I have the unfortunate distinction of being a father of a chronic anorexic. Our daughter is a wonderful, sweet, intelligent girl who has an illness that causes her to believe that she needs to lose weight; and that when she loses enough weight, she will then be both beautiful and happy. This is of course an oversimplification of complex psychological and neurological issues.
The reality is that as she loses weight, the illness will then tell her that whatever weight she is currently at is too high; that she is fat and needs to lose more to be beautiful and happy. If left unchecked she would continue starving herself until she dies.
One of the most frustrating things about the illness is that we know, with no doubt, that our daughter will never be happy or healthy while in the clutches of the illness. It is a fact, proven medically consistently over the years.
Anorexia is the mental illness with the highest mortality rate.
By the illness’s nature, as long as she is sick, she will not believe us; no matter how many times she is told, or how much data, proof and information she is given. All she sees us as are cruel people who want her to be miserable and will not let her achieve her freedom and happiness.
Like many people, I like to be right. And although maybe a personality flaw, I enjoy getting others to come to the realization that they were mistaken.
In the case of my daughter, getting her to understand that it is her illness telling her lies and that she will never be satisfied staying with it is not just important, it is a matter of life and death
Unfortunately, with this illness, there is only one scenario other than controlling or curing her disease that will let me prove I am right. The only way to prove to someone who believes something with all their might that they are wrong is to let them take it to its conclusion, play it out, and have them realize, at the end of the exercise, that they were incorrect.
This is a great way to show someone that they have faulty logic in a math problem, or a standard way to teach a basic lesson to a young child learning things by trial and error.
I often wondered what would happen if we ever let our daughter free fall in her illness; if we allowed her weight and her physical and mental well being to spiral out of control to their horrific conclusion. When she is on her deathbed, will she then realize that she was wrong and that the illness was there to kill her and not to help her?
Of course, at that point, is their any benefit or pleasure in proving that we are right, at the cost of our daughter’s life? No.
I hate the fact that Israel’s appearance has been manipulated to that of the occupier, of the oppressor, the warmonger. None of that is true. Israel was created to be the homeland and safe haven for Jews in a world that has consistently and historically tried to destroy us.
I am not happy with my knowledge, that the ultimate goal of our enemies is the destruction of Israel, the Jewish people, and afterward Western Society. But unfortunately it is true, even if it’s not politically correct to say in today’s world.
I am not blind to the fact that not all Arabs are fundamentalists bent on our destruction.
And I do not believe that everyone is trying to destroy the Jews. I understand that there are many people, including those who at some point may be Arab decision makers who are interested in a real fair peace, with co-existence. I even realize that based on the facts on the ground, if there was a real partner some changes should be made. I think many of the people who are pushing on Israel to take “Bold steps and risks” are only doing what they may think is a fair solution. Unfortunately I don’t believe that the people currently representing the Palestinians are in any of those groups.
I would love to have the world applaud Israel’s bold steps for peace. Ignoring that the bold steps already taken at Oslo, in Lebanon, and Gaza did not get accolades, only further criticism on Israel and two wars, with the reality of two more coming soon.
What a pleasure to be the good guys!
How long after a pullout to ’67 borders will the Arabs, and soon after the world, insist on stopping the occupation from other “territories” like Jaffa and Haifa? And how soon will we be told that there can not be peace until the Palestinian country can defend itself with an army and defensive weapons? Of course, transporting weapons freely between Gaza and “mainland” Palestine is a basic right.
I wonder, in the not so far off doomsday scenario, after Israel no longer exists; or maybe after Europe is Judenrein, will Obama, Blair and other lovers of peace realize that the goal was never about peace? Or maybe after several more attacks on the US and the West will it become clear.
The satisfaction of getting Obama to admit from deep in his protective bunker that he was mistaken is insignificant beyond belief compared to the cost.
Of course, it is irreversible.
Just as an anorexic untreated will realize they are the victim of an illness that is killing them, only after it is too late. So too, the well meaning bodies forcing Israel to essentially commit suicide will only be able to see the error of their plan after irreparable damage will be caused to Israel, and the rest of the civilized world.
Until my daughter gets better, we are stuck being the cruel people who will not let her be “happy” as we do all we can to stop her from causing mortal damage.
Until there is a time when there is a real partner in peace and co-existence, Israel will have to suffer as the cruel, inflexible, unreasonable, uncompromising nation we are being portrayed as.
We do not have the luxury of proving we are right. But at least maybe we can survive long enough until there is a real cure.
Let us know what you think in the comment section below.
The Author, a proud American and proud Israeli, lives with his wife and 4 children in a city between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He received permission from his daughter to circulate this on the condition that their names not be used.