A Few Reflections on the Assault on Gaza

What makes me extremely angry about the latest bout of barbarism engaged by Netanyahu and the Zionist Establishment is the dishonour they bring to the memory of my mother who survived Nazi concentration camps  and the dishonour they bring to about  ninety-five percent of my extended family who were murdered by the Nazi extermination machine.

My uncle migrated from Poland to Israel in the early 1950s and strongly advised  my parents to not migrate because he became aware of the oppression of the Palestinian people and the ethnic cleansing that had occurred before his arrival.

The project of Zionism prior to the Holocaust was the creation of a fictitious ethno-nationalist state, fictitious because it relied on discredited Social-Darwinist pseudo -scientific theory and a desire–what was clearly a European colonial project– to transfer the treatment of anti-semites of Jews as the Other to the Palestinians.

Mutatis mutandis, the Zionist leadership transferred this European racism to the Palestinians.

I recall my first contact with Zionists in Australia, and what shocked me was that the language they used when talking about Arabs and Palestinians was identical to the language I heard from the few anti-semites I encountered when growing up in post Second World War Poland; exchange Jew for an Arab or Palestinian and the same pseudo-scientific nonsense rose its ugly head.

Today, Zionist psychopathology, as from its very beginning, focuses on the creation of a mythological ‘pure’ ethno-state and in order to achieve such a ‘pure’ ethno-state the Zionist Establishment must complete the project of ethnic cleansing.

This Establishment fears a multi-cultural Palestinian-Israeli state that would make possible the future merging of Palestinian and Israeli identities. In psychoanalytical theory this is known as a ‘fear of engulfment’ which reflects the fragility of identity. In order to protect this fragile identity the subject generally puts up  quite often aggressive defences; such a reaction can be legitimately transferred to nationalism, in this instance, Zionism.

And this is precisely what we are currently witnessing, this barbaric aggression visited upon hapless Palestinians in the largest open air prison in the world.

John-Janusz Ebel is the son of Holocaust survivors.  Soon after coming to Australia from Poland, Ebel chose to be a draft resister and activist against the Vietnam War; he also participated in Aboriginal struggles against continued oppression and genocide of Aboriginal people. Ebel has practised as a radical existentialist psychotherapist.