Israel on the couch

The cracks are starting to appear.

POOL / GETTY IMAGES

To live in the shadow of the Holocaust, where 6 million of your people were systematically murdered, is, without a doubt, the most traumatic psychic wound that any people could endure. To really understand Israel today, you have to understand the depth of the trauma that led to Israel’s birth … and the long-term psychic consequences. Abuse, like violence, is cyclical. If one does not break the cycle, the victim can just as easily grow to become a perpetrator. Such is the tragedy of Israel today.

The abused has become the abuser. Today, Israel holds more than three million Palestinians in its iron fist, in open air prisons — West Bank and Gaza — squeezing them with a rage for somebody else’s crime. To escape the cycle, Israel must come to terms with its own mental trauma, and instead of reenacting their own suffering and vengeance, see Palestinians as their co-sufferers in the ongoing tragedy.

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Palestine on the Couch

The festering psychic wound, from Ramallah to the Gaza Strip, is that their homeland was taken away from them in one of the most ruthless geopolitical bullying acts of recent history and they have been subjugated, violated and dispossessed ever since. Three generations of Palestinians have lived under occupation, and over half a century of struggle has failed to yield freedom.

Can you imagine what such a multi-generational struggle does to a people . . . emotionally, psychologically, spiritually? Yet the Palestinians keep resisting against all odds, they keep hurling stones against injustice and global hypocrisy.

While at times it may look like impotent rage, a type of resistance that despite all of its passion and commitment, will never bear fruit, the Palestinian revolutionary struggle runs deep. Part of the secret of their dogged persistence is that they know that their freedom fight is one of the great freedom fights of our time and that most of the people in the world are behind them.