Tikkun Magazine

My Response to Anti-Palestinian Vandals Who Defaced My Home

Challenged by interviewer Michael Krasny on the NPR affiliate KQED’s Forum show Tuesday morning to defend one part of Embracing Israel/Palestine (my claim that the path to peace requires a transformation of consciousness, and that Israel and Palestine not only could live together in peace but that there is no peace and justice for Israel without peace and justice for Palestine, so the best way to be both pro-Israel is to be pro-Palestine, and the best way to be pro-Palestine is to also be pro-Israel), I argued that the majority of both Israelis and Palestinians actually want peace but cannot believe that the other side wants it too.

It is this depressive paranoid certainty that “the other” wants to destroy us that has been a central part of what keeps Israeli and Palestinians from finding the path to their common interests, just as it is a similar paranoid and pathogenic fantasy that keeps the U.S. population willing to finance an inflated military which keeps in an ending state of hyper-alertness and makes it a ready tool for imperial ambitions of the wealthy.  I also presented my psychological assessment of both sides and my view that consciousness transformation, though difficult, is both possible and absolutely necessary, both in Israel/Palestine and in the U.S.

The answer from the Jewish Right came tonight in the fourth attack on my house, this time on the first night of Chanukah (Dec. 20th). This one was relatively mild–two black-hooded men pasted signs on the outside of my house and garage saying “Palestine is an Arab fantasy.” They were taking their clue from Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich who has tried to out-do his Republican opponents in the primaries by, among other things, showing that he can be even more extreme on Israel than anyone else. Thus the notion that Palestine is an “invented nation.”

It seems obvious to me that the attack, while responding to the NPR interview with me this morning, is part of the same attempt to terrorize me and my family as the past three assaults. As the police made clear to us the last time, the goal is not to destroy property as much as to remind us that they know where we live, and that we are not safe. Needless to say, in a world where Israeli right-wingers this past week burned a mosque and assaulted an Israeli army post for allegedly being too pro-Arab, there is no way to be sure that all these warning shots at me are only meant to scare and do not suggest that worse may be coming if my book gets more attention.

But of course I will not be intimidated, and we will continue to look for venues to speak about the book and to reach out to media to challenge the way they tend to present all Jews as standing behind Netanyahu, or at least to only quote those who do. And the best way you can help is to take my new book and talk about it to friends, neighbors, and create a study group in your neighborhood, your college or university, your church or synagogue, in which you read it carefully (and critically–because we at Tikkundon’t seek “followers” but rather “comrades” to help us in the task of building a new consciousness, and that requires having the sophistication that only comes when one listens and reads critically and not as though I was “a guru” to be followed, but merely a teacher whose teachings need to be thought about seriously). And once again, I forgive these psychological terrorists–I believe that they must be driven by great fear for our people and great inner pain, and I pray that they may recover from all the anger that leads them to project onto me the hatred that is eating away at their souls.

I thought, however, that you might be interested in reading this Huffington Post article by MJ Rosenberg, whose columns we publish. He takes on Newt Gingrich’s perspective and answers those who think that Palestine is just an Arab fantasy.