Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin
Psychoanalyst & Counter Terrorist Expert

Trains: What Do They Have in Common with Tunnels?

Dictionary of Desperanto

Entry: Trains

Train attacks: Madrid, Mumbai, Moscow, sarin gas Tokyo, foiled — NYC subway and Washington DC Metro, see Wikipedia for a list

The train line between Sderot and Ashkelon has been temporarily shut down until further notice due to fear of anti-tank missile attacks from Gaza as the ceasefire is set to end at midnight (18 August 2014).

In my second to last blog I wrote about the tunnel and our psychological protective edge. We are able to contemplate a deeper level of meaning and behavior for Hamas – political serial killers. This psychological awareness and knowledge are something that Hamas does NOT possess because they treat people as objects. They lack empathy revealing a severe cognitive deficit involving psychotic behavior. They are at one and the same time masochists and sadists. More of that later.

By offering today’s psychological X-ray of Hamas’ choice to target the train line between Sderot and Ashkelon, we look beyond their tactical superficial use of the object and we think strategically.

To them the train line is a life-line, an umbilicus — like the tunnels they want to intrude upon and steal from our good mother because their mother can only provide them with death. They envy our lives. They are psychologically dead.

Hamas is developmentally arrested, a little child who resides in a zombie-like adult body, engaging in wanton murder. Look at what they choose to do: They build tunnels. They knock down towers (think Al Qaeda and the WTC ) and attack trains.

Did someone in Hamas not get an electric train for Ramadan?

In their minds’ eye they have no filter between play and a terrorist attack. It is one and the same.

In my other blog I noted too, how an object can be directly linked to the human body. In a baby’s developing mind, bodily experiences attach to objects. This is known as a part object function. Just like with their tunnel obsession they have one for trains. Feelings are sh*t for them.

The electric train and the train from Sderot to Ashkelon are perceived to be symbolically enlivening like the mother’s body and therefore the train must be repudiated and destroyed. They need her too much because they have never been permitted to separate from her as it is not permissible in Arab Muslim culture and other shame honor cultures (hence the sarin gas attack in Japan, another shame honor culture).

They project on to the feminized other, who is the unconscious symbolic mother. This is not a psychological concept the jihadis can grasp because of their cognitive deficit. A failure of positive experiences did not get encoded into their brains early on during childhood. They did not get to play but that is not our fault. The accusation that it is, is a classic maneuver by those who have a cognitive deficit, a problem in their paranoid thinking. It is what I call “The You-Do-It-Too Syndrome” which is a clever unconscious maneuver of the abuser to distract the viewer and the abused from the true aggressor. It is extremely sadistic.

Currently we are witnessing a tidal wave of anti-Semitism. The Jew is the repudiated mother in the jihadis’ mind and in the vast majority of the global audiences. I am not the first to write about this, consider Sandor Gilman’s work. Moreover Bion, one of the masters of group dynamics, noted that most of the world experiences extreme deprivation and hence cognitive deficits abound. We should, therefore, not be surprised by the massive amount of paranoia we are encountering.

Meanwhile Arab masochism has been elevated to a new art form. It is their refusal to grow up and assume responsibility for their plight. Hamas articulates the masochist’s motto — “Victory through defeat.” Hamas has lost and remains addicted to its melodrama. Just watch Al Jazeera the Arab world drowns in the blood and guts of such masochism while cleverly denying its own sadism. Hamas and the Islamic State are the current carriers of rage which exceeds murder itself.

Trains, tunnels and towers are these terrorists’ “toys in their attic.” Breaking the sadomasochistic spell they have managed to cast is one of the tasks at hand. A psychological x-ray allows for disengaging, setting limits while thinking and feeling into the future to anticipate what the next terrorist obsession will be and from where it will come. To repeat what the son of Hamas, Mosab Hassan Sheikh said – “the key enemy is shame.” Look for the shame and be ready for a vicious attack.

About the Author
Dr. Kobrin made aliyah in 2010 and is an internationally renowned counterterrorism expert and psychoanalyst holding a PhD in Islamic literature, aljamía 16th c. Author of five books. She has conducted prison interviews, a former military contractor with an academic appointment as external expert at La Universidad de Granada. She is a senior research analyst for The Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism Center. She also works in citizen diplomacy. In August 2020 she was the first Israeli to be live-streamed from Islamabad.