Collective post-traumatic stress disorder – Jews, apartheid and oppression

Middle East
on 76 Comments

Fear and anxiety are emotions that have evolved to ensure the survival and procreation of many species of animals.

Humans have been able to manipulate fears and anxieties as weapons of population control that involve and promote violence and apartheid. These societal conditions are familiar to many historically and presently oppressed groups, including Jewish and Palestinian, respectively.

In order to understand how fear and anxiety are manipulated to sustain oppression, it is useful to review their neuroscientific underpinnings and associated pathologies.

Fear

Fear entails a set of physiological and behavioral responses that serve to remove an organism from a source of threat, such as a high place or the presence of a predator. For this purpose, the central and peripheral nervous systems initiate and support defensive behaviors such as fight, flight and avoidance by sharpening the senses, elevating heart rate and increasing circulation to the muscles, among other actions. In addition, neural processes of learning and memory are primed. This makes sense – as it is adaptive to remember dangers so that they are best dealt with in the future.

The fear response ceases once the threat is gone.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a pervasive apprehension with respect to future and/or ambiguous unpleasant events and can persist regardless of the removal of a threat.

Anxiety is expressed as a chronic, prolonged or otherwise abnormal fear reaction. As such, fear is regarded as adaptive, and anxiety is typically viewed as potentially maladaptive and linked to a range of psychopathologies, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and others. Accordingly, these disorders involve detrimental changes in the stress response, mood, learning and memory and other components that are affected by fear reactivity.

The causes of anxiety-related psychopathologies involve an interaction of genetic and experiential factors, or in other words: nature and nurture. Remarkably, breakthroughs in the field of behavioral genetics have shown that experiences can be transferred between generations via alterations in epigenetic expression of particular genes.

Of particular interest, PTSD is a disorder that entails severe trauma and deleteriously affects memory, mood and behavior. In order to understand the abnormal formation of fear memories associated with PTSD, their generalization and potential manipulation by others, it is useful to examine how fear memories are naturally formed.

Fear conditioning

In a laboratory setting, an animal can be taught to fear a particular cue using a method termed “fear conditioning”, which entails the presentation of an aversive stimulus, such as an electric shock along with a neutral cue, such as a light. As a result of conditioning, the animal forms an association between the shock and the light. Consequently, a cue that was once neutral evokes fear in the trained animal when presented alone. The amygdala is the key brain structure wherein a synaptic connection is created between neurons of the light and those of the shock.

In order to extinguish the association between cues and fear, the stimuli are decoupled; i.e. repeated re-exposure of the trained animal to the light without the presence of the shock, a process termed “extinction of fear”. Research has shown that in extinction, neural projections from the prefrontal cortex inhibit fear-related activity in the amygdala. Thus, even after inhibiting a fearful association via extinction, if the animal is re-exposed to the shock, it will again exhibit fear toward the light. This process is termed “reinstatement”.

These principles of fear conditioning apply to humans as well. In fact, studies in war veterans suffering from PTSD demonstrate changes in the brain where the amygdala becomes primed and the prefrontal cortex is compromised, rendering them prone to find fear in everything.

Collective PTSD and its manipulation

Many global collectives that have been engaged in traumatic conflicts for extended periods have developed symptoms resembling PTSD. As such, they are prone to behavior and physiology associated with pathological anxiety, such as abnormal defensive, aggressive and impulsive behaviors.

Political, religious, military and economic elites easily manipulate these behavioral manifestations in a populace to gain support for their policies, distract from their own inadequacies and suppress dissent.

It is easy; fear can be reinstated in traumatized collectives using several methods: focusing on an act of violence or resistance; reminding the public of some atrocity in the past (memorial days); shifting attention to perceived threats and; physically segregating communities in conflict (apartheid), which renders re-exposure and reconciliation (i.e. extinction of fear) virtually impossible.

Fear then manifests in displays of aggression that promote the interests of those in power. It is precisely these actions, which are rewarded and therefore become more prevalent. The results of this snowball effect are tragic.

Collective fear is integral to the Jewish narrative

The Jewish people have a centuries-long history of trauma, persecution, and exile as both victims and perpetrators.

Dating back to the Old Testament, war and revenge repeatedly served as the ultimate holy redemption. In fact, many Jewish holidays revolve around celebrations of sagas in which existential threats (e.g. Egyptian, Greek, Persian) were overcome by righteous Jews (aided by God) against all odds, often by extremely vicious means. Further, there is a well-documented history of discrimination and oppression against Jewish communities in Europe and the Middle East. More recently, the Jewish Holocaust has had profound effects on the Jewish collective psyche.

The Zionist project in Israel has further led to an endless series of violent conflicts. Consequently, war and trauma have further reinforced a state of collective PTSD within Israeli Jewish communities, which manifests in a persistent fear of annihilation even when threat sources are absent (a paramount symptom of pathological anxiety), abnormal defensive and aggressive reactivity and a susceptibility to fear reinstatement, i.e. persistent fear mongering and propaganda by Israeli politicians.

The results of this collective PTSD is the victimization of other groups, most notably the Palestinian people. Further, Israeli practices of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and notions of a ‘Jewish state’, render extinction of fear and consequent reconciliation virtually impossible.

Breaking free from the cycle of fear and trauma

In order to heal from this pathological cycle of fear and its consequent violence, which detrimentally affects both victims and victimizers, Jews in Israel and elsewhere need to overcome fear conditioning that has been reinstated for ages and transferred from one generation to the next. Furthermore, instead of educating children to fear and hate Palestinians, Israelis must integrate Palestinian children into the education system.

Healing from collective PTSD would include a painful deconstruction and reconstruction of personal and collective Jewish narratives that strongly rely on fictitious propaganda and a persistent rejection of fear- and warmongering that perpetuate eternal victimization. Additionally, Jews must abandon notions of segregation and reach out to neighboring communities throughout the world and in the Middle East, with the goal of extinguishing fear of the other by creating solidarity and collaborative relationships. Only then can Jews embrace Judaism as one of many equal human collectives that strive for freedom, justice and a global community free of trauma.

About Yoav Litvin

Yoav Litvin is a doctor of psychology/behavioral neuroscience, a documentary photographer and writer living in New York City. You can find him at yoavlitvin.com.

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76 Responses

  1. Boomer
    May 17, 2017, 2:50 pm

    Thanks for this constructive essay. I do wonder about one statement:

    “Healing from collective PTSD would include a painful deconstruction and reconstruction of personal and collective Jewish narratives that strongly rely on fictitious propaganda and a persistent rejection of fear- and warmongering that perpetuate eternal victimization.”

    I’m not a psychologist or sociologist, but I wonder if such deconstruction and reconstruction must always be painful? I suppose giving up cherished notions, and seeing one’s own actions in a new, unflattering light, is usually painful. Still, if there are ways to make it less so, that would be worth the attempt.

    • Yoav Litvin
      May 17, 2017, 5:29 pm

      Thanks for reading.
      Shame and guilt are very painful. There’s no way around it. Support is helpful, but ultimately crimes must be acknowledged and these emotions must be confronted head on for healing to happen.

      • Mooser
        May 17, 2017, 6:33 pm

        “must be confronted head on for healing to happen.”

        The therapeutic effect of ending the occupation, withdrawing to the ’67 lines, and paying reparations would save a bundle in psychologist’s bills.

      • Brewer
        May 18, 2017, 2:40 pm

        With the annexation of the West Bank and Golan now openly promoted by Netanyahu etc. and the re-set proposed by right wingers:
        “Daniel Pipes, the Middle East Forum president, who recently laid out the theory that imposing defeat on the Palestinians was the likelier path to peace, said decades of negotiations assuming neither side had won had resulted in a “war process” instead of a peace process.
        “Victory means imposing your will on your enemy,” Pipes said.”

        http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Palestinians-must-admit-defeat-Republican-caucus-says-489194
        …..I see little chance of reflexion/reconciliation.
        The colonial beast is shedding all disguise and with it, all conscience.

      • YoniFalic
        May 20, 2017, 3:25 pm

        I am the last person to deny the connection between psychology and biochemistry because only a psychiatric cocktail keeps me functional.

        Yet I am an historian, and I must to object to nonsense like the following.

        The Jewish people have a centuries-long history of trauma, persecution, and exile as both victims and perpetrators.

        While I give Litvin credit for including “perpetrators”, I suspect he refers only to Zionist and perhaps to Hasmonean atrocities. Whatever Litvin means by “perpetrators”, Jewish Leidensgeschichte (passion narrative aka pogrom and persecution historiography) does not stand up to historical scrutiny

        1) as von Treitschke (major 19th century German politician and historian wrongfully accused of antisemitism by racist Jews) and Samson Raphael Hirsch (founder of Torah im Derech Eretz school of Jewish Orthodoxy) stood together to assert in the 19th century and

        2) as Salo Baron definitively showed approximately 50 years ago.

        While I certainly cannot deny the existence of PTSD, Jewish racists (like non-Jewish racists) suffer primarily from severe cognitive dissonance.

        Litvin needs to get over ignorant Jewish bigotry that like the use of the propaganda phrase “Jewish people” supports Zionist ideology and Jewish abuse or exploitation of non-Jews.

        While I disagree on many points with Lindemann, Litvin and those, who believe Litvin’s assertion above, should read at least the “Preface” and first chapter “Anti-Semitism before the Modern Period: Overview and Definition” in Esau’s Tears by Lindemann in order to disabuse themselves of the ridiculous falsehoods that they believe. (Unfortunately Google has left out many pages. Still I recommend in particular the reading of page 11.)

        https://books.google.com/books?id=NagdhSUgB9oC&pg=PR9&dq=Esau%27s+Tears+Lindemann+Preface&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigsbC6lP_TAhWGQSYKHcumCuoQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=Esau's%20Tears%20Lindemann%20Preface&f=false

      • Mooser
        May 20, 2017, 5:37 pm

        I think this is pretty much a case of “physician, heel thyself.”

      • Yoav Litvin
        May 20, 2017, 6:00 pm

        Yoni-
        I am curious as to what exactly you object to in that phrase. Is it to “Jewish people”? Or to “victims”?

        There is ample evidence for the latter, the Holocaust being the foremost example (though there are others, including outside of Europe where Jews were 2nd class citizens in many locales). This is not contested in serious academic circles.

        As to “Jewish people”, that is as ridiculous to object to as it is to claim there is no “Palestinian people”. You, Yoni the “Former Israeli”, do not determine whether a people call themselves as such. The people themselves do. Whether the Jewish people have changed from a state of being defined by religion alone to something broader is interesting but immaterial.

        Re your suggestion of “cognitive dissonance” – what is your proof? Are you a psychologist? Have you published on this? If not, can you provide evidence, references etc. to make your case? Cognitive dissonance is a state, not a pathology.
        In light of the real history, PTSD is a much more valid explanation for the bulk of the population and for the ease in which it is controlled by its leaders via propaganda. It is a simple explanation that stands up to scrutiny.

        Lastly, the fact that you use someone like von Treitschke as your foremost credible reference, a vile, racist colonialist- speaks volumes. He famously said: “Every virile people has established colonial power. All great nations in the fullness of their strength have desired to set their mark upon barbarian lands and those who fail to participate in this great rivalry will play a pitiable role in time to come.”

        I cannot begin to imagine what your motivations truly are for trying to promote your fantasy of history.

      • Mooser
        May 20, 2017, 6:38 pm

        “I cannot begin to imagine what your motivations truly are for trying to promote your fantasy of history.”

        Gee, Doc, I thought “Yoni” could be pretty easily accounted for (as he has told us himself) by PTSD and emotional trauma from war.

        Surprised you didn’t see that right away.

      • echinococcus
        May 20, 2017, 6:54 pm

        Litvin,

        As to “Jewish people”, that is as ridiculous to object to as it is to claim there is no “Palestinian people”. You, Yoni the “Former Israeli”, do not determine whether a people call themselves as such. The people themselves do.

        “The people themselves” have no say when they have not a shadow of a shred of anything in the way of origin or culture or language or anything, except religious gobbledygook and some rituals, and that is for the religious only. Don’t you dare compare to the Palestinian people, who has its place, its culture, its language, and so on. You can keep and polish the fake language and culture of Zionist piracy –your only “Jewish people” independently of religion are the Zionist pirates and murderers and that would be the only thing in existence to posit a people, alongside the different other islands of Eskenazi, Sefardí, Mizrahi, Ethiopian, Bukharan, what will you. In case any of that survives the disaster of Zionism.

        No use pulling self-ponderous Herr-Professor-Doktor pedantry on this, too. What is considered a distinct people is not a fact of science but of human language and its consensus. Neither is pre-traumatic stress disorder, a wonderfully apt description of collective folly –nothing for the DSM (it won’t sell any psychotropic drugs.) Come to that, is perhaps pre-TSD the only common cultural element among all those diverse, otherwise totally unrelated groups?

        Whether the Jewish people have changed from a state of being defined by religion alone to something broader is interesting but immaterial.

        It’s “immaterial” because it’s the only material fact that can be checked, eh? I suppose it’s yet another way for the tribal ID politicians to control the emancipated.

      • Yoav Litvin
        May 20, 2017, 9:13 pm

        “…Don’t you dare…”
        — Unlike you, “echinococcus”, I don’t cower behind a pseudonym and actually publish my opinions, all based on facts. So I dare much more than you do. Your hatred of Jews and racism is obvious and disgusting.

        “No use pulling self-ponderous Herr-Professor-Doktor pedantry on this, too… Neither is pre-traumatic stress disorder, a wonderfully apt description of collective folly –nothing for the DSM”
        — Unlike you, I actually know what I’m talking about. I’m not impressed by titles either, but I do rely on research that is peer-reviewed, not on some cockamamie ideas that have zero actual evidence in the real world. Your point re the DSM is true to an extent, I’ll grant you that.

        Bottom line- people like you hurt the Palestinian cause as much as, if not more than hard core right-wing Zionists. Take care.

      • talknic
        May 21, 2017, 12:01 am

        @ Yoav Litvin May 20, 2017, 9:13 pm

        ” I don’t cower behind a pseudonym “

        It’s irrelevant. Let’s say echinococcus used their real name. What difference would t make? Would the Zionist colonization of Palestine stop? Would Israel adhere at long last to its legal obligations. WOuld the illegal settlements stop? What people say is important, their name is not.

        “and actually publish my opinions, all based on facts”

        Hasbara isn’t based on facts. Collective PTSD is irrelevant to the legal obligations of states. Israel is in breach of the law

      • RoHa
        May 21, 2017, 12:28 am

        I know about peer review, and am not greatly impressed by it. I’ve been a peer reviewer. I hope I was better at it than the reviewers at Cogent Social Sciences.

        http://dailycaller.com/2017/05/19/conceptual-penis-gender-studies-hoax-gets-published-in-peer-reviewed-journal/

        https://www.cogentoa.com/article/10.1080/23311886.2017.1330439

      • echinococcus
        May 21, 2017, 12:36 am

        Litvin,

        Thanks for… well, again you did not address at all the substance.
        As agent provocateur calling for full identification and no pseudonyms, I suppose you are certainly not at risk. I’ll remember to keep you in the same basket as Zuckerberg et al.

        As for peer-reviewed pedantry, there is no peer-reviewing political opinion, or opinion on the consensus meaning of peoplehood, or the conditions for self-determination etc. That has fuck-all to do with scientific anything, so come off that ridiculous perch. You are not the first and only person with scientific training, by the way, and you have no flicking idea of clinics, either, so don’t make me laugh too hard. It’s already a riot to try to imagine where you get the crust to market your very personal political opinion as “scientific fact”.

        I’m just noting that you are as free with the usual tribal accusations of “hatred of Jews”, undefined, on people you know jackshit about except their writing, and wonder if that is also peer-reviewed scientific research. Unlike you, I have a searchable archive, so you are welcome to look there for “hatred of Jews” and “racism”.

        I must also say that I prefer confronting those you call “hard core right-wing Zionists” than the sneakier liberaloid “non”-or-almost-Zionists. At least they don’t attempt to establish tribal control over the solidarity with the resistance.

      • Yoav Litvin
        May 21, 2017, 1:36 am

        talknic– your whole comment is irrelevant.
        I wrote about psychology, not about law or any of what you mentioned.

      • Mooser
        May 21, 2017, 12:10 pm

        Dr. Litvin, have you ever thought about giving up psychology for boxing?

      • Yoav Litvin
        May 21, 2017, 12:16 pm

        E- if you have actual critique- bring references, your own research, anything published beyond comments on Mondoweiss, otherwise it’s all talk and a waste of time engaging You seem to be directing us down to the gutter, a tactic used by those who have no true political or other argument. Take care.

      • echinococcus
        May 21, 2017, 1:37 pm

        Lookee, “Ell”, now that we’re suddenly on a first-letter basis, can you read at all?
        You’re still pulling all that Herr-Professor nonsense again with requests for “critique” and citations and whatwillyou but you just skipped it that the post you’re non-answering was there to call you on just that: it says “As for peer-reviewed pedantry, there is no peer-reviewing political opinion, or opinion on the consensus meaning of peoplehood, or the conditions for self-determination etc. That has fuck-all to do with scientific anything, so come off that ridiculous perch.”

        You didn’t refute that, and you can’t. Also, don’t play the scientific heavy here: too many of us are peer reviewers and scientists themselves and they know the narrow scope of scientific subspecialty. If there was any scientific anything addressed here, you’d have it accepted in some medical journal.

        And you know what? You forgot to address, at all, the substance of my objection (the “political or other argument”, the one you couldn’t read, that says there’s no “Jewish people” but only a religion.)

        Not surprising, given that all you were doing was smuggling a new version of the Aggressor as Eternal Victim Litany, this time under cover of your having participated to some (not really related) animal research. On things decidedly non scientific.

        Credibility with this kind of fantasy papers requires not arrogant rank-pulling but instead painstaking attention to detail. As Talknic so well observed, your post-1942-45 genocide memory (epigenetic, on the basis of some vague rodent observation?) is already taking revenge on unrelated populations in 1897.

      • MHughes976
        May 21, 2017, 5:38 pm

        Tell me, echino, is your objection to the phrase ‘the Jewish people’ that it is, versus ‘Jewish people’, too collectivist, posdibly hinting at a theory of group rights, or that it elides the distinction between classification based on actual religious practice and one based on ancestry? I woukd sympathise with both of those but are those points really essential to Dr. Litvin’s argument? Is he saying more than that people who were Jewish were once treated so unjustly that it is easily possible for self-interested and powerseeking persons to induce by certain techniques an unreasonable degree of fear, to which an effective antidote would be an integrated education system? I might think this a little utopian, but he’s not asking us to suspend our activities pointing out the falsehood of Zionism while he sorts out
        everyone’s neurones, is he?
        Sorry if I’ve got the wrong end of a few sticks. It’s rhe end of a longish day and my neurones may not be too sharp.

      • echinococcus
        May 21, 2017, 10:16 pm

        Hughes,

        Thanks. Excellent question, masterfully worded: helps thinking.

        The objection is partly one of group rights as you say, but mainly an objection due to the fact that it totally subverts the basis of the definition of a people, countable noun (and of group rights as a consequence.) It transfers the stone-or-bronze age idea of religious congregation (totally non-ethnic and universalist “umma” or narrowly tribal and racist “am”) to the nation-state age to create a “people” for state power. The only other comparable feat to date has been the “Islamic State in the Levant”. Then, it simply assumes a single-source ethnic commonality between the Italians, the Mexicans, the Irish, the Armen… pardon, Russians and Poles and Bessarabians and Spaniards and urban French and Germans and Bukharan and Persians and Ethiopians etc. where there is strictly nothing in common but some shaky commonality of religious belief and ritual.

        This is the monster that is created by letting indoctrinated crowds decide and define their own so-called ethnicity. This is the only basis that allows the German-Romantic nationalism of the Zionists to develop, rival the Nazi one and become a cancerous pimple on the world’s butt. Otherwise, an Ashkenaze-nationalist nonsense political movement would barely have been more disturbing than, say, Basque separatists.

        Certainly this is relevant to Dr. Litvin’s argument, which I read, admittedly with my primed mind, as yet another presentation of the aggressor as eternal victim. It is in any case some call to help a collective of criminals against humanity get rid of its guilt by making unspecified amends (which I imagine will be, in the best liberal Zionist style, a larger bone thrown at the sole owners of sovereignty over Palestine, while continuing to stay uninvited.) This, when the distress of the invaded is at its direst, would strike many people as obscene. I’ll observe that my idea of the responsibility of people in criminal collectives may be different from that of many people here.

        Then comes the objection to the ridiculous “scientizing” of this contraband by tying it to one rodent study in which the results were interpreted (without any specific proof as to the mechanism or investigation of possible confounding factors or, more importantly, any work to see if anything like it can be replicated in the highly multifactorial human environment) as being an epigenetically acquired hereditary trait. Totally unrelated to the price of milk.

      • talknic
        May 21, 2017, 10:22 pm

        @ Yoav Litvin May 21, 2017, 1:36 am

        ” … your whole comment is irrelevant.
        I wrote about psychology, not about law or any of what you mentioned”

        Collective post-traumatic stress disorder – Jews, apartheid and oppression

        An Israeli soldier keeps guard near a Palestinian woman standing next to Star of David graffiti sprayed by Israeli settlers at an army checkpoint in the center of Hebron

        I presumed it related to Israel. Israeli apartheid practices (and Israeli/Jewish PTSD)

        As many as can be helped to overcome their PTSD, there’ll always be more being infected while the Zionist Federation exists. Best get rid of the perpetrators, those who continue for nefarious purposes to use the tool of sewing fear into people’s hearts.

        Self indulgent analysis amongst the diaspora and Israeli Jews is a sideshow, another distraction, a means of attempting to justify the unjustifiable.

        The majority of Jews in the world haven’t had any trauma for generations.

      • YoniFalic
        May 22, 2017, 4:31 am

        I have addressed the bogus idea of a “Jewish people” previously in this forum.

        From Siegman says Palestinians are turning to violence ‘to achieve freedom and self-determination’.

        Blich [my high schoo] did not predict the elections this year, but usually Blich is right in the mainstream. My family came before WW1, but I was there through Operation Cast Lead. It’s true that all my relatives except for my sister have wised up and left.

        Israeli “Jews” were never as cosmopolitan as they believe or I believed when I considered myself Jewish and Israeli. The level of racism at Blich hardly differs from that at any other “Jewish” school in Israel except that many from my European background generally look down on Jews from non-European background.

        As I said, my parents considered my Jewish Algerian high school ex-girlfriend [Mazal] no less a primitive than they considered my Muslim Algerian undergrad ex-girlfriend.

        BTW, I have never had a problem anywhere in Europe. Of course, I always make sure to let everyone know that I support Palestinians without reservation, hate Israel, and consider today’s Judaism in its many aspects either silly or repugnant.

        Unless one is a true believing member of some anti-Zionist group like Neturei Karta, there is absolutely no reason to cling to the vestiges of Jewish identity except perhaps some form of masochism. I have been a lot happier since I got over Jewishness.

        To sum up, my great-grand-parents to some extent shared a religion with Mazal’s family. I certainly did not, and to the truth I could make a good argument that Polish Judaism had much more in common with Polish Roman Catholicism than it did with Algerian Judaism. I have absolutely nothing ethnically in common with Jews of Ibero-Berber, Syrian-Mesopotamian, or S. Arabian ethnic background.

        It verges on psychosis to believe Slavo-Turks like Litvin and me have a common ethnonationality with such other ethnic groups, but I will concede that white racist genocidal European settler colonist invader groups often create fake ethnic or national identities to justify or to rationalize their crimes against indigenous peoples.

      • YoniFalic
        May 22, 2017, 4:55 am

        I really need periodically to re-post earlier comments to deal with ignorant people (especially ignorant racist Israeli “Jews”, who believe they actually know something about Jewish history).

        We can identify when members of E European Jewish communities began to believe contrafactually that Jews constitute an ethnonationality in German völkisch racist sense.

        From The dark secret of Israel’s stolen babies

        Zionism has little connection to Jewish religion except to justify depredations on non-Jews by slicing and dicing Judaic scripture.

        Zionism is just another expression of Central and East European ethnoracial politics.

        The obsession with Palestine is something new. Before Zionism E Euro Jews had little interest in Palestine, which was mostly a place were old people went to die and to which eccentrics were dispatched.

        There were a good number of Jerusalems among the world Jewish community: Vilna the Jerusalem of Lithuania (or North), Amsterdam the Jerusalem of the West, Saloniki la chica Jerusalem, Zakho the Jerusalem of Assyria, Sarajevo the Jerusalem of the Balkans, Carpentras the Jerusalem of Provence, Djerba the Jerusalem of N. Africa, etc. Palestinians unlike Jews loved and cared for Jerusalem, which hosted several import Islamic schools but no comparable Jewish schools (after 1127) until genocidal racist Zios began their invasion in the 19th century.

        The E Euro obsession with Palestine seems to begin after the Czarist government at Jewish request changed the official term for Jew from жид (Żyd), which had no obvious association with Palestine, to еврей (hebrajski), which was compatible with a sort of secular Hebraism.

        The Czarist government did not care about the ridiculous mythological associations of еврей but had no use for the Polish legal concept of religious estate (сословие). The name change seems to have fit with general Czarist policy.

        How did the name change fit with Czarist policy? The Czarist government realized that confining “Jewish” Slavo-Turks to Czarist Poland (their native homeland) was not working out and envisaged benefits from distributing them throughout the Empire and assimilating them to local peoples.

        Reidentifying Slavo-Turks as a secular Hebraic population with no homeland within the Empire was one way of justifying such developing Czarist policy toward “Jewish” Slavo-Turks.

        [Note that Czarist policy toward Jews of other ethnic groups was very different.]

      • YoniFalic
        May 22, 2017, 5:05 am

        It is worthwhile to mention that occasionally even popular writers realize that bigoted and racist beliefs common among “Jews” (really Slavo-Turks) are so moronic and incredible that they cannot be taken seriously.

        Sephardic Conversion in 1492: Myth and Reality

        I concede that Kavon has an agenda that explains how he came to realize that the facts simply did not support some truly stupid “Jewish” beliefs.

      • Mooser
        May 22, 2017, 11:05 am

        “The majority of Jews in the world haven’t had any trauma for generations.”

        Who is the ‘control group’ for measuring inherited trauma? What is the ‘normal’ amount of group trauma, or is ‘no trauma’ the control against which we measure?

        On the other hand, Litvin’s own speech here in this comment section, (especially his reaction to “Yoni”) tends to bolster Litvin’s argument. Just as a I wouldn’t trust a doctor who wouldn’t take his own remedies, it is persuasive to see a diagnostician who is willing to suffer from his own disease.

      • YoniFalic
        May 22, 2017, 5:05 pm

        I’m not sure what Litvin is trying to say.

        Lastly, the fact that you use someone like von Treitschke as your foremost credible reference, a vile, racist colonialist- speaks volumes. He famously said: “Every virile people has established colonial power. All great nations in the fullness of their strength have desired to set their mark upon barbarian lands and those who fail to participate in this great rivalry will play a pitiable role in time to come.”

        The quotation is a commonplace statement of 19th century European colonialism.

        Today in describing 19th century colonialism we would probably write “expanding” instead of “virile” and “non-Western” instead of “barbarian”, but 19th century Prussians had no experience of late 20th century American feminism or multiculturalism.

        I only have to watch Israeli TV or to read Israeli newspapers to experience far more disgusting racism than von Treitschke ever expressed.

      • echinococcus
        May 23, 2017, 1:20 am

        Hughes,

        Here goes an unrequested Part II; I am sure you are bitterly regretting having asked anything but yours were very good questions that invite thinking (even by the thinking-impaired like me.)

        Is he saying more than that people who were Jewish were once treated so unjustly that it is easily possible for self-interested and powerseeking persons to induce by certain techniques an unreasonable degree of fear, to which an effective antidote would be an integrated education system?

        Yo’re dam’ tootin’ he is saying more. One thing he’s not saying but should have said at the start is that his posited “Jewish” people is the exceptional people. That long history of suffering and bullying is a story of religious persecutions, according to place and regime, and for the life of me I can’t see what is so invariably worse or unusual about the Jews than about the Nestorians and the Arians and the Paulicians and the Bogumils and the Shi’a and the Baha’i and the Hashisheen and the Anabaptists and the Cathares and the… wait, wait, if there is one exceptionally, ubiquitously persecuted “people” in that strange acception, it is my “people”, that of the Atheists. Period.

        And yes, of course the memory of any persecution is carefully preserved, constantly pulled out and polished, and lathered up and used for propaganda purposes by each and every surviving community’s elders or otherwise politicians. Duh. Big discovery there. Not. That’s something everybody, including even the Zionist, agrees upon. The only reason it was worth an article seems to be the opportunity to insert one more unquestioned mentions of a religion as “a people”, with an unquestioned reaffirmation of exceptionality as the eternal victims.

        Now, this is not related at all to the WWII genocide, which was obviously racial and racist in order to answer the needs of the Reich. If the discussion were about the WWII genocide, it would not even start being usable to explain Zionism, started a hundred years earlier, in the 19th century, within the same nasty egg as German Romantic nationalism, only without Blut or Boden to hatch it.

        In fact, when we are done simplifying this equation of all its absurdity and redundancy, it all boils down to a statement that the Meistervolk invaders in occupied Palestine are manipulated, held hostage and incited to crime by irrational fears of a genocide, one that they would not be committing as they now are, but undergoing. Nothing about the ages of Jewish persecutions but just 1942-45. Well, that is somewhat correct of course, but being the target of propaganda does not absolve thinking individuals any better than the treaty of Versailles would have excused NSDAP supporters of yore. Understanding and helping the poor, suffering, propagandized, put-upon invader pirates and murderers and war criminals is definitely not a priority over getting rid of the beast (right now still peacefully doable with plane and ship tickets.)

      • Mooser
        May 23, 2017, 11:50 am

        “Every virile people has established colonial power…”

        “goodbye, Columbus…goodbye…”

      • MHughes976
        May 23, 2017, 4:09 pm

        Thanks for detailed reply, echino – must get back to you properly. I note that the Economist, reporting on the ‘music to Netanyahu’s ears’ played by Trump, notes, as you would, the phrase ‘the Jewish people’. It’s been a rough day for those trying to think straight, what with the massacre at what IS calls ‘the shameless concert hall’ in Manchester.

      • gamal
        May 24, 2017, 4:58 pm

        “I don’t care enough to get into it like”

        ah Donald don’t be like that man, i miss you

    • hophmi
      May 22, 2017, 1:33 pm

      “1) as von Treitschke (major 19th century German politician and historian wrongfully accused of antisemitism by racist Jews) ”

      According to “historian” and apparently, neo-Nazi, YoniFalic, the man who popularized the phrase “The Jews are our misfortune” was not an antisemite.

      WHY IS THIS GUY STILL HERE?

      • Mooser
        May 22, 2017, 3:16 pm

        “WHY IS THIS GUY STILL HERE?”

        “Hophmi”, please don’t worry. Nobody, gets to talk any worse about Jews than we do about anybody else.

        It’s against the commenting rules.

      • Donald Johnson
        May 22, 2017, 8:31 pm

        I didn’t know anything about von Treitschke until this thread. I googled and if the Wikipedia article is right he was a vicious antisemite, racist, and colonialist. He seems like exactly the sort of intellectual a Nazi would love.

      • Mooser
        May 22, 2017, 10:26 pm

        “He seems like exactly the sort of intellectual a Nazi would love.”

        Or a disillusioned, disgusted ex-Israeli IDF vet with a traumatic reaction to what was demanded of him as a Zionist and a Jew might be attracted to.

        But that of course, would be much too empathetic view to take, or something.

      • YoniFalic
        May 23, 2017, 3:36 am

        There is good reason for rational people to consult the primary sources or at least people like Lindemann and me that have actually read the primary sources.

        See Heinrich von Treitschke.

        I must point out that there are many ignorant racists and bigots that accuse Philip Weiss, Walt, and Meersheimer of antisemitism for attempting to deal with Jewish issues honestly.

        Likewise in this forum Donald Johnson has a history of citing questionable sources in support of ignorant and bigoted accusations.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/organizations-demonstrates-communitys/#comment-850651

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/organizations-demonstrates-communitys/#comment-850757

      • eljay
        May 23, 2017, 8:07 am

        || Donald Johnson: I didn’t know anything about von Treitschke until this thread. I googled and if the Wikipedia article is right he was a vicious antisemite, racist, and colonialist. He seems like exactly the sort of intellectual a Nazi would love. ||

        He seems like the sort of intellectual a Zionist, too, would love:

        Every virile people has established colonial power. All great nations in the fullness of their strength have desired to set their mark upon barbarian lands and those who fail to participate in this great rivalry will play a pitiable role in time to come.

      • Keith
        May 23, 2017, 10:41 am

        DONALD JOHNSON- “He seems like exactly the sort of intellectual a Nazi would love.”

        That seems a rather harsh judgement based upon one Wikipedia article. I also had never heard of Heinrich von Treitsche prior to this. One could go back in time and quote Teddy Roosevelt, the Founding Fathers and others to similar effect. The Wikipedia entry said that ” He accused German Jews of refusing to assimilate into German culture and society….” Does that sound like a Nazi to you? The Jewish problem was LACK of assimilation? Do you know of any contemporary website which talks about Jewish kinship as a problem? A website which Hophmi considers anti-Semitic? Do you? Different times, different language. And what is Zionism and Israel if not the ultimate refusal of assimilation? This is not to defend von Treitsche and Teddy Roosevelt’s views on colonialism, etc., but to express concern at the ease with which views questioning the role of organized Jewry in the political economy– past and present — are all too frequently labeled anti-Semitic by people like Hophmi who seek to squelch discussion. So, what exactly was the point of your comment other than to join the amen chorus of those whose primary focus in life revolves around the search for anti-Semitism? Are you seriously attempting to engage in historical debate with Yoni Falic regarding Jewish history? Good luck on that! The Wikipedia link follows for reference. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_von_Treitschke

      • gamal
        May 23, 2017, 11:38 am

        “people to consult the primary sources”

        very good when CNN has not done a report i suppose one must go to the primary sources lacking any better alternative, while keeping in mind the dangers of blasphemy or even heresy,

        at least no one ever quotes Voltaire, thorough going racist that he was, nowadays no one would read anything by W Churchill war criminal, imperialist terrorist to demonstrate any point whatsoever, haven’t even heard of Gobineau?, if not keep yourself pure just say “No Gobineau” and thus we may be preserved from Mr. Falics fate, when is the auto da fe?

        let he who is without trauma cast the first aspersion and remember approved texts only if you know whats good for you.

        in the end despite all the bragging people find it so difficult to leave behind notions of good/bad, are notions of evil and innocence much help, ever? in understanding anything?

        at least science and the discipline of history are free of such pointless and empty distinctions, at least we have that.

        it is possible to read critically and thus protect oneself from contamination, this also goes for CNN.

        and lets not leave out a brief esoteric observation “people who see evil threatening them from the outside are subject to the worst form of superstition, eventually their whole environment will appear hostile”

      • Mooser
        May 23, 2017, 12:07 pm

        “The Jewish problem was LACK of assimilation?”

        Weeel, the amount a Jew could assimilate was regulated by laws, all different in different places at that time. And through the 18-1900’s (up till Nazi era in Germany) a very confusing and arbitrary patchwork of permitted assimilation in Europe.

      • Donald Johnson
        May 23, 2017, 12:18 pm

        I wasn’t talking about YoniFalic with the Nazi reference. I was referring to actual Nazis.

        As for sources, the Wikipedia quotes seemed pretty damning. He didn’t just hate Jews. But perhaps the quotes were all fabricated and he was the exact opposite of how Wikipedia depicted him.

        I also checked Yonic Falic’s link to my earlier reference. I am perfectly willing to believe that there were other forms of ethnic violence in Russia besides anti Jewish pogroms. Figes himself describes the brutality of the Czarist forces in crushing the 1905 rebellion and obviously he wasn’t describing all the victims as Jews.

      • Keith
        May 23, 2017, 1:35 pm

        DONALD JOHNSON- “I wasn’t talking about YoniFalic with the Nazi reference. I was referring to actual Nazis.”

        You made a comment to Hophmi’s comment where Hophmi refers to Yoni Falic as an “apparent” neo-Nazi because of Yoni’s defense of Heinrich von Treitsche who you never heard of till now. But based upon one Wikipedia entry with quotes you found “damning,” you weighed in in support of Hophmi’s characterization of von Treitsche as, in your words, “a vicious anti-Semite.” Yet, you claim that this has nothing to do with Yoni, you are referring to actual Nazis! Apparently, you are incapable of following the logic of your own quote!

        Are you aware that your comment was very Hophmi like? You know next to nothing about von Treitsche, yet based upon a couple of selective quotes in Wikipedia, you are very comfortable declaring him a “vicious anti-Semite.” In the long quote where he talks about the historical Jewish financial function, he appears to me to be referring to the medieval role of Classical (tribal) Judaism, a role which has been rendered obsolete due to modernization. In fact, the restructuring of society and the break down of traditional roles was the source of much Jew/Gentile conflict regarding who gets to do what.

        Von Treitsche was an imperialist and a racist, the two are essentially inseparable, but so was Teddy Roosevelt and the majority of the Western intelligentsia during that era. How racist von Treitsche was compared to his contemporaries would require investigation beyond one Wikipedia entry. And since Hophmi’s comment referred specifically and exclusively to Yoni Falic (“WHY IS THIS GUY STILL HERE?”), your comment quite obviously was meant to impact that discussion in regards to Yoni Falic and Heinrich von Tritsche. Why deny it?

      • MHughes976
        May 23, 2017, 1:43 pm

        Treitschke played a highly demonic role in our WW1 propaganda. Someone told me (I’m not able to check this)!that the troops, discussing philosophy in the trenches as one does, referred to Nietzsche and T as ‘Nitch and Tritch’ and thought it was all their fault. I must say I thought hophmi’s single-quote argument had some force but no single quote argument is quite conclusive and if Yoni has properly studied the matter his views deserve some respect. We who get hooked on the Bible know how difficult it is to pin down an idea by the single quite method – and sometimes the 1890s seem in some respects as strange and different culturally as the 90s BCE.

      • Mooser
        May 23, 2017, 3:06 pm

        “We who get hooked on the Bible…”

        Exactly. That’s why I take the Nancy Reagan approach to it.

      • Mooser
        May 23, 2017, 3:17 pm

        “let he who is without trauma cast the first aspersion”

        But be careful. Cleopatra was killed by casting aspersions.

      • Donald Johnson
        May 23, 2017, 4:32 pm

        Keith, I am aware of it it looked. It was sloppy, but I meant it literally. The personalities in this comment section don’t interest me much anymore. I don’t agree with hophmi on much, but I think he was right about von Treitschke and I just don’t give a damn what other people’s motives are for the positions they take here. Or rather, I don’t care enough to get into it like I used to.

  2. Maghlawatan
    May 17, 2017, 3:57 pm

    American Jews don’t have the PTSD that characterises Israeli Jews. I think the Holocaust is a huge influence and that the institutions of Israel feed off trauma. IDF indoctrination is about us versus them. Israel has developed no links with neighbouring countries, fostering a sense of isolation. The psychology of Israel is fascinating. Fear is the raison d’etre of the IDF. If Israel was normal it wouldn’t need such a big army.

    • pabelmont
      May 18, 2017, 7:06 am

      Fear is the raison d’etre, also, of Israel itself (or one might say of Zionism).

      Once upon a time (some) Jews said things like, “If not now when? If not me, who?” which were understood as statements (not questions) of responsibility (usually to repair the damaged).

      Today, at least in Israel, it appears that (most) Jews say,’If no fear now, then when? If I don’t fear, who will?” which is understood not as questions but as a statement of responsibility to fear, to make sure that the bright flame of fear never burns out — irrespective of changes in circumstances (and irrespective of one’s own responsibility for building and tending and nurturing the conditions for fear).

    • Marnie
      May 19, 2017, 12:05 am

      ‘I think the Holocaust is a huge influence and that the institutions of Israel feed off trauma’

      I don’t get that connection at all. Thank God for the Holocaust Industry, keeping trauma, fear and loathing alive for 70 years!

  3. gamal
    May 17, 2017, 5:51 pm

    “Consequently, war and trauma have further reinforced a state of collective PTSD within Israeli Jewish communities, which manifests in a persistent fear of annihilation even when threat sources are absent”

    yes ok i wonder if this young lady has some ideas that might help, its the first video attached to this the article, i would humbly suggest you listen to her, forget the context, because of my weird fucked up background while listening to her i quite involuntarily rose from my seat and prostrated myself to her (my laptop) like a falling wall, it felt entirely appropriate, if you into that kind of thing you might try it .

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/egregious-lies-and-crimes-are-the-foundation-of-western-foreign-policy/5589955

    • Annie Robbins
      May 17, 2017, 6:24 pm

      thanks gamal

      • gamal
        May 17, 2017, 6:33 pm

        Hey Annie,

        i am guessing that’s the sister of Nour Aslou

      • Annie Robbins
        May 17, 2017, 10:49 pm

        the basketball coach? that makes sense, i didn’t make the connection at first.

      • gamal
        May 19, 2017, 12:39 am

        i was really struck by her accent which got me thinking if you have a moment i think you might enjoy this, Annie Subhi and friend do Palestine vs Syria, do you remember how fun it was to be young, still the little vests crack cut me to the core, people laugh at them?

        https://youtu.be/gjnDFDra678

      • Annie Robbins
        May 21, 2017, 12:13 am

        gamal, what a wonderful fun video. it took me a little while to get into it as a non arabic speaker, but as it went on it got better and better! and what attractive people! does their whole family look like this? so so cute.

  4. Maghlawatan
    May 18, 2017, 2:33 am

    Israeli babies are born normal. The hatred they carry as older people is manufactured by the educational system, the media and the army. It is an institutional problem. The Israeli economy is run for the benefit of 16 families. They like a scared population too.

    • echinococcus
      May 18, 2017, 12:37 pm

      Maghlawatan,

      Being born on forbidden soil to invader, pirate parents who knowingly drag children into a war zone, and being marked from birth as subject to compulsive “duty” to criminals against humanity to serve as a uniformed war criminal can hardly be described as “normal”.

      In fact, even though entire populations cannot be charged and tried for crimes against peace and war crimes, parents can and should be prosecuted for reckless endangering for bringing minors to war zones or begetting them there.

  5. Citizen
    May 20, 2017, 2:00 am

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder puts the blame on the Goy. Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder requests introspection

    • Yoav Litvin
      May 20, 2017, 8:56 am

      Absolutely false.
      I don’t “put the blame” on the Goy.
      Just like with the cycle of abuse – the abusive husband is at fault for beating his wife, but he was also a victim of his father’s beating when he was a child.
      I’ve detailed the introspection necessary here. If you read the article I find it hard to believe you missed it. Read the last paragraph of the piece.
      PTSD is a real disorder, and I’ve explained its relevance. Can you provide professional sources for Pre-TSD? Is it in the DSM?

      • Mooser
        May 20, 2017, 11:19 am

        “I don’t “put the blame” on the Goy.”

        So who are you putting the blame on? Please be specific. You go real evasive on that point.

        I’d hate to think that one group of Zionists took cynical advantage of the trauma of Jews for their own advantage.

      • Yoav Litvin
        May 20, 2017, 12:34 pm

        Mooser – As I stated, I blame those who are culpable.
        Jews suffered a long history of persecution. I blame those who persecuted them, now long dead and buried, not their descendants, if that’s what you’re implying.
        Of course Zionists take advantage of Jewish trauma- that’s what this whole article is about.

      • Mooser
        May 20, 2017, 1:18 pm

        “As I stated, I blame those…”

        Yeah, okay. Whatever.

      • Yoav Litvin
        May 20, 2017, 6:43 pm

        Mooser – I respected your comment and responded. “Whatever” just got you categorized as a typical troll. Take care.

      • Mooser
        May 21, 2017, 11:59 am

        ““Whatever” just got you categorized as a typical troll. Take care. “

        Hey, that’s cool. I’ve got you “categorized” as a ‘typical Israeli’.

        “Take care”

        Okay then; kush in toches arein!

      • Mooser
        May 22, 2017, 10:30 pm

        “Jews suffered a long history of persecution.”

        Compared to who? How much persecution were we supposed to suffer, or not?
        And can we separate others persecuting us from the trauma we put each other, and our kids through? Or not?

    • Mooser
      May 20, 2017, 11:12 am

      “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder puts the blame on the Goy. Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder requests introspection”

      Any good defense lawyer will try to find mitigating factors even if a client is guilty. Expert testimony is often used.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 20, 2017, 7:20 pm

        Any good defense lawyer will try to find mitigating factors even if a client is guilty

        without reviewing the article, my impression is that, unlike citizen’s and your assumption or suggestion, the focus is not on blame, fault , guilt, trial or relief of blame or guilt. it’s more about a diagnosis of how something comes into being.

        my worry tho, is that information like this can be used to harm people. palestine being the laboratory that it is under the control of people with access to all means of research can use palestinian peoples vulnerabilities purposely to justify killing or further suppressing them.

        personally, i am not as interested in jewish fear, possibly because we’ve been directed to think about it so much. i am more interested in the fear of people currently under threat of genocide. and how that (palestinian) fear could/can be manipulated to get them to act out in ways that add to their subjugation.

        relatively, it is a luxury (not afforded to palestinians) to focus on “healing from a pathological cycle of fear” when palestinians cannot even afford to “heal” as they are still being hunted, some like wild animals.

        while i think it is imperative the situation has to change, i think trying to heal the collective of the oppressor is not the most effective way to break the cycle of oppression.

        i think defending, empowering and healing the oppressed class (vs the oppressors) would be a more effective course of change.

      • Mooser
        May 21, 2017, 12:07 pm

        Okay, I get it. I’ve inherited all kinds trauma. But my bris didn’t hurt me at all. No trauma ‘long me.

  6. Annie Robbins
    May 20, 2017, 7:54 pm

    fear can be reinstated in traumatized collectives using several methods: focusing on an act of violence or resistance; reminding the public of some atrocity in the past (memorial days); shifting attention to perceived threats and; physically segregating communities in conflict (apartheid), which renders re-exposure and reconciliation (i.e. extinction of fear) virtually impossible.

    fear can also be reinstated in traumatized collectives by using snipers to kill off members of the youth. directly targeting the smartest, most aggressive, creative and most talented. currently, none of the most effective forms of instilling fear in a society is being systematically directed towards jewish people. in that sense, their anxiety is the anxiety of the aggressor. it’s still very real, it’s still interesting/fascinating. it’s just not headline grabbing. maybe because people instinctively don’t tend to empathize (even to the point of repulsion) with the anxieties of the oppressors.

  7. talknic
    May 20, 2017, 9:38 pm

    Uh? The Zionist Federation had Collective post-traumatic stress disorder in 1897 when they decided to colonize Palestine almost half a century before the Holocaust. Interesting theory

    Enough bullsh*t distractions. Israel is a state in breach of the law. All else is a distraction from the nut cases running that country and from the true cause of the conflict. Zionist greed and an incurable addiction to more and more territory, to make more and more money from more and more specifically poor Jews who are lent money specifically at interest to specifically settle in non Israeli territories on the front lines in non-Israeli territories, thereby endangering themselves and their families.

    GC VI was adopted to protect ALL civilians including those of the Occupying Power from the highly ;likely violent collateral consequences of Occupying another people and their territories.

    Only a scum government would purposefully break GC VI to serve a vile money making racket that depends on acquiring by any means more and more territories outside that state thereby purposefully endangering its citizens and the Occupied who Israel swore to protect by becoming a UN Member State

    • inbound39
      May 21, 2017, 3:18 pm

      Extremely well articulated statement talknic and draws attention to the crux of the problem in Palestine. Zionist Apartheid and ethnic cleansing with little value placed on human life by Israel.

      • oldgeezer
        May 21, 2017, 4:38 pm

        @inbound39

        Little value placed on any life. Non Jewish or Jewish. Zionists have never hesitated to kill Jews to further the cause or throw them under the bus. A lot of the victims in the creation of the tribal purity state were Jews who saw how evil the concept was.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 21, 2017, 3:48 pm

      All else is a distraction

      this reminds me of something sandra tamari wrote

      I understand that there are enormous issues facing American Jews who support Palestinian liberation. Creating spaces within Jewish communities and families, reclaiming Judaism from Zionism, and discovering one’s identity within Judaism are vital endeavors. However, it is important to remember that these individual and communal struggles are not necessarily Palestine liberation work.

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/05/solidarity-palestine-movement/#sthash.HSOxaqtb.dpuf

      • Yoav Litvin
        May 21, 2017, 9:10 pm

        Interesting comment and link, Annie.

        The problem I find from many of the talkbacks on this thread and others’ I’ve engaged in is the lack of nuance, empathy and a dehumanization of both sides. Yes, we know Israel is a criminal state. Yes, we know of the incredible pain and injustice perpetuated by successive governments and by the Zionist project. But writing it over and over has not really worked to change realities on the ground.

        My claim is that just as we study criminal behavior in order to better our society, we must study criminal societies to better humanity.

  8. Keith
    May 21, 2017, 3:22 pm

    YOAV LITVIN- “In order to heal from this pathological cycle of fear and its consequent violence, which detrimentally affects both victims and victimizers, Jews in Israel and elsewhere need to overcome fear conditioning that has been reinstated for ages and transferred from one generation to the next.”

    I agree, however, how is this to come about? The psychology of victimhood is an essential component of Jewish myth-history and of Zionist ideology. The people with the resources to implement some sort of mass de-programming are the same ones who profit from the current state of affairs and strongly support the Judeo-Zionist ideology. Until the Zionist leadership as embodied in the Conference of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and other elite Jews (Adelson, et al) decide to reverse course and upend the ideology which has served them so well, I don’t see anything changing. Do you? Really?

    • Yoav Litvin
      May 21, 2017, 9:05 pm

      Keith- Thanks for reading and for your comment.

      No, unfortunately I don’t see things changing for the better.

      There are joint protests and sit ins such as this, which I find encouraging- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnzwxIDb33I
      Though the response by the Israeli soldiers was devastating. I would hope that these sort of solidarity protests multiply and grow.

      In this piece I do not claim to lay out policy, just a psychological profile of how propaganda is a potent tool, especially when used on a society that has been conditioned to fear. This is not an excuse, just like psychologically profiling criminals is important and does not lessen their crimes.

  9. JLewisDickerson
    May 22, 2017, 1:32 pm

    RE: “Humans have been able to manipulate fears and anxieties as weapons of population control . . .” ~ Yoav Litvin

    How Fear Plays a Role in American Life: The History of a Political Idea (2004)

    • JLewisDickerson
      May 23, 2017, 12:58 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism” | by Nozomi Hayase | CounterPunch.org | May 22, 2017

      [EXCERPTS] From Brexit to the victory of Donald Trump, the world order established in the post-cold war is now being shaken up. . .
      . . . Trump’s White House reawakened colonial racism. It is a triumph of nationality over our humanity, where one’s identification with a particular group or race is heightened. . .
      . . . So, what created this compulsive plunge back into the return of the old? As modern life has gone through industrialization, colonial practices of domination and subjugation of one people to another has been moved into the economy, by way of extreme capitalism. . .
      . . . Corporate America’s hollowing out of culture has created what psychologist Phillip Cushman (1995) described as the “empty self”, marked with a “pervasive sense of personal emptiness” that produces “values of self-liberation through consumption” (p. 6). This internal emptiness was tapped to create a ravenous consumer economy, where people are driven to chase after material happiness to soothe their hunger. . .
      . . . With a global crisis of legitimacy unraveled in the 2007-8 financial meltdown, this dominant cultural narrative and consumer-based identity is beginning to crumble. As the American middle class shrinks, the void that used to be filled with products and commercial transactions is beginning to reemerge. This is now exploited again for political means.

      ● Trauma at the Root of Identity

      Resistance against Trumpism -this regression back to a colonial identity requires all to tend toward this emptiness inside and understand what makes us vulnerable to these identity politics. What is it that makes us cling to these identities that are given from outside and this external valuation imposed by hierarchy?

      Professor emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature Michael Nagler once said, “There is something deeper than our culture (at the root of the problem) and that is our spiritual predisposition, which means who we think we are”. Colonial identity disconnects us from the roots of our humanity. Frantz Fanon (1952/2008) who explored the black psyche in the white world in the context of the Algerian resistance to French colonialism, shared his own experience of colonial identification:

      “I arrive slowly in the world; sudden emergences are no longer my habit. I crawl along. The white gaze, the only valid one, is already dissecting me. I am fixed. Once their microtomes are sharpened, the Whites objectively cut sections of my reality. I have been betrayed. I sense, I see in this white gaze that it’s the arrival not of a new man, but of a new type of man, a new species. A Negro, in fact!” (p. 95)

      In his own account, Fanon revealed how the idea of Western civilization was an effort to remake the world by the order of hierarchy, where European cultural values are made superior and white came to be synonymous with being human. Fanon concluded with his indictment of colonialism, reminding that “The misfortune of the man of color is having been enslaved. The misfortune and inhumanity of the white man are having killed man somewhere” (p. 205).

      In efforts to ‘civilize’ itself, with its dark history of colonization and genocide of natives, Europe has cut itself off from its own lifeblood – indigenous cultures that remained connected to the earth. This separation from nature created a sense of alienation and loss of connection to our essence. Canadian physician and author Dr. Gabor Maté describes this disconnect as a kind of trauma. Unrecognized trauma is passed on from generation to generation. It freezes us in the unaccounted memory of violence that intrudes on the present. The old colonial logic is repeated by means of financial terrorism and corporate plunder.

      ● Healing of the Past

      The loss of connection to our humanity is a wound that many of us have become numb to. The pain drives us to engage in a power struggle. People fight to claim their racial and national identity, because in this colonial hierarchy, these differences, without being acknowledged in their own uniqueness, are pitted against one another and used to deny the other’s connection to their own humanity.

      Radical nationalism is a symptom. It is an adaptive response to trauma. We are seeking for a connection to our authentic self. Yet, being paralyzed in this pain that we don’t know exists, we may be acting out and looking for answers in places where we can’t ever find them. By defending our identification with a particular nation, race or cultural values, we are perhaps trying to compensate for the loss of who we really are. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/22/trump-and-the-resurgence-of-colonial-racism/

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