Response / Henry Siegman on Burston and ‘Israel’s pathology’ – Haaretz – Israel News

The pathology I described is invoked most frequently by Israelis themselves. The term for it in Israel is a “galut [diaspora] mentality,” the tendency of diaspora Jewry to see itself as friendless, isolated, and always at the edge of a looming pogrom.No one has described this pathology better than – guess who? – Bradley Burston, in an earlier column October 20, 2009 in which he criticized an “Israeli approach which borrows from the very worst of our aging instincts. It says: We’re moral, our enemies are out to exterminate us along with our state, that’s all you need to know. No modifications necessary. Stay the course. Concede nothing. Ease no siege. Give no ground. Ever.”If that is not a perfect description of a pathological mindset, it will do until a better one comes along.

I have repeatedly written about the deceitfulness of proclamations by Israeli governments about their commitment to a two-state solution. The relentless pursuit by these governments of the settlement enterprise can only be understood as a commitment to prevent such an outcome.

blaming Palestinians for their misery is nothing more than a pretext for the continuation of a colonialist enterprise that every other democracy in the world has relegated to a shameful past.

via Response / Henry Siegman on Burston and ‘Israel’s pathology’ – Haaretz – Israel News.


2 Responses to Response / Henry Siegman on Burston and ‘Israel’s pathology’ – Haaretz – Israel News

  1. Anonymous says:

    Once again Dr. Chernus reveals his own pathological perspective while accusing others of being malign. “Gripped by such unrealistic fears…” he says, referring to his perception that Israel’s 58 adversary nations of the OIC, Iran’s avowed determination to exterminate Israel and indeed all the Jews of the world (and where have we heard that “unrealistic fear” before?), Hamas to the South, Hizb’allah and Syria to the North expressing a range of determinations from extinguish Israel and killing all the Jews at minimum, all the way to attacking various fraternal organizations as Jewish front organizations. How would you like to be blown up at a Rotary meeting because irrational Muslim national bodies have made up their minds that you are part of a Jewish front organization?

    Chernus cites as a responsible source the op-ed pages of the New York times. Hell, even their main pages have not been distinguished by accuracy nor insight for a good part of the last century – the Holocaust itself was lucky to get a page 36 mention even after it was well established to be occurring. The op-ed pages are even less subject to rational scrutiny, so this is hardly the bona-fides of a sterling, reliable reference.

    Chernus mocks Israeli victimhood and the impact that those two millenia have had on Jewish thinking. While these experiences, burned into Jewish minds, have either turned the Jews into extremely cautious individuals, or like Chernus, into Jew-hating individuals, such Self-loathing is unlikely to be reversed, so we can look forward to a lot more of Chernus’ irrational ranting while he claims that it is the Israelis who are irrational. Apparently Chernus never heard of the five defensive wars Israel has desperately fought to survive. Nor of the various periods of terrorism, then the intifadas. He dismisses express Iranian goals, clearly and repeatedly stated, that they will destroy Israel and kill all Jews. “Iran, with its supposedly [emphasis added] terrifying nuclear threat.” What is ‘supposedly’ about it? I vividly and painfully remember “duck and cover”, and there was nothing “supposedly” about it, and that was only preparation, not an actual nuclear war. I had nightmares that lasted for decades. And that was without any overt, direct threat such as Ahmadjinijad constantly expresses clearly, unequivocally, and unambiguously. That is, his threats are clear to everyone in the world but Chernus.

    “And Israel remains obsessed with its fear of the Goldstone Report… when the rest of the world has long since forgotten it.” Is this guy living in a not-quite-parallel universe? Did this report not just make it through the UN with recommendations to proceed with its completely one-sided excoriation of Israel’s self-defense while by deliberate design ignoring the eight years and 9,000 rocketings by Hamas against civilian populations, a clear and deliberately provocative series of extended and unjustiable war crimes? Of course Israel is obsessed. This is another front on the relentless war on Isrrael, yet again a life and death attack by the evil Islamo-fascists against Western democracies starting with the smallest whipping boy. The UN has become the prime facilitator of these attacks, coordinating the oil-dependent countries of the world in submission to irrational and violent Muslim dominance goals. Israel has good reason to be concerned. And Chernus once again has his facts wrong. Nobody on the aggressor Muslim side of this long-standing battle has forgotten. They are cheering the results and have been quoted as telling their followers that this is another victory. Chernus clearly needs help.

    It only gets worse. Chernus quotes Siegman quoting Burston who is apparently another left-wing nutjob “from a column the Israeli journalist wrote just a few weeks ago:

    “‘We don’t need them. They’ll never see things our way, no matter what. Let them go. It’s a new Israeli approach which borrows from the very worst of our aging instincts. It says: We’re moral, our enemies are out to exterminate us along with our state, that’s all you need to know. No modifications necessary. Stay the course. Concede nothing. Ease no siege. Give no ground. Ever.”

    This misrepresentative quote deliberatly ignores that Israel in the last decade has withdrawn from Lebanon, withdrawn from Gaza, has taken numerous other risky steps large and small, and has made signifcant offers toward peace, all of which have been rebuffed. So Chernus allies himself with “experts” – or mocks other “experts” who are themselves so biased and unreliable that they deny the very reality which we have lived the last decade.

    Chernus then relates his notion that Israeli “paranoia” contributes to the problems of the Middle East. Paranoia?? Israel has real enemies, lots of them. It would be paranoid if there weren’t 58 nations allied against Israel, if several of those nations weren’t actively involved in strong efforts to kills Israelis at home and abroad, if there weren’t 16,000 rockets pointing at Israel from Lebanon, untold numbers flowing into Gaza to the same end, more in Syria – and THE BOMB, coming soon to a Farsi country near you. Get a grip, Chernus, you are out of your depth with these rash and clearly erroneous accusations.
    Chernus’ notion that Israeli behavior is pathological reveals his obvious misperception of what adaptations are pathological, and which ones are quite utilitarian and therefore normal. When ‘they’ really have been trying to kill you, and continue to do so, it is not pathological to frantically attempt to defend yourself. When I was in Junior High – back when it was called that – there were two guys who tried to beat up us “geeks” when they could catch us alone. If we saw them coming, we made tracks. Chernus would call us “pathological” and “paranoid”, yet our experiences had taught us that if these guys caught up with us, there would be blood spilled, and it would be ours no matter how hard we tried to talk our way out of the aggression, and no matter how desperately we tried to defend ourselves when our reasoning failed. It was damned appropriate adaptation to run. It is Israel’s good fortune that she is well-provided to defend herself, but her bad luck that dozens of nations have banded to exterminate her while large numbers of ignorant alleged academic don’t get it. Those people write irrational papers like this one, contradicting facts and logic with brilliant and totally inaccurate analyses of an alternative reality which exists only in their twisted minds and warped consciences.

    Chernus reminds me of nobody so much as Dr. Hasan, psychotically driven to fulfill his irrational blindnesses, his aggressions shaped by his own cultural experiences. The fact that he can easily find and quote other nutcases doesn’t confirm his thesis nearly so much as it confirms his own pathological cant. I can only speculate on Chernus’ background – I have no interest in reasearching it – but it seems like it would be a fruitful field for a good therapist to explore for a few decades. Was he denied his own gold toothbrush as a child? Was he punished for refusing to go to Hebrew School. He’s getting even now as best he can, with lies, distortions, and innuendo his best weapons. Of course he risks nothing hiimself, unlike the Jews formerly of Palestine and now in Israel whom he mocks. They’ve been on the front lines for over a century, since long before there was ever an Israel, But Chernus’ pathology doesn’t allow him to acknowledge or even recognize this fundamental fact. Chernus and his fellow-travelers are working for the other side in support of aggressive, irredentist Muslim war and general antisemitic violence. Their continuing success marks a tragic leftist failure in this process. That is frightening for those of us who consider ourselves progressive but rational. We see the Mideast issues clearly, see the obvious aggressor Muslim States as frighteningly determined, and see the logorrheic supporters of Muslim violence as profoundly dangerous if tragically unwitting enemies of freedom, and a clear threat to the lives of all Jews and ultimately to the freedom of the entire world.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The problem with Dr. Chernus “pathology” is that he condescendingly projects, as psychologists like to say, his own pathology onto his Israeli co-religionists . He misattributes his own galut mentality to Israeli survival behavior, blames Israelis because of his own refusal to acknowledge that the Muslim aggressors of the Middle-East have been, are, and will continue to be the primary cause of the eternal conflicts there. Chernus cannot fathom that it is possible for a Jew to be right – except himself and his fellow antisemites, of course – because their need to survive as independent nationals in a UN-founded Jewish Homeland conflicts with his own guilty and subservient galut cultural perspective. These vehement supporters of Arab aggression committed over the past hundred years are the kapos of our day.

    “A little projection is a dangerous thing”, as Pope might have said. “Drink deep or taste not the Pierian Spring.” So many seriously damaged academic Jews have contributed their twisted abilities to excoriating Israelis, giving the Jews of the Middle East no quarter for their peccadillos while simultaneously granting a full pass to the violent, irredentist, aggressor Arabs. Chernus & his type also totally ignore the grave imbalance of power stacked against Israel, dismiss the clear reality that it has been and continues to be the Arabs who are the aggressors. They obsessively focus the fact that the Arab populations deceptively appear to be victims of Israel – ignoring the reality that they are the victims of their own totalitarian governments’ aggressions – and blame tiny Israel for most of the problems of the world to boot.

    This kind of delusional behavior is the real psychosis. It supplements the psychotic world of Islamo-fascist terror, inhabiting a 12’th century mentality and demanding to reverse the progress of civilization. The terrorist supporters like Chernus see no problem with the violence of Islamo-fascists. No doubt driven by their galut mentality, as Chernus so glibly refers externally while ignoring the origins of his own psychosis, those antisemitic Jes prefer to blame their co-religionists rather than to accurately view the profoundly violent, ceaseless depredations of the Islamic domination crowd over the past 100 years as anything but peaceful, Allah-loving demonstrations of fealty to an alleged greater bloodthirsty power. THAT is psychotic.

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