Sunday, May 08, 2005

My local newspaper published several articles today for Mother's Day. One, titled Mothers can make healing a priority, by Sandy Wold, launched into a vicious attack on Israel in the middle of discussing how to heal oneself from anger and hatred. The author makes an analogy between her own psychological struggles and war and fascism:

As I enter the fourth year of my healing focus, I now understand war on yet a deeper level. During a recent emotional storm, I saw myself revisiting an old wounded pattern of victimization and fought back with self-righteousness. I then felt the rage of fascism pass through me, which eventually dissipated and turned into squalls. The sun came out, and there was peace. (For some people this sequence can take years or a lifetime; I can do it now in just a few days.) And, finally, in the stillness, I was able to see beyond the illusion and the victim pattern I was playing out. From this place, I found clarity and self respect and was able to find a heart-centered solution to my problem.


What war and fascism have to do with the author's own personal struggles is not clear to me from this paragraph. It does seem, however, that she is very self-satisfied about her own psychological development - "I can do it now in just a few days," as opposed to those poor slobs whose "sequence can take years or a lifetime." It does seem like she's concerned about something she calls the "victim role" - and projects her concept onto the political level. She continues in a far more noxious vein:

Most people get stuck in the victim role, however. On the global scale, for example, Zionist Jews in Israel have occupied Palestinian land in the name of God and victimhood. If anyone criticizes Israel for their terrorist attacks and slaughter of the Palestinians, they are immediately labeled "anti-Semitic" and guilt-inflicted for the Holocaust without any regard for Palestinian suffering. In response, the United States and United Nations fall into a co-dependent behavior of acquiescence and collusion.


I'm not sure where to begin to criticize this. It strikes me as very odd that in the middle of an article about self-healing, she suddenly launches into an attack on Israel, and one that minimalizes the suffering that Jews went through at the hands of the Nazis. For her, Palestinian suffering trumps Jewish suffering - as if one has to make a choice between them! For her, it's Israel that is guilty of terrorism, not Palestinian suicide bombers from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades. What of all the Israeli civilians killed by terrorist bombers? Is it only Palestinians who can really suffer? She also evinces no knowledge of the history of Israel or how and why it was established as a Jewish state in 1948. If she did, she would know that the founders of the state were predominantly secular Jews, and that the Zionist movement had been trying since the 1880s to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine - long before the Holocaust. (And she would also know that not all the Jews living in Israel now, or then, are or were Zionists - and that most of them arrived because they were fleeing a Europe that had tried to exterminate them or Arab countries that kicked them out after the establishment of Israel). Why did she drop this anti-Semitic paragraph into her article on self-healing? What is self-healing about that? (And her argument is anti-Semitic even though she tries to inoculate herself against such a charge).

4 comments:

  1. We should also ask the Ithaca Journal's editors to explain why they chose to print this vicious rant at all, let alone as a Mother's Day feature!

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  2. An excellent question! I wondered myself, since the other Mother's Day articles were perfectly appropriate to the day.

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  3. I believe that by this time the Journal has received hundreds of angry letters from all over the world about this. The scope of the reaction is a news story in itself. Still no mention in today's paper, however.

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  4. I think you're right, judging from the comments on this issue at LGF - other groups picked up on the article, including Honest Reporting. It can take a while for the IJ to get around to publishing letters, however - and the hottest local issue is the upcoming school board & school tax election, so they have lots of letters supporting or opposing various candidates to publish.

    I also wonder if Sandy Wold might have sent her letter of apology to the Journal as well (it was posted a couple of times in the LGF comments on the story). I agree with you that this is a news story in its own right, and hope that the paper eventually decides to cover it!

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