Stockholm Syndrome Again

In an interview with TOI’s David Horovitz, Col. Richard Kemp, British Commander in Afghanistan, observes that “…Lack of empathy for Israel in some quarters, certainly from Britain…stems partly from a desire to avoid what’s going on…supporting Israel, when most parts of the Muslim world oppose it, is going to be unpopular given the UK’s increasingly influential Muslim community.”

Kemp goes on to say that a military victory, even demilitarization, could be difficult if not impossible given the skill at which Hamas has been able to jockey itself into world opinion. Time is on the side of Hamas, with plenty of civilians to sacrifice as the world grows increasingly intolerant of Israel’s offensive due to these civilian casualties.

Ultimately, Kemp concludes, the best that can be hoped for is a sustained truce requiring unending monitoring by Israel and the West (should the West choose to help, which he has doubts about in the long run).

Hamas and Fatah are ideologically driven to mark their time and seek further advantage against Israel.

Current demand for an independent Palestinian State is just one step in the process of completely securing all of Israel, placing it into the hands of both Fatah and Hamas.

The same ideological and emotional forces that are behind this conflict are the same forces that were driving the Palestinians before the “occupation” of the West Bank.

Palestinians tried this with Jordan in the fall of 1970 (Black Sunday) to secure political dominance.  They failed, and now concentrate their efforts on ousting Israel.

With a full quarter of the world’s population being Muslim, the tide is changing on the stage of public opinion.

If the Palestinian political and military arms do win the psychological war against Israel, which thus far has been where the real winners and losers of past conflicts have been, it will be due to the aid provided by the West through “fear and identification with the aggressor” which are the underlying dynamics of the Stockholm Syndrome.  Horror is a powerful tool.




About the Author
Victor Salkowitz is a retired Clinical Social Worker with over 30 years experience in prisons, child welfare, and adult mental health agencies. He received his B.A. in Psychology from UC Davis and an MSW from UC Berkeley, becoming licensed in 1991.