There’s a remarkably simple way to discover what Palestinian leaders are thinking. No special spy equipment needed to utilize this mental X-ray technique—just understanding of the psychological habit of projection. With this understanding, anyone can easily translate projections into useful information.
Think old-fashioned movie projectors. A movie film was inserted into the projector. The projector than “projected” these images onto a screen in front of the projector. The audience viewed the screen. At some level viewers believed that the movie they were watching was occurring on that blank white sheet in front of them.
Similarly, with psychological projection, angry people project their own hostile thoughts, thoughts that are within themselves, onto whomever is the target of their anger. For instance, if A is a selfish person who is angry at B, A might accuse B: “You are so selfish!” That’s psychological projection.
A naive listener might believe that the projected statements are true about the target person. Savvy translators of projection know better.
I thank the spokesperson from the office of Abbas who recently offered the following stunning examples of projection. The quotes below all are from a June 4, 201 TimesofIsrael.com article entitled “Palestinian official: Israel ‘not ready’ for peace.”
On Monday June 4, at a ceremony to mark 50 years since the outbreak of the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel’s Netanyahu had clarified, “We seek peace with our neighbors, a real peace, a peace that will last for generations. That is why in any agreement — and without an agreement — we shall maintain security control over all the territory west of the Jordan river.”
Palestinian projection #1: In response to these comments, Abbas’s spokesperson announced that Netanyahu’s words were, “…a message to the US administration and to the international community that Israel is not ready to reach peace based on international law and resolutions.”
Translation: “Palestinian leaders are not ready to reach peace based on international law and resolutions.”
Palestinian projection #2: The Abbas spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeina also wrote in a statement, “We reject these remarks, which seek to create a climate that makes the situation more complicated and are absolutely not aimed at supporting efforts for a solution.”
Translation: “We, the Palestinian leadership, seek to create a climate that makes the situation more complicated. We are absolutely not aiming to support efforts for a solution.”
Palestinian projection #3: Similarly, the Palestinian foreign ministry issued the following statement: “Netanyahu wants to cut off the momentum of US and international efforts to resume negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.”
Guess who wants “to cut off the momentum of US and international efforts to resume negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis?” Clearly it’s the Palestinian leadership.
Translation of Palestinian leaders’ projections converts their opaque obfuscations into marvelously transparent clarifications of their concerns and intentions.