March 26, 2006


Harvard Prof. of Psychiatry Labels Oslo Supporters Delusional (Israel National News, March 26, 2006)

Dr. Kenneth Levin, author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege, terms "delusional" the behavior of Israeli population segments that supported the Oslo Accords.

In an interview with Tovia Singer on IsraelNationalRadio, claims that as a result of their desire for the Arab siege on Israel to end, many Israelis conditioned themselves to believe that a potential partner for peace existed in the Palestinian Authority, when the reality pointed only to the continued escalation of violence and terror.

Dr. Levin, an instructor of clinical psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a Princeton-trained historian, has blended the two disciplines in his extensive writings on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“It is characteristic of people under siege or chronic attack - whether you’re talking about minorities that are marginalized, defamed and attacked or a small state under attack by larger neighbors - it is characteristic of portions of those populations to embrace the indictments, however bizarre, and to believe that if they perform in a way consistent with those indictments, then the siege will end,” Dr. Levin stated.

Levin compared the psychological delusions that led up to the Oslo Accords to those created by abused children desperate to end their suffering. Levin explained, “Abused children always blame themselves for the abuse because they want to believe that they can have control over a situation that is really beyond their control. They believe that if they can change their behavior they can make their situation better.”

“The hope is that if they just accept the indictment, if they just repress the recognition that they are being attacked unfairly, and try to change accordingly that somehow they’ll win relief from their attackers.”

According to Levin the behavior exhibited by contemporary Israeli governments is not a new phenomenon:

“It’s a very old problem, characteristic of Jews throughout the Diaspora. There were segments of the population that consistently embraced the indictments of the Jews' enemies when Jews were being attacked, and it is characteristic of Israel during the chronic Arab siege.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 26, 2006 6:52 AM

The tragedy is that both are sieging each other. However, while a critical mass of Israelis are now willing to stop, that has not yet been achieved by the Palestinians.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at March 27, 2006 1:33 PM

Of course it has. Israel continues to occupy Palestinian territory but there are no longer attacks on Isarael in any appreciable number.

Posted by: oj at March 27, 2006 1:47 PM
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