Rabbi Haim Cassorla Views Mental Illness
Mental Illness in Israel

I was told once that a definition of mental illness was, "doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results." By this definition one can come to the conclusion that the leadership of the State of Israel is composed of mentally ill people. Further, one can conclude that this diagnosis applies not only to the current leadership, but in general to all who have held leadership roles in Israel since, and possibly before, the declaration of Statehood. Please understand that I make this diagnosis out of love and with the hope of procuring some treatment for the afflicted.

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. As a Rabbi, however, I am a student of the Torah and of the human condition. We read in the Torah many instances of leaders making wrong decisions, but we never read of the same leader making the same wrong decision twice. If Torah is to be our teacher, then let us learn. Here are some behaviors that I have noticed which can be easily discerned as belonging to the above-mentioned psychosis:

1. The government of Israel arms "Palestinians" repeatedly.
2. The government of Israel attacks "Terrorist Bases" in Israel, (including YeSHa).
3. The government of Israel attacks "Terrorist Bases" outside of Israel, in Syria and Lebanon.
4. The government of Israel complains about the hate being spewed over PA radio and television, (which the government of Israel set up).
5. The government of Israel destroys the homes of homicide bombers.

I didn't add to that list the wars in which we fought our Arab neighbor governments to protect our own lives, families, and property. I remember when I lived in Israel we agreed to the pull out after the Yom Kippur War. Some of my friends who had grown up in Israel said to me, "Our fathers took Sinai in '56; we fought at their sides to take it again in '67; we just finished retaking Sinai again (essentially), and; surely our children will need to take it again, someday."

As a much younger man I learned that it was impolite to point out a problem without pointing out a solution. Here, then, is my solution:

1. Disarm the PA and all civilians in PA controlled areas as a condition to any further peaceful contact between the government of Israel and any representative of the PA or any successor to the PA.
2. Destroy, shut down, and make sure that PA radio and television remains shut down.
3. Remove, and replace the hate texts used in PA schools and remove teachers found to be teaching hate.
4. And last, but not least, instead of destroying the homes of the obviously already deceased homicide bombers, institute a new policy.

This is the new terrorist response policy I propose:
For every person injured in a terrorist attack, Israel will build a private residence in a Jewish community in (Greater) Israel.
For every person killed in a terrorist attack, Israel will build an apartment building in a Jewish community in (Greater) Israel.
For every child killed in a terrorist attack, Israel will build a neighborhood in a Jewish community in (Greater) Israel.
For every Torah Scholar killed or injured in a terrorist attack, Israel will build a school in a Jewish community in (Greater) Israel.

We cannot continue banging our heads against the wall, and we cannot continue rewarding terrorists and terrorism. We must cure our own "mental illness."

(c) 2004 Rabbi Haim Cassorla

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Rabbi Haim Cassorla

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