Sunday, 28 February 2010

Love of the Land: Therapist-assisted suicide

Therapist-assisted suicide
26 February '10

I am beginning to think that the criteria used by the editors of the NY Times for evaluating op-eds about the Mideast are these:

Is it weird enough? Is it far enough removed from reality? Is it bad enough for Israel?

Today there’s one by a Tel Aviv University psychologist, Dr. Carlo Strenger, who advocates “diplomatic therapy” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

The trauma is mutual and multilayered. The Palestinians have never been able to mourn what they call the Nakba, the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948. Their ethos of national liberation was based on the idea that all refugees would be able to return to their homes in Jaffa, Ramle and Lod. Letting go of this dream, a condition for the two-state solution, requires a process of mourning that has been made almost impossible by the humiliation of the occupation and the force of Israeli retaliation, culminating in the Gaza war last year.

Trauma is not the Palestinians’ alone: Israeli Jews live under a fear of annihilation that overshadows any consideration of compromise. Many critics of Israel believe that such a statement is a cheap ploy to justify colonial ambitions, but right or wrong this is the reality of the country’s collective psyche. Israelis still look back at the attacks by Arab armies in 1948, 1967 and 1973 as moments when they could have been wiped out, and this fear is revived today by the possibility of Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Therapist-assisted suicide

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