Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Israel, the traumatised bully

A perceptive (and one of the few sane) comments in the reader feedback section on Ha’aretz online.

Ha’aretz is the better Israeli daily, though it still attracts the racist, intolerant and ignorant commentary in the Reader talkback section appended to most of the articles. It is truly bewildering and dismaying to read the extent to which this commentary prevails, in contrast to similar reader comments on other online papers (but not as bad as YNet – and I’ve discovered their terrible secret – they simply don’t accept or publish any comments that challenge the narrow racist Zionist worldwiew).

Anyway, here’s the comment, which speaks volumes really. I think the way Israeli mass social psychology is described is spot on, excepting perhaps the characterisation of the US ‘uncle’.

Good on you, Ernst from Amsterdam. It was in the Reader talkback section (comment #68) to Amira Hass’ excellent article imploring her fellow citizens to wake up and see their collusion, reproduced here, ‘Can you really not see?’

The bully beats up his neighbours because his parents were murdered by their neighbours in another city. He isn’t surprised to see how hated he is. He says to himself: my family has always been hated and will always be hated by all neighbours. I only defend myself against possible new murder attacks against me’, he argues.

As soon as he would realise that his neighbours are like him, people that want to be treated with justice and respect, his problems would be resolved. But he doesn`t want to know this, because knowing this would completely change his world view and his daily life, and the thought of that scares him even more.

Changing ones habits is very difficult, especially for a traumatised person. Only a person that has the complete trust of the traumatised can help him. In this case, the uncle from the US would be the best help for the patient, through the difficult period of self-analysis and self-healing.

The dim voice of his conscience (Hass, Levi) is not enough.

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"