|Symposium: They’re Back: The Nazi Posters of the 1930s|
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, May 30, 2008
The David Horowitz Freedom Center recently submitted a Declaration Against Genocide to over 200 U.S. campus papers calling on campus groups, including the Muslim Students Association, to repudiate, among other things, Hamas’ Charter, which calls for the annihilation of Israel, Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for his similar sentiments, and the call to genocide that has been attributed to the prophet Mohammed. (“The Prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time [of judgment] will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”)
Many campus groups have refused to sign the declaration. The Muslim Students Association is one of those groups -- and its chapter in Milwaukee produced a Nazi-like cartoon slandering and defaming Horowitz. The cartoon included several blatant anti-Semitic themes, including an armband on Horowitz – the type the Nazis wore with a swastika on it and also the type they used to identify Jews as a preparatory stage between sending them to the gas chambers.
In this special edition of Frontpage Symposium, we have assembled a distinguished panel to analyze the MSA's cartoon and to deconstruct the impulses that spawned it. What does such a cartoon say not only about those who made it, but also about our culture’s lack of indignation and silence about it?
Our guests are:
Dr. Theodore Dalrymple, a retired physician (prison doctor and psychiatrist), a contributing editor to City Journal and the author of Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses.
Dr. Kenneth Levin, a clinical instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, a Princeton-trained historian, and a commentator on Israeli politics. He is the author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege.
Dr. Nancy Kobrin, a psycho-analyst, Arabist, and counter-terrorism expert.
Dr. Peter Raddatz, a German scholar of Islamic Studies, the co-author of the renowned “Encyclopaedia of Islam” and a critical of the ongoing "mainstream dialogue". His new book is Allah and the Jews - The Islamic Renaissance of Anti-Semitism.
Dr. Joanie Lachkar, a licensed Marriage and Family therapist in private practice in Brentwood and Tarzana, California, who teaches psychoanalysis and is the author of How to Talk to a Narcissist (2007), The Many Faces of Abuse: Treating the Emotional Abuse of High -Functioning Women (1998), and The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Marital Treatment (1992). Dr. Lachkar speaks nationally and recently presented, "The Psychopathology of Terrorism" at the International Psychohistorical Association. She is an affiliate member of the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute, an adjunct professor at Mount Saint Mary's College, a psychohistorian, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Emotional Abuse.
Dr. David Gutmann, emeritus professor of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.
Lloyd deMause, Director of The Institute for Psychohistory, Editor of The Journal of Psychohistory, founding President of the International Psychohistorical Association and author of seven books and 80 articles on historical motivations. The central thesis of his work is that wars and authoritarian societies have their origins in child abuse. He has demonstrated, for instance, that those who created Nazi Germany and the Holocaust had childhoods in which they were routinely tied up, beaten, raped and tortured and that they then as adults re-inflicted these abuses on Jews and others.
FP: Dr. Theodore Dalrymple, Dr. Kenneth Levin, Dr. Nancy Kobrin, Dr. Peter Raddatz, Dr. Joanie Lachkar, Dr. David Gutmann and Lloyd deMause, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.
Dr. Nancy Kobrin, let me begin with you.
What do you make of the MSA’s cartoon?
Kobrin: Paranoia is always about the projection of unconscious rage on to the innocent victim who is the scapegoat. MSA could not deal with the crucial issue of Islamic anti-Semitism, which David Horowitz has put on the table.
Instead the cartoon functions as a strategy to divert serious discussion concerning Islamic anti-Semitism by shifting the focus away from MSA's tightly held Islamic anti-Semitic beliefs. They do not have to respond as critical thinking adults. It’s the essence of crazy-making behavior.
The MSA is not able to acknowledge or tolerate its own destructive defeatist behaviors. MSA belittles David Horowitz, by trying to make him out to be the big fool/scapegoat. This is the very essence of infantile behavior.
When I first saw this cartoon, I recalled the January 2004 so-called art exhibit by the ex-Israeli Dror Feiler and his Swedish wife Gunilla Skoeld Feiler in which they sought to “venerate” a Palestinian female suicide bomber who murdered 21 Jews and Arabs in a Haifa restaurant. Her photo was labeled “Snow White” which served as the sail of a boat floating in a pool of red water.
Once again the theme of Snow White surfaces in the MSA cartoon by the phrase “Mirror mirror on the wall” but now it is recycled in the genre of the 1930s Nazi Posters with the Jew being the evil Queen. Why Snow White? Paranoia has an obsession with purity because it seeks to cleanse the self (also the group self) of its own "toxins" of murderous hatred and projects them outwards on to the innocent by means of the scapegoat.
I wonder too if on account of the Danish cartoon incident, MSA felt emboldened to create their own cartoon – sort of like – tit for tat in their infantile way of thinking -- an attempt to disarm anticipated criticism of this obscene cartoon. I could hear MSA scurrying to say something like "how can you complain about this cartoon after the Danish one of our dearly beloved Prophet Muhammad.? Such a claim is what I call the "you-do-it-too syndrome," which again seeks to deflect discussion away from their destructive behavior. Such paranoid behavior fits hand in glove with the Arabic saying – “He hits me and cries and races me to complain.” MSA is the provocateur, not David Horowitz.
Dalrymple: It is a deeply ingrained human trait to reply to criticism, especially of dearly held beliefs, by ad hominem arguments, or rather slurs. Because we are all human, we all do it to an extent.
The students could have made a rational reply to David Horowitz, but this would have meant examining his premises carefully, which in turn would have required a degree of self-examination and willingness to change. I agree that the use of stereotyped scapegoats is a psychological defense mechanism.
What the cartoon shows - alarmingly - is the hold of those scapegoats on the imagination of the students.
Lachkar: I agree with Dr. Kobrin's comment that paranoia is always about projection, but she also makes the point about the inability for "critical thinking." Dr. Dalrymple also refers to the incapacity to "think” and he questions why students did not make "a rational reply to David Horowtiz." Indeed they didn't. Why?
I am going to take a different route to see if I can link some of these points as to why so many students on American campuses today collude with Nazi-like rhetoric. I will address the concept of the ego and its dysfunctionality along with its corresponding defense mechanisms to shed further light as to this bizarreness of these behaviors.
What is the ego? Although most clinicians know what the ego is in general terms, it is also a slippery concept. Even well seasoned mental health professionals lose sight of the importance of the ego’s function and what happens to the power of reasoning when the ego lacks the resiliency necessary for processing the data of experience. In short, the ego is the seat of consciousness, the superior agent responsible for memory, perception, and judgment, reality testing and thinking. It explains why smart people say and do stupid things. It is the mediating agent that provides entry to the unconscious.
The main point is that reality and rational thinking goes down the drain. A good example is the Horowitz cartoon under examination in this symposium. What distortion -- making Horowitz out to be a Nazi wearing an armband – and Arabs making fun of Jewish noses when they have similar Semitic ones themselves. People could call this behaviour that comes from "twisted” minds, but I refer to it as distortion -- as it relates to the ego and its dysfunctionality. "Where Inshallah was, ego shall be!"
Raddatz: It so happened and was unavoidable, of course, that I have referred to exactly this phenomenon in my recent book on, “Allah and the Jews.” I certainly agree with both Drs. Kobrin and Lachkar, inasmuch as the ego provides entry to the unconscious, given sufficient leeway. It gets under paranoidal pressure, however, if it is forced to process the ongoing data stream according to one exclusive and mandatory world view screen -- in our case the conformist thought and agency system of Sharia law.
The strict sectarian character of Islam is not only collectively confirmed by the lack of freedom of religion and by its consequently aggressive cleansing aspect. Real purity is in fact only achieved through following the rules with as far going a precision as possible. The totalitarian effects are also quite distinctly shown by the soft version - the lack of individual ego extensions like pictures, dwelling, clothing, jewellery, music etc. - and the hard version aiming at eradication of deviating elements -- the pre-stage of which are the Nazi type cartoons.
In this context, one has to keep the strong animistic touch of Islam in mind. All kinds of amulets, talismans and other fetishistic ingredients play a dominant part in the allegedly “Abrahamitic” belief in Allah, collectively concentrated in the big mega-fetish of the black Kaaba cornerstone. The Horowitz experience would not be possible, though, if the Western “dialogue” priests would not behave like Shamans themselves. Adoring a premodern religion whose elites get rising influence on the Western financial system, and incessantly warning of “Islamophobia” are not only logical but also pathological indicators towards an Islamically induced anti-Semitism.
DeMause: As a psychohistorian who studies historical cartoons by the thousands, my main finding is that they reflect early childhood experiences of the cartoonist and observers. This cartoon shows a "Dirty Jew." The childhood of who sympathize with it undoubtedly was filled with parental punishments for being a "dirty baby," full of feces and urine, accused mainly by a Punishing Mother who was upset by all the cleaning-up that babies require, even perhaps by a mother who was post-partum depressed, and that this message that "Mommy hates dirty babies like me" was embedded in the right amygdala of the baby in a dissociated alter. It comes out of dissociated condition whenever they see someone who has a strong Self, like Horowitz, who has strong political opinions, and so he is blamed for being a Dirty Jew. The Nazis were, as children during the early 19th century, tied up in swaddling clothes and not changed very often, so they were routinely covered with LICE and German parents called their children the "Dirty Lice." When these children grew up, they called Jews "Dirty Lice" and imagined that they, like lice, would "poison the German bloodstream." Similarly, German parents often called their children "Useless Eaters" because they didn't contribute any money to the family, and later when these children grew up they called Jews "Useless Eaters" and killed over five million of them.
Levin: I agree with all the comments that relate to the cartoon's anti-Semitic motifs to irrational, primitive modes of thought and - as Lloyd deMause particularly addresses - that see in these motifs a recrudescence of infantile experiences and infantile responses.
An essential point is that it is characteristic of totalitarian movements to encourage their followers' suspension of reason and embrace of paranoia, including the projection of everything deemed dirty and ugly onto the movements' scapegoats. If "scapegoat" literally, in its origin, refers to placing the sins of the community onto an animal that is then banished, in our context it captures the totalitarians' tack of encouraging their followers to perceive themselves as epitomizing all that is good while projecting onto the movements' targeted group all that is filthy and loathsome, as a prelude to mass banishment or mass murder. The release of all the repressed remnants of infantile experience that entail a sense of dirtiness and flaw and the projection of these elements of self onto the targeted "other" is part of the energy that leaders of totalitarian movements tap into in their cultivation of popular hatred of the scapegoated "other," in this case the Jew.
Arab leaders, and those in the Muslim world who have followed the Arab model, have had their own tradition of Jew-hatred, and the projection of all negative attributes onto Jews, to draw upon in the modern directing of popular hatred toward Israel and the Jews. That tradition includes the promotion of such attitudes toward Jews by Islamic religious texts. But Arab leaders also saw the success of the Nazis in whipping up genocidal Jew-hatred through the channelling of irrational, primitive impulses to the targeting of the Jew as the embodiment of all that is dirty and evil and must be extirpated. Impressed by the Nazi precedent, Arab and various other Muslim potentates adopted Nazi rhetoric and Nazi imagery to advance their own scapegoating, annihilationist agenda.
That there are so many in Europe, and even, if to a much lesser extent, in America, who readily enlist as fellow travelers in the Muslim world's murderous demonization of the Jew speaks at once to how popular Jew-hatred remains in Europe and the wider West, not least among Western elites, and to why Arab leaders have found their use of Nazi-like caricature such an effective tool of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda even beyond the boundaries of Arab and other Muslim lands.
Gutmann: I agree with Drs. Kobrin, Lachkar, and Raddatz that, when anti-Semites call Jews "Nazis," a paranoid process is at work. More specifically, the Jew-bashers are projecting their own covert, ambivalent identification with the Nazis and their Holocaust on to the Jewish victims of Hitler. They themselves wish to see the Jews eliminated, but the Superego forbids the open expression of such a lethal wish. The conflict is resolved by accusing the Jews of being Nazis - that is, a people worthy of elimination.
At the same time, another anti-Semitic goal is realized: when the Jews are accused of being agents rather than victims of the Holocaust, the original Holocaust is denied. Again, the Nazified Jews are converted, by verbal magic, into the criminal perpetrators rather than the innocent victims, and a new history as well as a new future - one in which the Jews are this time justifiably destroyed - can be charted for them.
FP: Absolutely, Holocaust Denial is the expression of the hidden lust for another Holocaust.
Let’s begin our second and last round.
Dr. Kobrin, your thoughts on the discussion in the first round? Also, kindly deal with some of these issues: why the silence surrounding these Nazi posters? Where is the moral indignation? Where is the Left that sees itself as a progressive force? And what can be done to label these cartoons for what they are and to confront our culture’s seeming indifference to their Nazi and genocidal message?
Kobrin: To distill some of the above points, it is important to keep in mind that paranoia is a problem in sensory processing. People who are paranoid are at the center of their “universe” and hence their narcissism re-enforces the distorted feeling of being under attack by finding an identifiable scapegoat. The Jew is always already the easiest available scapegoat. For Muslims it is even more so since their Prophet Muhammad borrowed heavily from the Jews in order to create Islam. The MSA students could never admit their Judaic roots and that is why they envy what David Horowitz is doing – and so they attack him through vicious Nazi imagery.
Why is this important? Because such paranoia also resonates with those in the academy on the Left. Such academics collude with MSA’s paranoia and they join forces very much the way that a cult becomes a fused closed impenetrable circle, which then fights the targeted one. Dr. Lachkar might have more to say about this. It strengthens their rage and embattled stance while also covering over how terribly fragile their sense of self is because they need to hate and to have an enemy in order to stabilize their failing personalities.
This predatory behavior is compounded by the use of imagery. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has zeroed in on the fact that it is a jihad of imagery. The Nazi cartoon functions in a visceral way -- direct access to arousing distorted murderous hatred while attempting to justify it.
Jamie, you are right about Holocaust Denial. I would also add what Daniel Schwammenthal wrote recently about German war guilt that it easily turns into resentment. Underlying such disavowed resentment is murderous rage.
As for how to solve this problem, we have to set limits on such aberrant behavior --confront it, expose it like we are doing right now at Frontpagemag and to educate the public. Unfortunately it is a never-ending slow process. Why? Because we are dealing with a delusion, which by definition means that there are missing “cognitive” building blocks in the mind of those who are paranoid. You can never “win” an argument with someone who blames to the degree to which they must create such a vile cartoon.
David Horowitz is absolutely correct that American campuses must be opened up and political correctness exposed for what it really is – a terrorist strategy to bully into submission the other for being an independent critical thinker and not part of the academic horde. I for one know first hand of the brutality of training in departments that were Marxist, anti-Semitic and pro-PLO with conferences (among other things) being funded by the Saudis in the 1980s. No student should have to find themselves in such a predicament, especially at state funded universities. Now it is even worse precisely because no limits were set and the Saudis have never been held responsible. Here I think of Martin Kramer's fine work - Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle East Studies in America (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, no. 58).
Dalrymple: I would like to return to the question of why nothing in the nature of a rational response was forthcoming from the students, no attempt at argumentation. (Here I would like to mention something that is surprising, at least to me: to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the complete separation of the French state from Catholicism, a book was published in France containing the graphic work of anti-Catholic propagandists of the late 19th century, who would have considered themselves Enlightenment rationalists, and if you had not known that the propaganda was directed at the Catholic church you would have thought it was anti-Semitic - that is to say, an evil spider spreading its legs over the world, hook-nosed clerics welcoming unsuspecting children into their clutches, and so on and so forth. The parallels were startling.)
What could the students have returned to Horowitz that would have been within the realm of rationality? They could have said he was selective in his quotations from the Koran, which in any case should be interpreted allegorically or in accordance with the needs of the times and with its fundamental spirit, rather than according to its letter; they could have said that, in respect of anti-Semitism, the West in general is not in a position to point the finger at the Islamic world, that the numerous clauses existed in many American universities until quite recently, that many of the most virulently anti-Semitic websites are actually American, that Roosevelt and Churchill ignored the plight of European Jews though they knew perfectly well what it was, failing to destroy the railway lines to Auschwitz which they could have done with a few bombs, that Zionism was fundamentally a response to European, not Islamic, anti-Semitism etc. etc. I am not saying that any of this would have been correct or completely relevant, only that it would have constituted a rational response.
But to have argued thus would have been to engage with the enemy, to contemplate the possibility that he might have a point. It would be to open a can of worms, or rather whole crates of worms. For example, the question of Koranic exegesis is a very delicate one for Moslems. They can see only too well what happened to the Christian and Jewish faiths once biblical scholarship was let loose; they understand (subliminally perhaps) that, far from being the inerrant word of God, the Koran, rationally considered, is a text that developed over a couple of centuries at least, that it is fundamentally a political document, the product of compromise, negotiation and the political needs of the moment. Furthermore, how inerrant can a document be that needs so much interpretation?
Then there is the problem of Islamic jurisprudence. The problem is this: the Islamic tradition has no means of dealing with the modern demand for equality under the law, irrespective of religious faith (or other attributes). We may think that the disdain with which Islamic scholars view Jews is awful, but the way they look on Hindus is even worse. (We have to make a distinction here between doctrine and practice, but doctrine become practice in the right circumstances, namely political power). There is a fundamental conflict, then, between Islam and modernity, that is to say a modernity that confers equality on people irrespective of many of their attributes, including, but not only, their religious beliefs.
In other words, Horowitz's challenge obliged the students to think (unless they were to respond in the way that they did), which is always a painful and dangerous process. And this particular kind of thought might quickly have undermined the students' most cherished sense of their own identity, and therefore produced who knows what sort of existential crisis. (And this without any additive effect of the sheer terrorist qualities of Islamic sensibility, to which previous contributors have alluded). If Edward Said, a sensitive, intelligent and highly cultivated Palestinian Christian educated as an upper class Englishman was unable to escape these demons, to the extent of being completely unable to think straight or honestly, what hope for the average Moslem student in America?
Lachkar: Dr. Raddatz refers to a collective "lack of freedom" linking the void of artistic expression to the lack of "ego extensions" such as clothing, jewelry, music, art, etc. I might add that this has more to do with the fantasy of "at-one-ment," a term devised by Donald Winnicott (1965) to describe the bond between mother and the infant whereby no one dare trespass this space. In political terms one could interpret that the fantasy of Arab solidarity and unification is a concept designed to protect a sacred boundary whereby no one dares to enter or intrude into this symbiotic space.
Israel and the West are considered to the interlopers/ intruders or Oedipal rivals (enemies/infidels disrupting the fantasy or symbiotic state of bliss). This state becomes a kind of narcissistic nostalgia holding on to a time when mommy and baby were one. Not having ever separated from the maternal object, this could explain why outsiders are considered dangerous -- even "dirty," and why they have not adapted or assimilated. This relates to Kobrin’s point of material attachment as a source of conflict. Kobrin’s paper discussion (Rand 2008) of the Somalia community in Minnesota is a good example of this). This fits with deMause's "dirty baby" syndrome whereby the outsiders are considered filth only fit to contaminate the insiders of their purity and holiness.
The cartoon shows how Horowitz, the intruder, is not only trashed but made a mockery of. Getting back to Dalrymple's point about the challenge for the students to "think," in my analysis this has to do with guilt and the tendency to identify with the perceived underdog -- especially for such sectors of the population as Jews, college students, successful business professionals, and others who symbolize the world's most accomplished people, but with this success comes guilt emanating from unconscious superego demands.
Raddatz: I may take advantage of Dr. Lachkars's obvious expertise on narcissism and follow the trail of Grunberger and Chasseguet-Smirgel who extended this concept onto the collective field, the civil society. In their view, collective narcissism represents the reversal of what we call "traditional values". The symbiosis Dr. Lachkar mentions in connection with the individual subject corresponds to the "search of the womb" of the social subject whose major activity is delimiting personal, mainly sexual bounds, and delegitimating "traditional" law.
Leading this further, the French psychoanalyst pair shows that collective narcissism occurs in all kinds of religions, ideologies, utopias etc. Power as such necessarily and continuously connects itself to fantasies of "purity," more exactly masculine purity, demonizing Jews as representatives of "traditional" realism and analysis of women as representatives of "traditional" ethics and sexuality. Thus, both of them are as fundamental as "filthy" dissidents who block the path to the Narcissist's paradise which in turn is not only the reversal of political thinking in general but also of the sexual habit in particular.
Insofar it appears quite "normal" that not only the Right but also particularly the "progressive" Left equate anti-Semitism with "Islamophobia" and do not see any cause for discussion of the interculturally extremely high percentage of anal intercourse with women as well as paedophilia and incest in Islamic societies. The modern search of purity necessitates the principle of narcissistic reversal, thereby forcing the Western elites to purify Islam - as leading example - of all obvious deficits.
This process in an arch-old power instrument which appears in ever repeating figurations as Dr. Dalrymple has rightly pointed out. What he mentioned in terms of French aggression against Catholicism resembling anti-Semitism applies exactly to the ongoing pro-Islamic "Dialogue". Here the protagonists degrade the "traditional" people, meaning the tax-paying majority, to a "Rightist horde" and deny its vested rights as "populistic demands". It should not take too long until their propaganda follows the historically proven path and also arrives at the terminology of "purity" and filth". The Horowitz "caricature" is certainly a solid step into this direction.
DeMause: Those above who refer to the "paranoid" nature of anti-Semitism are correct. And the child abuse that underlies the paranoia of both the West and Islam goes even beyond the paedophilia and incest that Raddatz refers to. For instance, I would like to refer to a careful survey in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect that showed that when questioned 652 Palestinian undergraduates concluded that 19% were sexually assaulted by a family member, 36% by a relative and 46% by a stranger. Since this adds up to more than 100%, obviously many were abused by more than one person, but the overall conclusion I detailed in my Journal of Psychohistory article entitled "If I Blow Myself Up and Become a Martyr, I'll Finally Be Loved" (Spring 2006) was that most Palestinians are sexually abused, that men routinely have young boys they rape and that this is not mainly because of poverty because the college students reporting such horrible memories have upper-class families.
It is no wonder many Palestinians are "walking time bombs" who believe they will be finally "embraced" (by Allah) if they kill themselves and "enemies." One terrorist said, "Every time my father sees my photo, he'll cry." The cries are for the love they missed all their lives. Many of the parents do want their children to kill themselves; mothers of martyrs are often reported as happy that their sons died because they then could feel like their sons would never leave them. As one mother of a Palestinian suicide bomber who had blown himself to bits put it, "I was very happy when I heard. To be a martyr, that's something...I prayed to thank God. I know my son is close to me." For many young male suicide bombers, dying "for Allah" is really dying "for Mommy," so finally she will love them.
Cannot Palestinian mothers give love? It is a huge challenge to do so. Being loving in a loveless family atmosphere is extremely difficult, especially when that atmosphere involves girls having their genitals mutilated, being repeatedly raped and beaten as a standard practice, and being forced into marriages without having even seen their prospective spouses. Loveless mothering comes from the loveless growing up of females, and it does not take a scholar to know how females are treated under Islamic gender apartheid. If we expect Palestine to stop terrorizing Israel, we have to help them treat girls better, as some are doing by starting parenting centers and other projects that strengthen families there. Only improving childrearing will help in the reduction of the production of "walking bomb" terrorists.
FP: And as a follow-up Mr. DeMause, how would you conclude on the MSA’s Nazi-like cartoon slandering David Horowitz in the context of what you just said?
DeMause: The slandering of Horowitz of course invites violence toward him, as the early slandering of Jews by Nazis invited the later death camps. When the early Nazis cartooned Jews and showed them as "useless eaters" and "blood-poisoners," Hitler actually told his staff to hold off actually killing Jews because it would invite retaliation from other nations and would hinder the militarization of Germany. Later, as the 1930s produced bigger German armies and air forces, he finally could allow the Holocaust to begin in earnest.
The cartooning of Horowitz this way certainly invites violence toward him as a "dirty Jew." I have experienced something of the same thing when cartooned and called "Mickey DeMouse the psycho-nut" by those who resent my scholarly research findings. That Horowitz and I continue to express opinions that anger certain forces means we have chosen to ignore the latent violence our opinions may stir up. In fact, this very symposium may seem too controversial to some who might cite it against us. I hope not. Scholarly research should result in more understanding, not more violence.
Levin: I again concur with much of what has been said about the psychodynamic factors in the Arab and broader Muslim world, including the psychological impact of endemic child abuse and abuse of women, that contribute to genocidal hatred towards Jews. But I would once more suggest that a key to the current burgeoning of Jew-hatred, as reflected in the cartoon of David Horowitz, is the role of Arab and other Muslim leaders in promoting such hatred.
In this context, I would take issue with Dr. Gutmann’s suggestion that those Jew-haters who routinely equate Jews with Nazis do so because their superegos forbid them to call directly for the mass murder of Jews and so they do so indirectly via the Nazi/Jew equation, which in essence characterizes the Jews as worthy of elimination. In fact, many in the Arab world who both deny the Holocaust and equate Jews with Nazis also call directly for the annihilation of the Jews, and such calls are widespread in Arab society.
For example, Sheikh Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, has said that if all Jews would come to Israel it would save his supporters and allies the trouble of having to hunt the Jews down worldwide to eliminate them. And, of course, the reference to Mohammed insisting the time of judgment will not come until all Jews are eliminated, until the rocks and trees call out, O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him, is a sermon staple in mosques throughout the Arab and larger Muslim world.
But this absence of superego inhibitions to calls for mass murder are, again, characteristic of totalitarian movements. Indeed, as Freud himself suggested, the leaders of such movements in effect set themselves up as their followers’ superego, encouraging and demanding that followers suspend any moral impulses that run counter to the leaders’ guidance. To bend to such moral impulses is cast as betrayal of the leader and the totalitarian cause. As the leader succeeds in becoming his followers’ superego he gains the ability to have all his dictates, including the extermination of targeted groups, embraced as "morally" imperative objectives.
This totalitarian tack brings us back directly to the discussions of the dynamics of early experience as they relate to Jew-hatred. The superego emerges as a child’s response to parental guidance, criticism, disciplining; it is the internalization of inferred parental "morality," an internalization driven by the wish to please parents. Totalitarian leaders seek to infantilize followers, to get them to view the leader as the parent who must be pleased and whose pleasing is the definition of "morality," and to then use that embrace of the leader as parent to enact the leaders’ directives, including mass murder of his targeted scapegoats.
Dr. Lachkar cited Winnicott’s concept of "at-one-ment," by which Winnicott sought to convey the intensity of the bond between mother and child in the earliest stages of development, indeed their virtual merger. Winnicott’s statement that there is no such thing as an infant, his suggestion that the infant has no psychological existence separate from his mother, was intended to make the same point. This merger is the goal of the totalitarian: To have his followers surrender any individuality, including any individual conscience or moral judgment, to the leader and to construe his will, his morality, his very being, as identical to the will and being of the leader. We can validly cite the role of women in Arab and broader Muslim societies, and the abuse of children in those societies, as contributing to the willingness both of young men to become suicide bombers and of their mothers’ to celebrate their sons’ "martyrdom." But we should not lose sight of the role of secular and religious leaders in harnessing the psychological scars of early experience to their own political ends, including mass murder.
If there is any disinclination of those Arab leaders who promote Jew-hatred to advocate genocide directly, it is essentially only when addressing Western audiences. This allows those Westerners who concur with them in scapegoating the Jews, in casting Jews as Nazis and therefore worthy of extermination without explicitly calling for that extermination, to embrace the genocidal agenda behind the figleaf of "moral" criticism of Israeli policies.
Jamie posed the question of what can be done to expose Arab attacks on the Jews in myriad speeches, texts and cartoons, such as the cartoon caricaturing David Horowitz, for what they are, and to confront our culture’s apparent indifference to their message. Of course, in many circles, including in academia, there is widespread support for that message. An essential part of that confrontation should be constant citation of Arab and Muslim leaders’ explicit calls for genocide coupled with expressions of sympathy and support for those same leaders and their followers from their American fellow travelers; that is, explicit demonstration that such support, and silence regarding the genocidal agenda of those leaders and their followers, amounts to complicity in their genocidal agenda. We must make clear that what we are dealing with in the toleration of, and too often rationalization of and support for, hate-mongering such as that reflected in the Horowitz cartoon is the re-emergence, particularly on our campuses, of a genocidal Left, with Jews as its target.
Gutmann: In the last round I proposed that Anti-Semites evade the Superego taboo against murder by "Nazifying" the Jews, thereby justifying their elimination. Taking issue with me, Dr. Levin argues for a different dynamic: in his view, anti-Semites neutralize their murderous wishes by conceding their superego functions to charismatic leaders, who have no compunctions about killing Jews. I have no argument with Dr. Levin's idea, that the superego is overcome by conceding it to a maximum leader. There are many roads to the Holocaust, and Dr. Levin has named one of them, while I traced another.
But whatever routes they took, it is clear that the genocides have succeeded in liberating themselves from superego constraints. Not too long ago the Arab extremists and their allies still had relatively modest goals: all they asked for was politicide – the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. But currently Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad for example, boldly call for the Final Solution - the genocide of the Jewish people, as well as their "Filthy" state.
How has the Superego of Arab extremists been by-passed and/or nullified? Following Dr. Levin's thesis, we do find that the words of the Prophet Muhammad are being spun to sanctify the murder of Jews. We don't know if Muhammad was in fact a serious Jew-hater, but zealous scholars are spinning the Koran and the Hadith, it would seem successfully, to convince the Faithful that he was. Commanded by Allah's prophet, mass murder becomes holy.
Following up on my perspective, we do find ample evidence that Israel and the Jewish people are being demonized, rendered fit for execution - and not only as Nazis. Following the Six-Day's war, when the Star of David was hoisted over a unified Jerusalem, the Palestinians discovered that they were the new Christ, and that the Jews of Falastin were once again his Crucifiers. This merger of the Palestinians with the butchered Christ, and the Jews with his ancient killers, is powerful stuff, and the deicidal charge was picked up and echoed in western media (cartoonists again).
Many Western churchmen had been shocked, in 1967, by the Jew's repossession of Jerusalem, and so it is not surprising that a number of European and British clergymen anointed the Palestinians as the Christ-like victims of the Jews. I contend that the revived anti-Semitism of the Europeans owes a lot to this conflation of the modern Jew with the crucifiers of their savior. Historically, this charge of Deicide - the Jew as Christ-Killer - prepared the world for the current accusation, of Genocide: David Horowitz and the rest of us Jews as Nazis.
What to do about it? Say "Never Again," teach it to our kids, and prepare for war.
FP: Dr. Theodore Dalrymple, Dr. Kenneth Levin, Dr. Nancy Kobrin, Dr. Peter Raddatz, Dr. Joanie Lachkar, Dr. David Gutmann and Lloyd deMause, thank you for joining Frontpage Symposium.
Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.