Mark Hardie
Lawyer, Military Veteran, and Philosopher

Psychotherapy as Cure for Jewish-Arab Tensions

Barack O. Mandela, who served in both the IDF and US Army, is a also psychological researcher. (From Barack Mandela’s Personal Collection)

I was in psychotherapy in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with Dr. Shaul Livnay-Weisbrot, who is also a prominent hypnotherapist. These in-depth therapy sessions helped me uncover my unconscious mind using free association and dream analysis.

While undergoing therapy in the Promised Land, I began studying the ideas of two Jewish thinkers: Sigmund Freud, founder of Psychoanalysis, and Eric Berne, founder of Transactional Analysis.

Since I am an African American who converted to Judaism and became an Israel citizen, I have a multifaceted, layered, complex psychosocial background. While undergoing therapy, I also probed deep into my archaic, childhood experiences which shaped my early psychosexual development.

Within my unconscious mind, there was a powerful archetype of a white, racist persecutor who desired to hurt and oppress me for being a black man. This horrifying white slave master archetype within my psyche came to the surface while free associating in therapy.

Moreover, an antisemitic persecutor archetype also existed deep within my psyche. This antisemitic persecutor caused me to experience sadness, depression, anguish, and despair.

In essence, as a black male convert to Judaism, I experienced a racist persecution and an antisemitic persecution based on themes from the TransAtlantic Slave Trade and the Holocaust. I was a “double psychological victim” upon whom social inferiority and oppression were imposed by these invisible persecutors.

I served in both the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the United States Army. These military experiences empowered me to feel like an “powerful international soldier” fighting for freedom and patriotism in Israel and America. When I graduated from combat training, I felt a deep sense of accomplishment and achievement.

However, deep within my psyche below the surface of the conscious mind, my inner child or archeopsyche was screaming in pain. For example, I had a recurring dream that I was transformed into the famous Holocaust victim, Anne Frank. I also had a recurring dream that I was an enslaved person living on a large cotton plantation in Mississippi in the 1700s. I felt “double persecution” as a black convert to Judaism.

My therapist, Dr. Shaul Livnay-Weisbrot, allowed me to experience a psychological catharsis and abreaction in which all of my pain and anguished erupted to the surface of my conscious mind, like a volatile volcano erupting with lava and fire.

After this volcanic catharsis in therapy, my inner child, inner adult, and inner parent were able to process these memories, emotions, thoughts, and nightmares. I was able to reorient my unconscious mind, transforming my emotional volcano into a stable mountain of self-healing, self-acceptance, self-love, and self-respect.

While undergoing therapy in Israel, I developed the idea of creating “Psychological Healing Centers for Israelis and Palestinians”. These psychological healing centers will be established in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ramallah, and Gaza.

These centers will provide free psychological and psychiatric services for Israelis and Palestinians, and joint group therapy sessions bringing together Israel’s diverse ethnic and religious groups. These “healing group therapy” sessions will help bring about a deep and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

These “healing centers” will be financed by the Israeli government, American government, European Union, and high net worth individuals such as Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Elon Musk of Tesla, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Shari Arison.

The Arab-Israeli conflict has created deep rooted psychological wounds throughout the Middle East. Therefore, the ideas of Sigmund Freud (Psychoanalysis) and Eric Berne (Transactional Analysis) should be utilized to heal these psychosocial wounds and bring about a profound peace.

As Sigmund Freud might say, both Israelis and Arabs need a new Superego, a new psychological moral conscience, in order to create a new, peaceful Middle East.

As American singer Lauryn Hill once sang, “How can you win, if you aren’t right within?” To bring about peace in the Middle East, we must start on the inside and work our way out.

To create a new Middle East we must first create a new mind.

About the Author
Licensed Attorney. I earned a Doctor of Law at the University of California, College of the Law, San Francisco (Hastings) . I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Riverside. I was an international student at the University of Costa Rica Faculty of Law and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law. I am a military veteran of the United States Air Force and United States Army. I am a laureate of the National Defense Service Medal from the Pentagon. I am a financial donor to following: Harvard Law, Yale Law, Stanford Law, Berkeley Law, UC Hastings College of the Law, UC Davis Law, Columbine High School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Phillips Exeter Academy, Sidwell Friends School, Viewpoint School, Beverly Hills High School, Eton College in the United Kingdom, Special Olympics, Children's Defense Fund, Obama Foundation, Clinton Foundation, Barbra Streisand Foundation, Princeton University, Florida A&M, Howard University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and the British Red Cross. I am former special assistant and staff attorney to Governor Pete Wilson of California. I was public affairs assistant to US Senator Barbara Boxer. I am a member of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
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