This Israeli Politician Is Basically a Psychopath. Guess Who

Voters need to keep one eye on the news and one eye on the American Psychiatric Association’s manual of mental disorders.

Yossi Sarid
Yossi Sarid
See if you can spot him.
See if you can spot him.Credit: Knesset.gov.il
Yossi Sarid
Yossi Sarid

It has been brought to my attention that the word “psychopath” has been erased from the psychiatric lexicon — for reasons of purity of thought and language, not just professional standards. So I’ll avoid the term too. This column will use the new phrase: antisocial personality disorder.

It’s less than two months until the March 17 election — time is short and indecision great. Too many registered voters are floating in the dark and looking for enlightenment — from where will their salvation come?

This column receives many requests for advice; we want to get to know the leading candidates up close, without the heavy makeup or Photoshop. We want to take a piercing look inside, one that delves into the heart and soul. Is that possible?

Here is where the latest edition of the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, comes to our aid, supported by the International Classification of Diseases, maintained by the World Health Organization. Both list the symptoms characterizing that mental illness which until recently was “psychopathy” or sociopathy.” Could the various Knesset slates be housing people who should be receiving treatment?

How will we know if we don’t duly examine them? We can only regret that the experts have left this examination to ordinary people like us. This isn’t the first time this column has taken on a public-service mission that others have shunned. They use their ethical-shmethical excuses and along the way shirk their professional duty.

Not all the characteristics have to exist in a patient; only three are needed to diagnose that previously mentioned disorder:

1. Apathy to the feelings of others or a lack of emotional intelligence. 2. Disregard of accepted values and customary social norms. 3. A lack of stability in personal relationships, friendship and loyalty based on utilitarian considerations. 4. Compulsive suspicion and a feeling of persecution. 5. Envy and childish jealousy for the successes of others.

6. Regular frustration and a low threshold for aggression. 7. An inability to profit from experience or feel guilt. 8. A tendency to shirk responsibility and a readiness to pass on blame. 9. Repeated lying for the purpose of immediate gratification, confusing reality and imagination. 10. Difficulty in meeting financial commitments, generously making promises and rarely keeping them. 11. Superiority complex — myself and no one else — since I have no replacement.

Do three or more characteristics remind you of anybody?

The trouble is that antisocial personality disorder isn’t always treated. Victims deny it, refuse to ask for help and reject all attempts to improve their situation. And when it’s a case of politicians battling mental illness, we must never mention treatment lest we slander the mighty who will lead us in madness.

In such cases, there’s no chance for the patient to respond or cooperate. That’s how principles are switched and roles confused, and instead of the people being supported and encouraged by their elected representatives, the people pay the price every day for the occupational therapy.

This writer isn’t a doctor, and this column doesn’t claim to be scientific. Anyone who relies on it does so at his own risk. At most, it can serve as an aid on the way to the voting booth. Compare the symptoms with the faces; who it seems you’re seeing.

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