Opinion

We must break out of the paranoid survival myth

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

As a Jew, I suffer to know the crimes we are causing Palestinians in Israel/Palestine. Some I have witnessed personally. Not in my name offers me no solace. I understand Zionism but it is a modern day catastrophe. It is not the Zionism started once by idealistic Communists and Atheists as a liberation movement. Instead Zionism has morphed into a racist, ethnic, nationalist ideology and we need to ask this question. Do Jews who have been victimized and brutalized have the moral right to occupy and disenfranchise another people?

I am a Jew and I love my people but we can no longer remain silent or we are complicit with the crimes of apartheid and human rights horrors. We must side with the oppressed and disenfranchised and it is not Jews in this time in history who are the victims. I believe Jewish identity continues to be threatened with a paranoid fear of annihilation. Victimhood and guilt is acted out of a perception that Palestinians wish to destroy Jews. I do not agree with this perception. Palestinians want their freedom and to return to their land. Yes as the occupation goes on, after 48 years, of course there is hatred. Who loves their oppressors? Still the perception of annihilation has been used to justify walls, occupation, and violence, collective punishment racism without end perpetrated on the Palestinian people. Perhaps Palestinians are the last victims of the Holocaust or the frightening reality that festered without self-reflection, without some soul searching. Generations of a lingering paranoid mental illness dismissed, unexamined while projected out onto the world as the myth of Jewish survival.

The myth that Jews must kill, imprison and victimize for their own survival needs to be openly discussed and challenged. New attempts to stomp out dissent and criminalize BDS, together with cries of anti-Semitism for those who break the silence have created a climate of fear both in the US and in Germany where I speak in an attempt to break the barriers of silence that prevent peace. This form of manufactured anti-Semitism has tended to obscure and take precedence over the re-emergence and deeply troubling forms of true anti-Semitism. Consider the rise of true anti-Semitism as harvested and fed (in part) by Israel’s human rights abuses and 48 years of a brutal occupation and collective punishment. Of course without the possibility of healthy dissent, forces such as anti-Semitism fester and continue to grow .

It is time to speak truth to power, to liberate Palestine so that Israel can also be free. This cannot happen until apartheid is ended.Reporting on the Ground

76 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

“Yes as the occupation goes on, after 48 years, of course there is hatred. Who loves their oppressors?”

Is it just me, or is it true that I see/hear evidence of “hatred” almost exclusively from the Israeli/Zionist ‘side’~ the “oppressors”? Overwhelmingly.

On the other hand, or ‘side’~ the oppressed, I see amazing resilience, steadfastness, and nearly superhuman restraint.

Thanks, Lillian.

@ Lillian Rosengarten

“…..the frightening reality that festered without self-reflection, without some soul searching. Generations of a lingering paranoid mental illness dismissed, unexamined while projected out onto the world as the myth of Jewish survival.”

– See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/break-paranoid-survival#sthash.GyuLxyFT.dpuf

A heartfelt Thank you, Lillian Rosengarten ,for such a thoughtful , deep meditation on the tragedy that is Palestine/Israel.

thank you Lillian. i never tire of your determination and clarity of mind. you’re a moral giant and i love you. It’s always an honor for us to publish your wisdom.

a mild criticism: although there is a specific reference to the evolution of Zionism, there is a blurring of Jewish history and the special brand of the modern meme of Judaism equals Zionism, and vice versa. Zionism of the Glicks and Gellers seems to be more of a revenge cult than a sincere expression of fear. Revenge and entitlement.

Excellent post, Lillian Rosengarten! “The paranoid survival myth.” What a phrase to capture a complex sociological phenomenon in a few words. What we also need is a contrasting phrase to describe an alternative vision: a Modern Israel, maybe, envisioning a prosperous country at peace with its neighbors, doing justice at long last for the Palestinians, leading the whole Middle East region in an economic boom, providing attractive economic and cultural incentives for peaceful, multi-cultural living… Read more »