Using the Holocaust to Bash Israel

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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.”

He continued:

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.

Eric Golub is the publisher of the Tygrrrr Express blog. He wrote this article for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

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  • Andres de Alamaya

    Mr. Rosen's upbringing had traumatized him and he seem to be trying to work his way out of a very troubled psyche, rationalizing illogically to find solutions to his mental problems. He would do himself a favor by seeing a psychiatrist.

    • Therese Dvir

      Exactly what came into my mind… he needs a psychiatrist and urgently….

    • ajnn

      He does describe himself as being traumatized by his parents experience.

  • kafir4life

    Maybe he'll show his sincerity by leading the way to the gas chambers.

  • Beverley

    He is just another STUPID.

  • MacDaddy31

    Just because a theory may exist, does not mean it has any real substantial merit. I think this is a liberal weakness to come up with arguments and positions such as this and promote them just because they exist and because they help deal better with the unpleasantries of the world despite counter-arguments typically having more common sense, evidence to support and logic.

  • rivka lissak

    I was born in Israel in 1933 and I can tell my nightmares were not on the holocaust but on the violent activities of the Arabs against Jews during the British Mandate.
    I can tell about the violent activities of the Arabs during the War of Independence.
    I can tell about the violent activities of Arabs sent to Israel from Gaza when it was under Egyptian occupation.
    I can tell about the violent terrorist attacks against civilians on buses, in coffee restorants, on rockets on civilian homes.

    All this has nothing to do with the holocaust:most Israelis were born in Israel and many of then have parents from Arab countries- not Europe.
    I am an historian and I can tell the thesis is not based on evidence. Its politization of history

  • ajnn

    "We have to think beyond concepts of intentionality and morality". This is where Rosen loses me.

    If we take intentions and morality out of our analysis, are we not reducuing everyone to an 'animal' functioning only through instinct and emotions?

    This is gibberish and an insult to everyone who makes an honest effort to understand the world and help our country (the united states) act with morality in furtherance of the legitimate interests of the united states.

  • xtb3

    canadian/quebec tax dollars pay for this leftist useful idiot garbage(carrying a death wish for himself) to have a well paid job! disgusting.

  • Yossi Malmstein

    The immaturity of these insults shows the average intelligence of Front Page readers.

    • aspacia

      Refute their claims and avoid ad hom attacks to gain credibility.

      • Texrat

        Many of the comments are ad hominem, sooo…

  • ed wolf

    a must read!!

  • John

    Paranoid about another Holocaust????? If I was Jewish, in light of the new anti-semitism coming from so many corners of the earth, I'd be paranoid for sure. However, I'd also be darn sure I was alerting everyone and doing everything within my means to make certain it didn't happen again. Paranoid. With good reason. Just because you might be paranoid doesn't mean you don't have a reason to be.

  • George Jochnowitz

    Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah was quoted in the Lebanese Daily Star in 2002 as encouraging Jews to move to Israel. “If they gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide”. The issue for Nasrallah is not the continuing existence of Israel but rather the troubling presence of Jews in the world.

  • northwoods

    We have come full circle. Former Chief Rabbi Yosef ,leader of the Shaa Party, in the government claims that non-Jews were created, like donkeys, to serve the Jews. A nice Hitleresque view of a Jewish "master race". The government was silent on his comments. The Shaa's and the settlers believe these views. One can only wonder how many other Israelis do.

    • MixMChess

      You are a liar northwoods. The Israeli government (Netanyahu himself) and nearly every mainstream Israeli and Jewish organization condemned Rabbi Yosef and others on the "far right."

      Only a small portion of the settlers follow Rabbi Yosef. In fact, violence against Palestinians has been harshly condemned by leading religious figures among the settlers, including Rabbi Menachem Froman who said: "Targeting Palestinians and their property is a shocking thing, (…) It's an act of hurting humanity. (…) This builds a wall of fire between Jews and Arabs." Additionally, "the umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Yesha Council and former Knesset member and settler Hanan Porat has also condemned violence against Palestinians."

      The vast majority of Israelis are moderate. The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs found that less than 8% of Israelis identify themselves as Ultra-Orthodox and that the political and religious views of the that group were incredibly diverse.

      Be gone neo-Nazi.