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Continuing the unsubstantiated, academic jargon, Rosen noted that, “territorialization” was the result of newfound “Holocaust memory.” Israeli concerns are irrational, he alleged, due to “hyper-defensive subjectivity in inverse proportion to territorial position. . . . The post-traumatic becomes ideological . . . [it’s] a refuge from persecution and annihilation.”
The only thing newly created was Rosen’s theories. He explained that his views stemmed from his upbringing, during which his parents instilled so much fear in him that he became emotionally paralyzed:
When I was eight years old, I had a fear of a candy store owner wearing a turban. Was he going to try to kill me? I was ready to move to Israel.
He transplanted these childhood fears onto millions of people, as if his experience defined all of Israeli society, and then attributed allegedly sinister results:
The hysteria of the settler discourse naturally turns expansionist. They need a second defensive buffer zone, which is necessarily expansionist.
Rosen refused to offer any analysis of the factual sources of the conflict; psychobabble trumped truth. As he put it:
We have to think beyond concepts of intentionality and morality. We need to get beyond saying these guys are the good guys and those guys are the bad guys. Assigning blame and five dollars gets you a latte. It is not an interesting critique.
He continued, “We need a new mode of thinking. We have to get beyond “territorialization” and get past the “oppositional logic that this is a zero sum game.”
Rosen next turned his attention to the small number of “refusenik” Israeli soldiers whom he misrepresented as representing a considerable slice of Israeli or IDF attitudes. In the same vein, he referenced fringe, leftist groups such as “Women in Black” and “Checkpoint Watch” in passing.
According to Rosen, the “refusenik” soldiers were “different” from other Jews because at least they engaged in, “self-critique, not identity politics. They were white Ashkenazi.”
The soldiers had three principles. The occupation is a threat. It destroys the moral character of Israel. It is an infringement of Palestinian human rights. The soldiers are not acting out of ideology, but out of experience.
He then claimed that such soldiers had spoken of Israelis “indiscriminately shooting, using Palestinians as shields, deliberately shooting an unarmed man, and Jews destroying Arab stores.”
He provided no evidence for these outlandish assertions and followed with the warning, “Don’t minimize Palestinian suffering by humanizing the soldiers.”
When he said, “historical memory is not really history,” members of the audience nodded their heads in agreement.
One questioner wanted to know what political solutions Rosen was advocating. He refused to explain his observations more fully and insisted that his passion was psychology and not politics. Rosen was not interested, he said, in “taking something meaningful like the Holocaust and breaking it down into the simplistic. We’ve all heard the political arguments.”
Rosen avoided overt politics because that’s where the facts lie. Instead, he offered up psychological theories, which routinely get discredited when new theories come along.
In fact, it’s not about inaccurate repressed memories, irrational motives, or so-called “territorialization.” The real reason Israelis fear another Holocaust is because those fears are completely reasonable. Enemies of Israel really are out to eliminate the Jewish state. Every day these enemies talk about wiping Israel off the map. From Ahmadinejad in Iran, to Saudi Arabia exporting Wahhabism, to the genocidal Hamas charter, to Hamas and Hezbollah launching rockets at Israel—Israel and Jews are under a global assault from radical Islamists trying to finish what Hitler started.
Israeli fears are not hysterical; they are historical.
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