One of us has practiced clinical psychology specializing in transactional analysis and family systems therapy, has developed substance abuse treatment and prevention programs, and is currently a behavioral health scientist.
There is a striking correspondence between familiar clinical patterns and the collective relationships between Israel, the Palestinians and the United States.
First, the manipulative and destructive transactional patterns known as "games" involve triangles involving the roles of persecutor, victim and rescuer. For 60 years Israel has cruelly persecuted the Palestinian Arabs, and has been continuously rescued from the natural consequences of their behavior by the U.S.
The outcomes of games, however, inevitably involve role switches. The U.S. became the victim on 9/11, an attack clearly motivated (from many statements over several years by bin Laden) by anger over our knee-jerk support of Israel in their violence, land theft, and oppression. This was a suppressed finding of the 9/11 Commission, reflecting another characteristic of the most destructive games - hidden agendas that remain unrevealed until the payoff. As many wise Israelis are intuitively sensing, Israel too is heading for a self-destructive payoff, isolating themselves in a self-made ghetto after claiming to have been ghettoized over the centuries by others.
Second, this 3-party interaction fits the classic addictive/abusive relationship model - Israel obsessed with preserving its "Jewish character" and Jewish majority at any cost, Palestinians striking back just often enough to keep the Israeli persecution flowing, and the U.S. enabling the pathological system under influence of the Israeli lobby.
In the treatment of addictive and abusive disorders, 12-step programs have been shown highly effective. The the most powerful therapeutic steps are renunciation of grandiosity, the "fearless moral inventory" of self-examination and truthfulness, and commitment to make restitution to those who have been victimized. These steps simultaneously heal the self-image of the aggressor and the relationship with the victim.
Following is a suggested treatment plan for Israel.
A PRESCRIPTION FOR ISRAELI RECOVERY
The solution to any puzzle requires access to all the pieces, many of which have been hidden under the rug in the 6-decade unsolved conundrum of Israel/Palestine. The meticulous documentation by Israeli historian Ilan Pappť in his book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, provides powerful, long-concealed pieces that destroy the facile persuasiveness of what Norman Finkelstein calls the "Holocaust Industry" used to justify Israel's abuse of elemental morality, universally declared human rights and international law in its treatment of the Palestinians. Necessary additional pieces are the 1948 UN records of Zionist terrorism (two leaders of which - Menachim Begin and Yitzhac Shamir - became future Israeli prime ministers) that established Israel and inflicted the Nakba upon the Palestinian Arabs in 1947-48.
Any builder knows the foundation is all-important. Without a solid one, the framing, finishing and superstructures become increasingly cracked, sagging and unstable over time. Built upon a foundation of ruthless terrorism, ethnic cleansing, property theft, and systematic cover-up, Israel and its American lobby have fought for 60 years to conceal that foundation rather than repair it.
The framing and finishing have simply compounded the original flaws, including apartheid laws and institutions within Israel that discriminate against non-Jewish citizens, false claims used to justify its pre-emptive attacks and further land seizures in 1967, its deliberate attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 to prevent exposure of Israeli war crimes in the Sinai, and its asymmetrical violence throughout the occupation including massive and unrelenting property seizure and destruction. These flesh out the full, ugly picture, which has been carefully hidden for decades from the American public by mythic propaganda.
But the rest of the world, with a more honest press, knows better. It has long been clear from voting records on over 90 UN resolutions condemning Israel - which they have steadfastly ignored - and another 40 or so vetoed by the US, that Israel has no friend in the world but us. In every Security Council resolution proposed to condemn Israel, ours has been the only vote opposed. It's usually been 12-1, 13-1, 14-1, plus an abstention or two. In the General Assembly the majority has usually been too overwhelming to require a vote count. When counted, the vote has been in the neighborhood of 140-150 against Israel, with the US, Israel, Australia, and a few tiny US-dependent South Pacific states opposing the condemnation. It's not just the Arab states, or the Muslim states, but truly a worldwide consensus, and one of long standing.
Now, finally, the relentless duplicity imposed upon the American public is collapsing. Readily available information on the Internet, the Walt & Mersheimer paper and recent book, the Seymour Hersch New Yorker article exposing the IDF/Pentagon planning to attack Lebanon long before their excuse arose, web-published atrocities in Lebanon, public exposure of Israeli apartheid by Nobel Peace laureates Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter as well as Nelson Mandela, the Rosen & Weissman espionage trial, James Petrasí detailed book on the Israeli lobby and its pivotal role in bringing about the Iraq War, divestment movements in the UK and Australia, an increasingly honest Israeli press rejecting Zionism, and the many active opposition groups within Israel are rapidly eroding the ability of AIPAC, ADL et al. to control the conversation.
Once Israel loses U.S. public support they will be isolated, listing unsteadily upon their deeply flawed foundation and howling about the holocaust to a world no longer buying it as an excuse for their abuses. A diversionary nuclear temper tantrum against Iran could result. Sane Israeli and American Jews must take control of the asylum.
Their jig is almost up, and their only hope of enduring is to rebuild their foundation from the ground up. This will require humility, admission of guilt, abject apology, and appropriate restitution. The latter must include, at a minimum, establishment of a single, unified, ethnically non-discriminatory, democratic state, or alternately, establishment of an independent Palestinian state with withdrawal to the 1967 borders while giving (not destroying, as they did in Gaza) all the settlements to the Palestinians and assisting their economic development which Israel has systematically destroyed, fulfilling the right of return (and/or compensation) to the Palestinian refugees that Israel promised as a condition of admission to the UN long ago, hospitably accepting an international security force to protect Palestine, compensation to all victims and survivors of victims of the occupation, and providing full citizenship rights for all Arab and other non-Jewish citizens of Israel.
In short, Israel must adopt a basic 12-step program to withdraw from their addiction to abusive power, including a "fearless moral inventory" and voluntary commitment to restitution, and by so doing, to join the community of nations from which they have, from the beginning, chosen to remain self-estranged. The truth they fear would ultimately set them free.
Below is the step-by-step logic
Israel was established on a morally indefensible foundation of terrorism and ethnic cleansing.
No modern state under modern international law and human rights scrutiny can securely build democratic institutional structures on so deeply flawed a foundation.
By persisting on this path, Israel has ghettoized itself and become a pariah in the world community.
The US is Israelís only friend and protector, both military and diplomatic, playing an enabling role to Israelís power addiction and "family secret" of historical and collective abuse concealed from the US public - the inconvenient truth that Arab Palestinians are the legitimate victims of Israeli abuse and illegalities.
This addictive transactional system based on concealment and projection of blame is now eroding due to numerous forces including the internet which have made the public information supply uncontrollable by the Israeli Lobby.
Israel is intensely engaged in an internal struggle with vigorous public dialogue (unlike the US) to establish a morally acceptable and politically viable national identity.
To achieve redemption and re-admission to the family of nations, Israel must rebuild its foundation through a "12-step" process including admission of guilt toward those it has wronged followed by appropriate compensation (as Germany has done with Israel).
Americans, especially the American Jewish community, must recognize the inconvenient truths, cease enabling, and support forces in Israel that demand compliance with international law and adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
To reverse so chronic and intractable a pattern, this will undoubtedly require widespread divestment, attachment of strict contingencies to any continuing foreign aid provided Israel, and demands by American Jews that their lobbies support a negotiated, comprehensive redress of Palestinian grievances.
Simultaneously, both Israel and its US Lobby must relinquish their projective defense mechanism and cease to demonize Arabs rightfully resisting the invasion, occupation and expropriation of their lands and violent domination of their people.
Redress must include not only withdrawal to the 1967 boundaries, support for an independent Palestinian state and return of refugees with full compensation, but massive economic assistance in the establishment of an Arab Palestine to compensate for its relentless economic devastation by Israel for the past 59 years.
This will require exposure, admission, repudiation and abandonment of the Zionist ideology and goals.
Demand Freedom, Justice and Equality in the Holy Land