Everyone against; the isolation syndrome of Israel

You could choose between Berliners screaming and marching along the streets “we will wipe out the Jews” (what news!), or an anti-Israeli demonstration in The Hague where ISIS flags (yes, they are the ones who cut the throats of Shiites in Iraq) were waved, or the siege of the Bastille Synagogue in Paris by anti-Semitic and anti-Israel demonstrations with 60 injured, accompanied by the throwing of bombs in Paris and Toulouse… or the siege of the Israeli ambassador’s residence in Ankara, while Erdogan compares Israel to Hitler. In Italy, seventy graffiti signs were sprayed on walls during the night of the 27 and 28 July; David Picardo, spokesman of Islamic Associations in Milan, posted videos of stones being thrown, and tear gas, during the demonstrations held there by the Muslim majority, and accompanied by left and right wing representatives in front of the Paris synagogue, similarly in London and other capitals.

It is a party of hate; the secretary of Italy’s Communist Party (Rifondazione Comunista), Paolo Ferrero, said that “Israel is worse than South Africa at the time of apartheid, a rogue state” and the philosopher Gianni Vattimo declares that the Israelis are “pure Nazis”; and, somewhat more moderate, Ban Ki-moon speaks of Hamas and Israel as being on the same level, as Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini does. Who dares to speak the truth about the conflict risks the worst imaginable, like Angelo Panebianco columnist for the Corriere della Sera who had the door of his university office blockaded, and I who have received death threats.

Looking from Israel, the dissonance about all this is an opportunity, Levy Strauss, the great cultural anthropologist, would have liked. On this side of the Mediterranean, a small country is fighting against a terrorist organization (not “against the Palestinians”). It is the only democracy in a sea of ​​dictatorships. Mothers are burying 53 soldiers in their twenties, while the wounded are asking doctors to let them return to their army units inside Gaza. Israel knows how to fight a war without a choice, it is motivated, it must destroy rocket launchers and galleries. On the other side, Hamas persists with missiles and a diabolical invasion plan through tunnels. But the world is confused between the truth and falsehood, between the Palestinians and Hamas, between occupation and Islamist dictatorship, between goodmen in their twenties ready to die to defend their homes and a completely invented image of a fierce soldier; the world without restraint blames Israel and Jews, it ignores the fact that Hamas uses its people as human shields.

“I watch TV,” says Ruthie Bloom, columnist for the Israel Hayom newspaper, mother of a boy who is fighting in Gaza, “I see the columns of smoke, I’m terrified, I cry. But then the TV shows an event in which people are screaming death to the Jews, and then I find the courage: my son is fighting to defend our lives, and now I understand why, as one of all the Jews in the world. Now I know: my son has to fight”. Ruthie Bloom shakes her long black hair and smiles:”Sometimes I have to laugh while looking at the hatred, at the boycott. It is a topic of psychiatric interest: if they boycotted what we do, they would die without essential drugs, no tv, no modern micro-chip … they would go back to the Middle Ages”.

Amnon Lord, editor of the online newspaper Mida and columnist of Makor Rishon, states: “In the European hate there is a masochistic element; because of fear, they support the terrorist who wants to exterminate them, fog has enclosed their mind, which cannot stand the thought that there is a country that embodies the values ​​of freedom, values that are represented by a Jewish flag. They are silent about Libya, Syria… and here is Israel, which does not threaten them but rather protects them, channeling all their emotions, and something mysterious is unleashed. French demonstrations against Israel are a dated Pavlovian reflex repetition by the left of stale clichés, now completed with Islamic hatred. Look at, for example, the CNN, the BBC, the narrative of journalists is a soap opera”.

Television show images that become headlines: the ruins of Sujahie flow as evidence of Israeli cruelty, there is not a word of explanation about the tunnels in clusters which depart from the houses of citizens, or about the lies about schools and hospitals that have been hit, while the suffering of Israeli citizens in the bunkers is only a joke. And, above all, the boys who have been killed with their faces which are alike to all sons, everywhere, and their smiles which have now been silenced do not create any emotion.

“But here to us, psychotherapists of Sderot,” says the Italian Adriana Katz “simple, poor people come. They do not come to philosophize, we all must survive the trauma.”
The psychoanalyst Arik Avneri says: “After the first patient had spoken only of his own affairs, and the second was crying, the third said ‘They do not understand us, we must trust only ourselves, no one will give us a hand.’ No, she wasn’t frightened, indeed, strengthened.We are one people, our children when they are injured want to immediately get back to the front to their companions because it gives meaning to the fact that they are risking their lives, perhaps the only men in the world that, after being educated for peace, have to make war. Their sense of union, their loyalty to one another only exists here”.

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.