Why Are They So Angry?

victimhood is part of the story that Jews tell about their past. In that story, a besieged, endangered Israel is the sequel to the Holocaust. Like most narratives, this one contains pieces of truth alongside distortions and anachronisms. The victimhood was very real. But for most Jews living today in America, the trauma is a taught memory, passed on by previous generations, out of sync with their current condition. And seeing Israel as the symbol of victimhood is discordant: Zionism was a rebellion against Jewish powerlessness, and present-day Israel testifies to the rebellion’s success.

One of the first rules of conflict resolution, though, is that when you challenge a group’s narrative, some members will take that as a denial of their identity. They’ll get angry. They will repeat their story more loudly. They may accuse you of telling falsehoods.

This is not a reason for a journalist, historian or activist to silent. It does make sense of the fury with which people sometimes defend the old story. It explains why changing the story takes time.

via Why Are They So Angry?.


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