star sportsmen an adrenalin-activated fear-toxin. As they gear themselves up for competition, they get scared of winning. Scarecrow then bets against them, sure that, despite these champions' legendary abilities and proven experience, they cannot succeed.

Hamas, Hizbullah and their Iranian/Syrian masters similarly bet against this country, sensing that it's intimidated against going the whole hog and actually trying to crush them. They're not blind to the paradox that the more hi-tech, scientifically advanced and militarily-sophisticated we become, the weaker our leadership's resolve. In the psychological combat zone, the Arabs make mincemeat of us - time and again.

The last thing we should do is belittle our antagonists. They are way shrewder than us and see right through our poses. They remember our spirited stand in the face of their terrorist onslaughts in the 1970s. They remember our refusal to bow to extortion when they hijacked planes and buses, invaded homes and captured children in schools and baby crèches. We were willing to risk casualties but not to yield and thereby enhance terrorist incentives to take more hostages.

ARABS MUST now be so buoyed by the perverse spectacle of Israelis demonstrating against their own government to free Gilad Schalit. This hostage after all wasn't kidnapped by official Israel but by our enemy. That enemy must be delighted that "useful fools" press its demands for the full exorbitant payoff. Hamas henchmen must be mystified that Israelis clamor to release captive enemies back into the arena to butcher more of us. We've become a timid, compromise-addicted lot. The long-term outcome of the life-and-death conflict foisted upon us no longer takes precedence.

We once mocked terrorist bluster. Today we listen to Nasrallah or Mashaal with trepidation and seek ways to appease them. They know our mind-set has mutated. They know yesteryear's Israelis expected daring commando responses to terrorist outrages, yet today we hesitate to venture out-of-the-box lest we incur wrath abroad. They know that our fallen, once regarded as heroes, are today counted as victims of avoidable slipups. They are aware of the numbing risk-aversion of our politicians, who fear media carping and commissions of inquiry more than genocidal foes.

Above all, our enemies know that they managed to get politically-correct Jews to perceive themselves via the lenses of Arab propaganda. We even resort to the vocabulary of its distortive narrative. In our own school curriculum, we acknowledge that slanderous narrative's depiction of our independence as a Nakba (catastrophe). Like them, we describe their terrorist aggression against ordinary people as an intifada (valiant uprising), a cease-fire as a hudna (a deceptive truce) and a lull as a tahadia (temporary respite of convenience).

We blabber about "occupation" without asking by which line Arabs demarcate areas where a sovereign Jewish existence might possibly be accepted. Is it the 1949 line? 1947? None at all? Does "occupation" refer only to territories we have held since 1967 or also where Jews settled in 1870?

By adopting the other side's verbal icons, we buy into its thought manipulation. Without bothering to understand the cultural context and definitions of the jargon we obsequiously borrow, we play the Arab game and forgo the justice of our cause. In this region especially, self-deprecation doesn't improve one's negotiating posture.
Read the whole thing.

Is Binyamin Netanyahu Batman? Unfortunately, so far, all the signs indicate otherwise.

I don't know who he is behind that mask, but I sure know when we need him, and we need him now.


At 4:44 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israelis have been transformed by Oslo back into the sniveling, frightened and cowering Jew Zionism was supposed to have left behind them. You can take the Jew out of the ghetto but you can't take the ghetto out of the Jew. Age-old habits remain as a matter of reflex and that is why Israel is in such sorry straits today.


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