When an individual is no longer able to function, be in control of his day to day life and needs and when he engages with others in a way that is out of the norm, at some point, that individual will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder. How and what he communicates, what thoughts he expresses will then reinforce that diagnosis.
What happens then when someone is able to be functional; maintain a career, engage socially, write books and teach university classes? As long as he is functioning at that level, in spite of the fact that what he communicates would be considered under different circumstances delusional, he will not be diagnosed with a mental health disorder and he will be financially supported to continue to communicate and express his thoughts and will be referred to as “controversial”.
We walk a fine line in determining who is and who is not psychologically disturbed because behavior is the first criteria for diagnosis, content of verbal communication is not. Clinically, thoughts that are considered as out of touch with reality or are expressed in a way that is not coherent will fit the diagnostic criteria. However, if the individual is articulate, both verbally and non-verbally and communicates within the norm, he is allowed the freedom to continue to make his thoughts and ideas heard and also given a place to teach students what he thinks.
Prof. Sand is just such a lucky individual. In: Israeli historian wants ‘to cease’ being a Jew: Controversial TA University professor Shlomo Sand details his disgust with Israel’s ‘ethnocentricity’ BY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF October 11, 2014, I have no doubt that what we are hearing are the thoughts of an individual who is wearing his identity and emotionally unresolved issues on his sleeve.
It is said in the clinical world that delusions remain in spite of the individual being exposed to facts that contradict the delusion. Prof. Sand seems to live with the delusion that Israel is “one of the most racist societies in the western world” in spite of the fact that as the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, all its citizens including Arab have full rights to vote and to hold elective office. Arabs hold seats in the Knesset since the founding of the State in 1948. All transactions in the Knesset are simultaneously translated into Arabic, and Arab members may address the Knesset in Arabic.
Although Prof. Sand is seen as a “scathing critique of Israel, Sand acknowledges that he is also deeply tied to the nation.” Not surprisingly because, in reality, how many other nations would give Prof. Sand the freedom to make his identity issues public and to publish books that rewrite the history of that nation.
And speaking of other nations, how many of those nations which Prof. Sand deems less racist then Israel, would actually give him the option “to cease” being a Jew, because history has proven that that option does not exist.