Reality Deficiency Syndrome…writes Michael Kuttner

June 27, 2014 by Michael Kuttner
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Events over the last few days have highlighted once again the prevalence of RDS, otherwise known as reality deficiency syndrome, amongst a wide swath of individuals. Defying any logic or common sense this condition is so pernicious and resistant to any treatment that those afflicted seem to succumb at every opportunity, no matter how illogical the outcome is proven beyond any reasonable doubt.


Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

The kidnapping of three Israeli teenage students on their way home from school and the international Jewish media conference which took place in Jerusalem have provided glaring examples of how this disease has infected seemingly intelligent people. Here are some examples of RDS – judge for yourselves whether the diagnosis is correct or misplaced.

The teenage kidnappings have disappeared from the front pages of most of the world media and only in Israel it seems that the search for them is front page news. With the mondial in full swing I suppose this is not surprising but here come the first examples of RDS. Right on cue and not unsurprisingly the United Nations has swung into action. Hard on the heels of a limp statement against the kidnapping (without of course blaming Hamas which is now part of the Palestinian Arab Authority) spokespersons have surfaced questioning whether in fact any kidnapping has taken place. This has been rapidly replaced by outraged accusations that Israel is being too forceful in its search for the missing boys and admonitions which demand a cessation of actions designed to ferret out the perpetrators. UN representatives in Israel and in New York are becoming more frenzied – not over the kidnappings mind you, but over Israel’s search for the terrorists and their captives.

The three mothers of the boys traveled to the UN Human Rights Council in order to make a heartfelt plea and appeal for justice. Those of us familiar with RDS could have predicted the futility of this desperate cry for decency on the part of an organization which is so infected with hypocrisy and double standards that it has perverted the meaning of human rights beyond any bounds. Prior to being given a chance to speak, representatives of some of the worst serial abusers of human rights rose in their seats and addressed the assembled delegates. Lambasting Israel for every crime known to humanity the representatives of such shining examples of religious tolerance and human rights as North Korea, Sudan, Malaysia, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan and Turkey, reviled the Jewish State and ignored the anguish of the boys and their families. To rub salt into their wounds and demonstrate the cesspit of immorality into which this body has descended, following the appeal by one of the mothers a delegate was moved to state that the “Palestinian nation has also been abducted”.

Now to examples of our own home grown infected individuals by this syndrome: If you think that only the lunatics who have taken over the UN asylum are afflicted then you have not heard or read the pontifications of our own Israel based practioners in the art of logic defying statements. Hearing outrageous statements from Arab members of the Knesset is nothing new and therefore nobody was surprised when declarations of support for the kidnapping and excuses were forthcoming. Likewise describing these teenage students as terrorist settlers and soldiers is par for the course as far as PA spokespeople are concerned. Abbas has declared in Arabic his opposition to what has happened but this has been somewhat muted by a torrent of hate issuing forth from the PA media and other individuals.

Setting the gold standard for RDS is our retiring President Peres. Opening the International Jewish Media Conference this week he declared that having known Abbas for 20 years he can confidently confirm that he is our best hope for peace. One can ask of course if this is indeed the case what happens after Abbas departs? Mind you at one stage Arafat was also touted as our best partner for peace and we all know where that ended. Given the lamentable lack of democracy in the Arab world what happens when Hamas takes over and abrogates any piece of paper previously signed. Our esteemed President further declared that he has no regrets over any of his past decisions which range from the Oslo disaster, opposing bombing the Iraqi nuclear facilities (imagine if the terrorists threatening Iraq today had been able to get their hands on this facility) to releasing terrorists from Israeli jails. Mind you he did predict a new Middle East and this has come true although not in the euphoric hallucinatory vision of peace, tolerance and brotherly love he envisaged. Instead we are witnessing the birth of a new Middle East which is descending into Islamic barbarism, hate and terror.

During this media conference we heard at first hand how many Jewish journalists, local and foreign, are also suffering from this deficiency syndrome. Classic examples are blaming Israel for every Palestinian Arab outrage and excusing it on frustration at the refusal of Israel to commit national suicide to playing down the role of the Arab media in disseminating delegitimisation. However to my mind the most obscene example of RDS occurred when a Jewish American journalist equated the abduction of the teenage boys with Israel’s capture of convicted terrorists in Lebanon some years ago in order to get information on the whereabouts of missing aviator, Ron Arad. This totally tactless and false moral equivalence which was greeted with gasps of incredulity by most of the audience and muted agreement by a minority merely demonstrates that the sickness of reality deficiency has spread into sections of the media and thereby threatens to infect a wider public.

What I have described is only the tip of the iceberg. It poses a challenge to all who abhor tendentious, unfair and unbalanced reporting and is a call to arms for all who are sick and tired of being battered by delusional mirages.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.




2 Responses to “Reality Deficiency Syndrome…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    I took up the challenge to this kind of vacuous, unbalanced reportage in relation to Israel years ago, and have been busily active with it of late. That it has now reached exaggerated and dangerous proportion is a given, and I would very much like to make combating Reality Deficiency Syndrome, and anti-Semitism, my life work, inasmuch as I am a poet, teacher of creative writing and freelance editor by trade.

  2. Ritchie says:

    Wow… another articulate and perceptive essay from Mr Kuttner.

    I often like to pin down RDS practitioners, from the learned to the less educated – (and especially Jewish RDS subscribers) with a simple, two-step, opening question:

    A)Do you believe Israel has the right to exist, yes or no?

    B)Do you want Israel to continue to exist, yes or no?

    And depending on the answer/s Michael, I can quickly ascertain what particular degree of meshugas I am dealing with and shape my responses accordingly – which given the ridiculous # of crazies out there vis a vis Israel bashing, can save me a lot of time and energy. In my experience pearls before such swine are a 90% waste of time. Whole libraries have been written on the analysis of ‘The Oldest Hatred’ partly in the hope that if we can understand what it is and why it is, we can possibly work out how to extinguish it and of course the debate will go on forever. Nevertheless this is my very glib summary gleaned from personal experience:
    I have attributed RDS individuals’ resistance to consider or even listen to my pro Israel case to three general pillars.

    1) The well documented and very powerful human dislike to changing one’s cognitions, expressions, values, beliefs…der…(see The Theory Of Cognitive Dissonance in Man the Social Animal by Elliot Aronson) Sure Change ain’t fun, ain’t easy for the best of us, but virtually impossible for this lot.

    2) Their ‘passion’ for their anger is addictive, it may have started as an accident or a conscious choice but it soon becomes an essential component of their entire sense of self and thus a 24/7 self perpetuating state of personal delusion. Often, ‘anger’ is all they have in a life typically characterised by some sort of dysfunctional conditioning/upbringing/uncounseled incident…no love, no realistic map of reality ever provided, not even a healthy, loving precedent to model themselves and their own lives on.. to enable them by example to nurture self love and therefore incapable of loving others and therefore an increasing and eventually habitual gravitation towards narcissism ranging from the subtle to the extreme.
    Often their inner void is filled by a lust for personal power, the tool of power is force and the twisted emotional jockey of this force is this emotion of Anger which rides roughshod over any attempt at even basic common sense let alone reason :- “Now finally I am somebody, I am angry, I am alive and I like myself like this.. at least a little anyway – people have to listen to me now ’cause they’re afraid of what I will say and that is attention and that feels good etc etc then they become easy prey to the magnetic lure of the numerous RDS clans. Their inner emptiness is a fertile void, an easy prey for cynical manipulators. The snowballing dynamics of ‘my club’s’ appealing and angry message (propaganda – see Eric Fromm – The Art of Loving).

    3. These RDS ‘thinkers’ – in particular the self-hating Jewish brigade know full well that they can enjoy given vent to their anger without any real consequence or reprisal from fellow Jews – apart from perhaps being ‘unfriended’ on Facebook of course which though admittedly a tad unpleasant is hardly life threatening in the way say a Fatwa or a Baghdad IED can be. So championing RDS, attacking and blaming Israel exclusively and persistently offers much to these damaged, self dupers. It offers notoriety, the ‘joy’ of expressing their anger and feeling closer to others who share their anger… and best of all, there is no fear – there will be no reprisal from the peace loving Jew/s – so as far as RDS recruiting goes, hoooeee, that’s been an irresistible recipe for hundreds of years.

    Still we must never give up trying to convert the ignorant and your writing is a great help. Cheers and thanks again, Ritchie.

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