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Op-Ed: Ya'alon's Peace Now Virus

The former IDF chief of staff was slightly off.
Published: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 1:27 AM


A short time ago, Moshe Ya'alon created a controversy:

"When asked by one of the attendees about plans to dismantle the Bnei Adam outpost, he responded, 'We agai
Mountains of data have zero effect on already established views.
n are dealing with the issue of the virus, Peace Now - the elitists, if you may - who have incurred great damage. From my perspective, Jews can and need to live in all of the Land of Israel for all eternity."

Ya'alon was slightly off in calling Peace Now a virus. What he should have said is not that Peace Now is a virus, but that its members have been infected by one, the effects of which are as follows. 

The virus totally blocks the person from the ability to access, let alone comprehend, any facts and evidence that contradict his or her beliefs. Mountains of data have zero effect on already established views, simply because the person flatly rejects considering reading anything that would go against their 'truth'. The person is terrified to look beyond his established viewpoint. They behave like the Church at the times of Galileo. They refuse to look through the telescope.

For instance, during the past eight years, on numerous occasions, I have recommended to my left-wing friends several books on Islam by Ibn Warraq, Ibn Ishaq, Robert Spencer and others. Many borrowed the books, but they were never read. The power of the virus was stronger. The results of my eight-year effort were meager. Two people have read Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

The virus also infects the person with a feeling of moral superiority, of being "good" and fair. Nobody put it as well as Melanie Phillips:

"A vital part of leftist thinking is the assumption that to be on the left is the only sensible/decent/principled position to hold and therefore cannot ever be wrong; and that is because to differ from the left is to be of 'the right', and the right is irredeemably evil. (The idea that to be opposed to the left is not necessarily to be on 'the right' or indeed to take any position other than to oppose ideology and its brutal effects is something that the left simply cannot get its head round). And so the true nightmare is that if 'the right' turns out to be actually right on anything and the left to be wrong, by accepting this fact the left-winger will by his own definition turn into an evil right-winger. His entire moral and political identity will crumble and he will grow horns and a tail. So to prevent any possibility of this catastrophe occurring, the opponent has to be eliminated."

The fear of learning facts which might prove them wrong, and the fear of being called a right-winger if they do, along with a self-righteous feeling of superiority has combined to produce the majority of commentators,
These people have no clue how the other side thinks.
journalists and politicians who dominate the mainstream media. These people have no clue how the other side thinks and why it behaves the way it does; yet, they write about it and even set policies, whose consequences we living in the Middle East have to endure. 

Peace Now is the perfect example. I can wager with a high degree of probability that virtually all members of the Peace Now movement have never read the works of Ibn Warraq, Ibn Ishaq, Robert Spencer, nor have they any understanding of what "abrogation of the verses" in the Koran means. The same goes for almost all politicians.

Ya'alon also said: "As chief of staff, I often said in closed forums that the politicians bring the dove of peace here, and the army has to clean up after it." 

Indeed, that will continue to be the case until an antidote to this virus is found.