Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Israel Suffering Shoah Shock Syndrome

Originally Published December 29, 2008; Last Updated February 13, 2018; Last Republished  February 13, 2018:

Israel, suffering under the weight of Shoah Shock Syndrome launches another round of attacks on Gaza—instead of seeking treatment for its mental illness, Israel is infecting future generations with the mental illness.

In between Gaza rocket fire and reciprocating bombings1, Israel''s leadership and Israelis might want to read Avraham Burg's new book The Holocaust Is Over We Must Rise From Its Ashes, Palgrave MacMillan, 2008.
"Israel arms itself to the teeth like the weak boy who comes to class equipped with bat, a knife and a slingshot to overcome his real and imagined bullies. In our eyes, we are still partisan fighters, ghetto rebels, shadows in the camps, no matter the nation, state, armed forces, gross domestic product, or international standing. The Shoah is our life, and we will not forget it and will not let anyone forget us. We have pulled the Shoah out of its historic context and turned it into a plea and a generator for every deed. All is compared to the Shoah, dwarfed by the Shoah, and therefore all is allowed"--Avraham Burg3The Holocaust Is Over--

Middle East Special Envoy George Mitchell; U.S. steps up Mideast pressure
"...Everyone has a responsibility to make clear their participation in and their support for a process that will produce the comprehensive peace we seek..."--George Mitchell, July 2009--
Mitchell''s public request is encouraging.


UPDATED 02/13/2018 WP, Israeli Police Recommend Indictment of Netanyahu on Corruption Charges

No, Netanyahu is corrupt...really...what a surprise...say it isn't so...what a shocker...

UPDATED 07/28/2017 FP, Are American Jews Giving Up on Israel? Speaking of "walls"...
UPDATED 04/25/2017 FP, Netanyahu Cancels Meeting With German Foreign Minister

UPDATED 05/04/2016 WP, Israeli minister: Criticizing Israel is the new anti-Semitism

The justice minister's reasoning is unlikely to lessen criticism of the policies the current government of Israel is pursuing.

It's dangerous for the leaders of any nation to confuse criticism with prejudice against its people.

Of course, an ultra-nationalist leader is likely to perceive all criticism as prejudice, which is why they should be excluded from all leadership positions in any nation.

 The phrase "ultra-nationalist justice minister" is an oxymoron!

UPDATED 09/12/2015 TI, PM: EU vote to label Israel settlement products echoes Nazi era

UPDATED 08/06/2014 UPI, Jimmy Carter urges US to recognize Hamas, condemns Israel in co-authored op-ed

Bet you couldn't have guessed that Israel has completed another cycle of Gaza violence while continually asserting its insecurity during the intervening year between this post update—switching to biennial post update.

UPDATED 07/26/2013 TReuters, Israel blocks EU projects in West Bank

Israel displaying the "weak boy" behavior so presciently described by Burg.

Is the child who owns an ice cream shop really complaining that their sibling has received a scoop of ice cream—while simultaneously requesting their guardian(s) provide a $50 billion dollar loan to protect the ice cream shop?

UPDATED 07/26/2012 TheAtlantic, Don't Criticize Obama for Being Too Rational About Israel

A significant portion of Israelis engage the delusion that they are "special"—a significant portion of Americans abet their delusion while simultaneously asserting they themselves are "exceptional"—a double or triple delusion, take your pick!

It's not without significance that those entertaining these delusions tend to entertain religious fairytales and delusions, too.

Just to state the obvious to most common sense thinkers, Israelis and Americans are "special" or "exceptional" just like all the other six billion persons that cohabit our globe.

UPDATED 12/07/2010 Reuters, U.S. drops push for Israel settlement freeze.

Let's pick the option that recognizes the borders of Palestine, yesterday?

In the meantime keep changing the street signs and sending the Palestinians to schools, local and post-secondary American schools.

UPDATED 10/01/2010 NYT, U.S. Presses Israelis on Renewal of Freeze.

Let's pick the option that recognizes the borders of Palestine, now?

UPDATED 07/18/2010 BBC, EU envoy urges Israel to open Gaza borders.

UPDATED 07/06/2010 NYT, Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank.

Non profits and individual foundations4 heavily subsidize housing, education and social services in the illegal Israeli settlements on occupied territory—our tax-code indirectly fund these subsidies (NYT article estimates some subsidies at $200 million over a decade) by providing a tax-deduction to the non profits and individual foundations—both are now under heightened scrutiny as our government seeks to encourage Israeli to end the settlements and occupation.

UPDATED 07/04/2010 NYT, Nudge on Arms Further Divides the U.S. and Israel and Guardian, US questions its unwavering support for Israel and Haaretz, The right's own goals and CSIS, Israel as a Strategic Liability.

UPDATED 04/21/2010 UPI, Indyk warns Israelis on settlements. It's difficult to imagine clearer signals preceding the crash and subsequent wreckage.

Kudos to our president, special envoys, and negotiators for steadfastly insisting on a speedy Israel and Palestine settlement consistent with existing United Nations resolutions.

There's nothing to negotiate except how best to speedily implement existing United Nations resolutions.

UPDATED 03/19/2010 WP, U.S. to send envoy back to Mideast as Israel moves to smooth relations.
UPDATED 03/18/2010 BBC, Netanyahu offers Clinton ''trust-building measures''.

It appears Israel's current prime minister is a little confused about who's aiding who in the Middle East peace process.

If he comes carrying the message to our secretary of state that Israel will aid the U.S. in the Middle East peace process she should kick his ass out of her office—telling him to return when Israel has a clearer understanding of the road being followed to Middle East peace.

UPDATED 03/09/2010 Haaretz, Biden: U.S. will always stand by those who take risks for peace .

UPDATED 03/10/2010 Reuters, Biden scolds Israel over settlement plan.

Yesterday's diplomatic faux pas announcing additional East Jerusalem settlements is being blamed on Israel''s religious fanatics (ultraorthodox Shas nationalists).

It gave our Vice President Joseph Biden an opportunity to demonstrate and emphasize President Obama's current "no shit approach” to establishing Middle East peace.

If Israel thought the current administration and its representatives would be bullied or accept a cheap shot they are now disabused of such a notion—additional opportunities will no doubt soon arise.

Kudos to our President, Vice President, and Special Envoy George Mitchell!

UPDATED 02/14/2010 Jerusalem Post, Olmert: We can stop Iran without strike.

Nice words by the former Prime Minister of Israel—not only is peace possible, necessary, and urgent, but its sustainability requires no future regional country clashes.
"Peace is not a pipe dream,...It is possible, necessary and urgent."--Ehud Olmert--
And Olmert even thinks Israel is capable of pursuing parallel tracks for peace with Syria—say it isn't so; peaceful Jewish voices prevailing over the militant ones!

One hesitates to add any negative words to such positive ones but it should be noted that Olmert recently left the prime minister's office under a cloud of corruption.

UPDATED 01/10/2010 Reuters, U.S. suggestion of sanctions causes stir in Israel.

Kudos to Middle East Special Envoy George Mitchell—our leadership must support the use of all available tools to ensure each nation (Israel and Palestine) reach a final settlement on the remaining issues, including but not limited to withholding of loan guarantees.

UPDATED 01/03/2010 Reuters, Hamas in final stage of Fatah reconciliation.

UPDATED 11/23/2009 UPI, Peres urges two-state solution.

Finally, Shimon Peres urges Israel to accept a two state solution—but Israel''s extremists vow to fight.

That's the thing about using extremists when pursuing a solution to your problem—in the end and there is always an end, those extremists become the problem for your solution.

I do believe that the "essence" of Avraham Burg's thesis is that Israel and Israelis need a "different essence"—those concerned about Israel and its future will carefully consider Burg''s thesis.

Understandably those promising to cling to Israel's "existing essence" are not focusing on Israel's future or even Israel, but on the difficulty implicit in developing a different essence.

UPDATED 10/08/2009 Reuters, Grim omens as U.S. envoy pursues Mideast relaunch.

As interests shift in the Middle East its moniker will be, for some time, The Grim Middle East—just keep changing the street signs in Palestine from Hebrew to Arabic and accelerate development of alternative energy sources.

Anybody tired of religious based regimes—whether Christian, Islamic, or Judaic based?

UPDATED 09/14/2009 NYT, The New Israel Lobby.
"We're trying to redefine what it means to be pro-Israel. You don't have to be noncritical. You don't have to adopt the party line. It's not, Israel, right or wrong."--ED J-Street--
UPDATED 06/08/2009 Reuters, Obama wants "immediate" Mideast talks: Mitchell.
"It's important that there is a building of institutions and governmental capacity so that at an early time there can be an independent and viable Palestinian state,"--Reuters quoting George Michell--
The sooner Israel and America can formally recognize an independent and viable Palestine the better—how about next week?

Let us immediately invite the future leaders of Palestine to train at our colleges and universities.

UPDATED 04/16/2009 Reuters, Obama envoy to Israel: U.S. wants Palestinian state and UPI, Mitchell stresses two-state solution.

UPDATED 03/17/2009 Telegraph, Barack Obama adviser urges talks with Hamas. The text of the letter is expected to be released after the signatories meet with President Obama to discuss its contents.

U.S.-Middle East Project, Middle East Reality Check. OpEd by Roger Cohen.

UPDATED 01/26/2009 VOA, Obama on Arab TV: Moment at Hand to Forge Middle East Peace Accord.
UPDATED 01/26/2009 AP, Obama gives first TV interview to Arabic network.
UPDATED 01/25/2009 WP, Obama envoy expected in Middle East next week. Every great negotiator can tell stories.
George Mitchell, America's new Middle East stuckee, special envoy tells of appearing before an audience and with some pride saying he was able to settle the 800 year-old Irish conflict euphemistically referred to as "The Troubles". Afterwards a slightly stooped Jewish elder approached asking him, "did you say 800 years"?, Yes replied Mitchell, by now beaming with pride, until the elder Jew replied "ah, such a recent conflict"!
UPDATED 01/11/2009 UPI, Arabs, Jews join in rally for peace.
UPDATED 01/03/2009 Xinhua, Special report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts.
"On Saturday evening, the IDF began its ground incursion into Gaza," an IDF spokesman told Xinhua on the phone, saying that Cast Lead operation is now entering the second stage."
China, along with most of the world''s major powers (excluding America, AP,US blocks UN Security Council action on Gaza) has called for an immediate cease fire.

UPDATED 01/03/2009 Al Jazeera, Palestine.
UPDATED 01/03/2009 Haaretz, Special coverage: Warfare In Gaza.
UPDATED 01/03/2009 AFP, Thousands in London condemn Israeli bombing of Gaza.
UPDATED 01/03/2009 SFGate, Protesters in S.F. and Europe blast Israel.
More protests are planned, including another in San Francisco at noon Sunday at Powell and Market streets. Next Saturday, there is an 11 a.m. event in San Francisco''s Civic Center.
UPDATED 01/03/2009 NYT, Times Square Rally Protests Fighting in Gaza Strip
UPDATED 01/03/2009 BBC, Angry protests at Israeli embassy
UPDATED 01/03/2009 NYT, Is the Real Target Hamas Rule?
UPDATED 01/02/2009 AP, Rice vows hard work on arranging Gaza cease-fire.
Rice''s response to Israel''s latest "Gaza Turkey Shoot" is pathetic, totally inadequate, imbalanced, biased, and a transparent subterfuge enabling Israel to continue its turkey shoot, using American made weaponry.
Israel Mounts Third Day of Gaza Raids


UPDATED 12/29/2008 NPR Transcript, Avraham Burg and Omer Bartov Interview

NPR Audio of above Interview. Includes an excerpt of The Holocaust Is Over, Chapter Four: Defeating Hitler

UPDATED 12/29/2008 SSI2, HAMAS and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics (Dec 2008) makes some interesting observations and timely recommendations (see above paper for complete list of recommendations):

1. Let HAMAS fulfill its electoral promise to the Palestinians. The International Crisis Group recommended in the summer of 2006 that HAMAS be allowed to govern and should cease hostilities against Israel. Further, the boycott should end as it has caused terrible hardship for Palestinians.

4. Israel and the United States need to abandon their policies of non-negotiation and non-communication with HAMAS. A new American President should initiate a much more vigorous and dedicated program in which parties will agree to a sustained process which may take several years to complete, but which is decidedly preferable to the enormous social and economic cost of militaristic group politics that have burdened the Middle East for 6 decades.

5. U.S. policymakers and senior DoD leaders should heed certain lessons in the Palestinian-Israeli example as well as analytical failures of Israeli and Palestinian leadership. It is wrong to summarily replicate the Israeli strategy of seizing territories and enclaves and defending perimeters in other contexts, namely Iraq. Such "clear and hold" policies may appear to work in the short term, but will never produce the true security needed for nation-building. Just so Israel has asserted its authority over, and oppressed a people whose will to resist could not be quelled, no matter what military, counterterrorist, or collaborator-buying actions were pursued, as their effort lacked legitimacy. Chaim Herzog characterized Israel as having a "civilian army" with inspired leadership in its first two wars (David Ben Gurion, Moshe Dayan), which "outgeneraled" the Arabs, utilizing the indirect approach, improvisation and flexibility. He acknowledges the IDF's resulting overconfidence, and Egypt's brilliant use of deception in the 1973 War. But Herzog completely underestimates the Palestinian people in his summary of the insubstantial threat posed by the PLO in this same work, The Arab-Israeli Wars, missing the very lesson that was oblivious to the French in Algeria, and which another Israeli leader, Ariel Sharon, vowed to get right. Characterizing popular resistance merely as terrorism, or the "long war," and facing it down with counterterrorist and barrier-based measures will not succeed in the long run. Locking up the Palestinians in their enclaves will only lead to another outburst of popular resistance, and has not protected the Israeli enclaves, just as no Green Zone, no cordon sanitaire can expect to be indefinitely secure.

6. Thus, the EU, the United States, Russia, and the UN should aid the conflicting parties in devising a new approach to negotiations. This is important, for rather than standing shoulder-to-shoulder to the United States in postponing negotiations, the world's diplomatic practice needs ample revision, so that the third Intifadha and the seventh Arab-Israeli War need never be fought. The benefits of abandoning silence, boycotts, and secret coups would extend beyond the Arab-Israeli conflict to the issue of nuclear weapons and Iran and other rapprochements necessary to win the war on terror.

8. The parties could consider an internationalization of Jerusalem with specific reference to the holy places there. The Palestinian and Israeli positions are far apart on the issue, but it is worth noting that in terms of international law, East Jerusalem was a part of the West Bank until its conquest and occupation in June 1967 under the Regulations of the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907, Articles 42 and 43; the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, Articles 1 and 2 (which Israel ratified in 1951); the First Protocol of 1977, Part 1; and UN Resolutions 2253 and 2254 and Security Council Resolution 252, which treats Israel's unification of Jerusalem as an illegal act. This is the reason that other nations do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and locate their embassies in Tel Aviv.

9. Jerusalem may be a more emotional issue than the matter of Palestinian refugees' ”except to the Palestinians, their refugees, and their descendents. HAMAS' position is that they must be considered and offered rights of return because those are the rights possessed by all Jews in the world today. HAMAS' officials have added, as do others, that it is very likely that not many would return, and that a staged process granting a set number per year could be established, thereby alleviating certain other longstanding situations in Lebanon and Syria, for example. A related solution is reparations for refugees, or both. These issues cannot be dealt with immediately, but should not be put off as in the Oslo process, or ignored or denigrated by Israelis to the extent that Palestinians lose trust in the other side.

10. Dismantling the settlements in the West Bank, and the corporate seizures and Israeli usage of land in the Jordan Valley which actually carves off a huge section of the West Bank, is essential to a resolution of the crisis.


1. America must cease all non-humanitarian support for Israel and insist it seek treatment for its national mental illness.

Seeking treatment for Shoah Shock Syndrome in no way minimizes the tragedy of the Holocaust.

2. Strategic Studies Institute United States Army War College; Author Sherifa D. Zuhur.

3. The Holocaust Is Over is partially biographical and autobiographical. Burg is not examining the Holocaust as an academic exercise, but as part of a passionate plea for Israel to restructure its national identity and what it means to be Jewish, today.

Burg is not subtle, but when you're urging a national identity restructure or change, most, if not all subtlety would be missed anyways. What Burg lacks in subtlety he more than offsets with prescience.

4. In somewhat bizarre logic some monotheistic religions fanatically support Jews as "God's chosen people", but only so they can be destroyed at or preceding the "Second Coming"!

You have to wonder why the Jews accept support from those who in effect believe they are "fattening them for slaughter"? Of course you also have to wonder about those holding a belief that they are supporting the Jews long enough to get them to the slaughterhouse!

But then religions are nothing if not bizarre—the more fanatic a religion is the more bizarre its beliefs!

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