Dr Judith Guedalia

When Will We Ever Learn.....??!!!???
We live here with many contradictions.  In May and June for example, we have the juxtaposition of Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZickaron (Memorial Day) for Soldiers of Israeli wars, and Yom HaAtzmaot, (Independence Day), this juxtaposition is always poignant.

We are getting ready for The Disengagement, leaving lands and villages that all the previous governments have politically, financially and emotionally encouraged and supported, and what happens in the enlightened world now?  The Association of University Teachers-AUT-in Great Britain decided to adopt a boycott against two universities in Israel, Bar Ilan and Haifa (they tell us that more will follow).  Who is it who writes the deciding letter, none other that a University of Haifa senior lecturer, a Jew and Israeli, citing our "occupation and endless brutal and callous oppression of the people of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip".
When will they ever learn?


Also in Britain, we recently saw the next king (or spare king I should say for didn't the late Princess Diana, produce two sons, ‘an Heir and a Spare'), sporting a nazi costume, ‘cause what does one expect from a twenty year old'.  Maybe he can forget six million Jews, but what about the hundreds of thousands of his countrymen were killed and London was bombed by those ‘costume' wearing nazis.  (My computer wants me to capitalize the ‘n' in nazi, but I resist!)
England even has a Jewish woman, the child of a Jewish woman and an African-American, Oona King, Member of Parliament, running for re-election in her heavily Muslim district.  She is rabidly anti-Israel and anti-Jewish, and was surprised when she was pelted with objects, by Muslim's, when she was out campaigning.

"The Stockholm Effect", coined after victims of a robbery in that city (in 1973), who were held hostage and threatened with being killed, protected the robbers with their bodies when the police came to the rescue.  Indeed, two of the hostages became engaged to their captors! This behavior is not unknown throughout history: slaves defend their masters, prisoners of war feel sympathy for their jailors, prostitutes defend their pimps, incest and other abuse victims excuse the actions of their dominators. It is hard to believe that Hungarian psychoanalyst, Sandor Ferenczi (1873-1933), originated the constructs of "identification with the aggressor," close to one hundred years before the Stockholm Effect was ‘coined'!!!
When will they ever learn?

Everybody (in the local and foreign press) is bending over backward portraying the Hitler Youth graduate-The new Pope- of being as clean as White Smoke, wasn't he just a teen or just twenty years old at the time?!!!!  The sight of seeing smoke decide the future of tens of millions of people around the world, should not loose it's irony on us!
When will they ever learn?


News commentators, read: radio, television, and newspapers, are gearing up the populace for a civil war -Chash ve Shalom.  Ironically the army generals are more optimistic, knowing who the country's REAL enemies are, and they certainly don't wear Kippot!!!
When will they ever learn?

Last year at this time was the horrific murder at point blank range, of eight month pregnant 34 year old Tali Hatuel and her four young daughters H'YD.   The year before that, in the aftermath of a Piguah, (it doesn't matter which one, that's also the point), as my comrades in arms (Social Workers and Psychologists in Shaare Zedek Medical Center's ER Trauma Team), finally waved, hugged, and kissed goodbye the family of a slain young man, I had an awful association, in my mind I heard the voice of a witness in the Ukrainian-born Ivan (The Terrible) Demyanuk War Crimes trial. As the sound of another mother wailing inconsolably in the ER, hoping against hope that the fact that her son was in none of the Jerusalem hospitals meant that he was still alive someplace, rings in my ears. She didn't have to spell it out for us, we knew that leaving the last ER she searched all night, would mean he was dead and the only place to see what was left of him was Abu Kabir, the country's Pathology Unit. So we stayed with her, not being able to console, or even speak to her in her native language, but just be there until she was too tired to go on, and as the family of the slain young man, finally had to go home.

My association was the radio interview with the War Crimes witness, who described his concentration camp ‘job'.  He had the ‘train duty'. This was funneling the people off the trains onto their ‘next and final stop'. He described as each train spewed out our brethren how he heard the cries of parents looking for children, and children searching for parents. "Ruchi, Oma, Opa, Yisroel, Zaida, Chaim, Mottie, Bracha, Mamma, Taate, and on and on. Each train, it seemed, had the same people, because the names were the same. Each time and time again, the voices that cried were in reality different voices never to be heard again. And then there was another train.

How many times do we as a society have to live (if we are lucky) and see history repeat itself until we see the signs, and interpret them correctly?!? 

Will we ever learn, before that next train comes?

Originally published in the Jewish Press on May 11, 2005


Tags: Independence Day | Jewish Press | Memorial Day | Stockholm Effect | Yom HaAtzmaot | Yom HaShoah | Yom HaZickaron