Monday, March 3, 2008

'It's a Holocaust' and Palestinian Muslim Psychosis

One of Israel's less bright ministers Matan Vilnai (a former reserves general), commented last week that Hamas's policy of firing rockets and terrorism are bringing a "shoah" upon the Palestinian people. The correct intepretation of the word 'shoah' is "catastrophe" or "disaster", and this is what the minister obviously meant. However, we all know that it is the commonly used term for the Nazi holocaust. The English language press translated the word this way, and, predictably, the Arabs seized upon this theme, exhorting the Arab masses, the international community, and the UN to stop the new Israeli "holocaust" and extermination of the Palestinians. They were referring particularly to the recent military operations in Gaza, and in general to Israel's existence for the past 60 years.

Now we are all familiar with the unending stream of Palestinian propoganda and lies which are used to recruit international condemnation of Israel, and this is not a new story. It is not the first time that they have called the Israelis 'Nazis' and it won't be the last. But we don't need an Israeli minister, with the assistance of Israel's English language presss, providing them with convenient excuses.

Speaking of excuses: Have you read about Hamas's version of events in Gaza? It was a heroic 'victory' for the Palestinians and a 'humiliating defeat' of the IDF. The same Hamas news report lamenting the extermination and destruction of the Palestinian people goes on the celebrate the exit of the IDF forces (a planned end of a limited operation) as a victory. We all know that Israel and the IDF are planning a series of unspecified actions to stop the rockets, and the most recent operation was limited to specific military goals, including intelligence gathering and preparations for other operations. So here's the absurdity: If we're killing the terrorists, its a massacre/holocaust/extermination (even its just one terrorist). If we leave and stop killing them, it's their heroic victory and our defeat!! This is very similar to the delusional thinking of a schizophrenic.

This bespeaks two aspects of Palestinian (and more generally, fundamentalist Islam) psychopathology, to which I have referred in previous posts:

1. Palestinian lives, both civilian and militants, are worth very little in their society. They are used as fodder for the struggle, and no matter that 100 or 1000 or 10,000 are 'sacrificed' for some insane or hopeless cause. This is part of the Muslim emphasis on martyrdom and the well known afterlife that awaits Muslim males. So no matter how bitter their actual defeat, they 'won'. If they win they win, and if they lose they win. What a great way to run a society!! It's hard to know how many Palestinians actually believe this, but the fact that their leaders use these lies to perpetuate the conflict indicates that it works. Just like Hizbullah's "divine victory" over Israel in Lebanon. I suspect that the 1967 war set the victory bar too high. Anything short of a stunning and humiliating defeat over the Arabs is a victory for them.

2. Issue #1, and the aformentioned 'holocaust' issue reflects a broader psychic illness in Palestinian (and in many Muslim) societies: a refusal to recognise reality and accept a sober appraisal of their situation. There are many reasons for this--political, cultural and religious. This has nothing to do with intelligence. It is primarily emotional and psychological. It is not an overstatement to say that the Palestinian society suffers from national psychosis. Psychotics are capable of doing alot of damage to others as well as themselves. Maybe there's not much consolation in the fact that in the end most psychotics who are not treated self-destruct. This indeed has been the tragic story of the Palestinian Arabs- of one disaster to the next, fed by a pathological misinterpretation and prediction of events. This is also what is happening to their imploding national movement. It seems that the American and Israelis are more enthusiastic supporters of a Palestinian state than the Palestinians themselves. In the meantime there is no indication that the Palestinians are sobering up- in the contrary, their psychosis seems to be getting worse, encouraged by the ever-psychotic Iranians. Lets hope that when they collapse they don't bring down too many of us with them.

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