Hatred, Superiority And The Israeli Mindset

Hatred and a feeling of superiority are two core elements that prevent a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. After 62 years of mutually inflicted atrocities against each other, the Israelis and Palestinians are seething with hatred. During these decades of authoritative rule over the Palestinians, Israelis have acquired a feeling of superiority. Getting beyond these attributes will take time and much healing before there will truly be a feeling of trust and cooperation even after the ever eluding peace finally arrives.

Hatred is a very troubling attribute that is not easily dismissed. While the Jewish experience is full of unfortunate baggage of hatred inflicted upon them throughout history, it seems that all the centuries of stored up vengeance has come out against the Palestinians. The Palestinians are paying the price for history’s anti-Semitism. All the hatred inflicted upon the Jewish people throughout history is being avenged in the form of hatred toward the Palestinians.

In 1948 the United Nations, a new world body formed after two devastating world wars that saw the ugly nature of hatred and self-righteous superiority of one race over all others, tried in an altruistic attempt to reverse the historical anti-Semitism crimes of present and past generations by creating the State of Israel upon a land that was predominately that of the Palestinians. While that attempt was noble and within the reasoning for the creation of the UN, to solve and prevent conflicts around the world, it fermented the present hatred between Israelis and PalestiThnians.

While the UN tried to teach the world that Hitler’s German aspirations of racial superiority were absolutely wrong, that lesson did not sink into the Israeli mindset. Israelis believe that they are superior to others, especially the Palestinians. Whether it is the Torah that gives the Jewish people this feeling or they see themselves as more cultured and Westernized than the Palestinians, the Israelis have not learned from history and thus are repeating the negative history perpetrated against Jews upon the Palestinians.

Before and after the creation of Israel, one atrocity committed by one party was and is avenged by another atrocity. Regardless of who committed the first assault, the perpetual cycle of an eye for an eye mentality has spiraled out of control. Entrenched in this vicious cycle is the Western colonization mindset that needs to exploit an “inferior” people for economic and political gain. The centuries of the Jewish diaspora within Western societies in which the exploitation of the East by Western nations was the norm, i.e. Europeans domination of South Africa and India, developed into the Israeli psychic that encourages the unfounded belief in the morality of its domination of the Palestinians.

Colonial dominance and mentality are antiquated ideologies of the twentieth century and earlier times. Yet, Israel is clinging onto to an apartheid system of control over the Palestinians that cannot be long endured. While the pre-technological revolution and Jewish domination of the press allowed Israel to hide its ever expanding colonization of Palestinian land, i.e. settlement expansions, the new age of the internet where anything anywhere can be broadcast to the world instantaneously has exposed Israel for what it truly is—an apartheid regime which is not unlike the “Grand Apartheid” scheme of the 1960’s executed by the Afrikaner minority in South Africa to emphasize territorial separation and military repression.

In the context of resolving the conflict, Palestinians must not allow the Israelis to feel superior. When Israel negotiates for the release of one of its captured soldiers for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners the value of an Israeli is quantified greater than a Palestinian. This is wrong. Similarly, when the Palestinians allow Israel to dissect their land into zones and allow Israel to give them limited powers and authority the equality between the two peoples is disturbed. Palestinians are like children demanding “their own space” like a child demanding “his/her space” from a parent. There is no parent/child relationship between Israelis and Palestinians and the Palestinians must stop acting like children.

This Israeli psychology of superiority is at the very heart of the conflict. Mohandas Gandhi’s statement that “A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people” describes the current feeling of superiority within the Israeli mindset. When one culture feels superior to another, hatred develops. Discrimination follows. Laws are implemented and interpreted differently for one culture to the detriment of the other.

Israelis need to understand that they need to come to terms with their feelings; with the illegal occupation and domination of the Palestinians--this just like the Whites in the United States came to terms with centuries of discrimination against African-Americans and just like the Afrikaners came to terms with its apartheid system in South Africa.

Israelis must come to terms within their “hearts and their souls” to end the occupation of Palestine.

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About Fadi Zanayed

Fadi Zanayed is a moderate Palestinian, an author, poet, community activist and an attorney since 1985. A graduate from Loyola University with a B.S. in Managerial Accounting and a minor in Political Science in 1983, he received his law degree from Loyola School of Law in 1985. A Palestinian American whose family originates from Ramallah, Palestine, Fadi Zanayed is an active and proud member of the Arab American community with a long history of community leadership and service. They include: Founding Member of Arab-American Bar Association of Illinois, Inc.; Former Regional Director & Past President, Chicago Chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; Past President of the Chicago Chapter of the Palestinian American Congress; Past National Secretary of the Palestinian American Congress; Past President of the Chicago Club of Ramallah, Palestine; Past Member of the Board of the American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine; Past President of the American Youth Federation of Ramallah, Palestine. He is the author of Cycle of Frustration: A collection of poems about Palestine; and Betrayal, Sorrow and Tomorrow (pen name: Chris F. Wollinks). He attended the September 13, 1993 peace signing ceremony of the Oslo Accords in the White House Rose Garden and was one of the first Palestinians to call for the recognition of Israel as early as 1980. Since then he has been a disillusioned with the never ending peace process.

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