In an interview given today to the Israeli daily "Maariv", Professor Dror, a prominent member of the Winograd committee, admitted that it let Olmert off the hook because the Isreli PM is suffering from what has become known as the "Peace Syndrome".
In Israeli law, a plea of "Peace Syndrome" is similar to the function of the insanity plea in other Western countries. In fact, it is actually a specific case of insanity plea in which the defendant pleads to be irresponsible for his actions due to his pursuit of peace.
The peace plea was first used by Izthak Rabin who used it to completely reverse his election platform after the elections. Rabin's case reached the Supreme Court where prominent psychiatrists managed to convince the court that Rabin suffered from "Peace Syndrome" or "Peace Disorder" and therefore cannot be held responsible for his political actions.
Since then the Peace Syndrome has been studied further and it now appears to be similar to the well-known "Messiah Syndrome" where the afflicted tune out the world and focus on an inner voice which prompts them to act out their religious fantasies, except that here the patient is trying to act out a childish fantasy of peace: "Many adults who assume greater responsibility than they can possibly handle, break down and retreat into an imaginary, peaceful world where they do not have to worry about a thing," said Dr. Schmidt the foremost peace-related disease expert in Israel ,
"Politicians are especially vulnerable to this disease, particularly if they already are in the habit of avoiding reality, as many of them are," explained the expert.
Since the first outbreak of the Peace Syndrome, which occurred in the early 1990's, Israel has seen several prominent public figures succumb to the mysterious disease such as Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and now - Ehud Olmert.
Following the precedent set by the Rabin case, Olmert will not and legally cannot be charged for incompetence or malpractice. According to Dr. Schmidt, the best course of treatment is to let the patient act out his fantasy until he snaps out of it, " There is no known cure for the Peace Syndrome," said the Doctor, "Shock treatment and psychotic drugs such as mood stabilizers, stimulants and hypnotics have not been effective in treatment but abrupt changes in the daily routine can be fatal."
Accordingly, Olmert, who looks increasingly weak and fading and keeps reminding me of Gollum, will remain in office. With any luck he will soon fade away completely into his fantasy world, leaving us to clean up the mess he and his peace-afflicted predecessors have made for us. Believe me, that will be a Passover to remember!!
"The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege" from The Middle East Forum.
Olmert Threatens Suicide, Demands Make-Up War