“The excesses committed in the name of the duty to remember are so great that we gladly appeal, for reasons of common sense and politeness, to the duty to forget. Let’s think for a moment of the unfortunate hero of Borges, Funes the Memorioso, who never forgets anything and, therefore, lives in hell, unable to organize the chaos that echoes in his poor head. The same thing happens to a group of people: by not wanting to forget, they risk confusing the present they live with a false, hallucinatory present, which parasitizes the first in the name of the unrepaired sins of the past.
The documentary Born in Gaza by Hernán Zin can be found on Netflix and Filmin. If possible, I recommend everyone watch it. It tells the story of ten children between six and fourteen years of age during the 2014 war, one of the many wars unleashed by Israel vs. Palestinians and Palestinians released vs. Israel.
These children talk about the bombing, the wounds they received, the terror they experience every day, and the hunger they suffer. They say that the life they live is not life and that dying is better. It is likely that these people, who were still children in 2014, are now Hamas militants and that they participated in the organization of terror on October 7.
If I were in your place instead of me, an old intellectual living comfortably in his house in an Italian city where currently there is no bombing, if I were one of the children under the bombs in 2014, now I’m a terrorist who just wants to kill an Israeli. Am I afraid?
Of course, I would be scared, but my quiet pacifism is just a privilege I enjoy because I didn’t spend my childhood in Gaza or places like Gaza.
Therefore, I believe that Israel has only one way to eliminate Hamas: kill all the Palestinians living in Gaza, in the occupied territories, and elsewhere: everyone, everyone, everyone, especially the children.
After all, that’s what they do, right? It’s called genocide, but it makes perfect sense.
European governments, quite rightly, supported the genocide; Macron says he wants to join the genocide in a coalition.
Scholz says that since Germany committed genocide in the past, it now must support those who commit genocide today.
Is this the only way to eradicate terrorism?
Perhaps there is another way to eliminate it: unconditional peace, rejection of victory, friendship, abandonment, and alliance between the victims: the victims of Hitler and the victims of Herod-Netanyahu.
But the victims, it seems, only wish to be executed and often succeed. Therefore, the spiral does not stop, and we do not know which vortex it is intended to feed.
There is something terrible in the minds of Palestinians living in terror. And there was something equally terrible in the minds of the Israelites.
But how do we judge the behavior of people and the outbreaks of violence that increase in collective life?
Can we judge the behavior of Hamas militants or Israelis in ethical or political terms?
Ethical reason is not in play, because ethics will be completely erased from the collective panorama of our time.
Ethics is the evaluation of action from the point of view of the welfare of others as self-perpetuation. But in the conditions of total war in which contemporary society operates, the other is the only enemy: this is the effect of the liberal-competitive infection and the nationalist infection: the defense of physical and imaginary territory means war.
Ethics is dead, and piety is dead. There is no ethics in the behavior of young people who grow up in prisons in Gaza because their minds cannot think of anything else (the Israeli soldier who is waiting for you with his weapon drawn at every crossroads) except a jailer, a torturer, an enemy, or a mortal. Each fragment (people, ethnic group, mafia, organization, party, family, or individual) desperately fights for its survival, like wolves fighting wolves.
Like ethical reason, political reason is no longer relevant in a situation where strategic decision is replaced by microdecisions of immediate survival.
Israel has reacted to Hamas’s brutal violence in a way that may or may not have been effective militarily. But it is not politically effective at all.
Israel’s ruling group is a group of corrupt gangsters who have been making movies for years with their cynicism and opportunism. Now they find themselves faced with a situation they never imagined, which exceeds their power to understand politics.
Israel lost its mind. Everything in the behavior of the Israelis shows that a psychotic crisis is taking place, which is harmful to the Palestinians but also harmful to the Israelis.
From an ethical point of view, Israel has long forgotten, even from the beginning of its existence, that others have the same humanity as you, have the same sensitivities as you, and, naturally, have the same rights that are up to you.
But also from a political perspective, the Israelis are taking steps that will prove to be very counterproductive for them.
I have read the statements of the politicians and soldiers in charge of Israel: they talk about human animals that must be exterminated; they talk about cutting off electricity, fuel, food, and water to the residents of Gaza (two and a half million). They said it, and they did it.
As they can? There is no ethical or political explanation. The only explanation for their behavior is psychopathy, psychic suffering, the desire for blood, terror, and death.
Therefore, it is necessary to explain this war in terms of psychopathogenesis, as an effect of the victims’ inability to heal their pain.
For some time now, I have been convinced that the only way of thinking capable of understanding the chain of violence that has developed in the Middle East and most of the world is psychoanalysis or psychopathogenealogy.
What is happening now in the Middle East is nothing but the last link in the chain that started with the First World War, the defeat of the Germans, and the punishment imposed by the Germans on the French and English at the Congress of Versailles in 1919. oppression and humiliation drove the German people to revenge; that desire for revenge was fulfilled in Adolf Hitler. The Jews were the chosen victims, who were blamed for the defeat of 1918.
The persecution and extermination of the Jews during the years of the Second World War caused great and lasting suffering that sought relief in violence and revenge against people who had nothing to do with the Holocaust but were vulnerable to being victims of the victim.
The humiliation suffered at the hands of the Nazis required psychic compensation, and this compensation was the persecution and extermination of the Palestinian people.
I believe that Israel will not recover from this terrible experience. The people of Israel are already irreparably divided, and Netanyahu will be responsible for the division caused and the lack of preparation that followed. But this is not enough, as the blatantly racist right in Israel is set to grow even stronger in this tsunami of hate.
Can we imagine that even in the case of an Israeli military victory after tens of thousands of Palestinian and Israeli deaths, the political dialectic will continue in the State of Israel?
I believe that Israel is headed for disintegration. How many Israelis want to stay in that desert? After what happens, what will happen? I believe that only those who have weapons will stay—only those who know how to kill and want to kill. A vortex of hatred against Hamas is now released, and tomorrow a sense of guilt will arise for being the authors of a certified genocide.
Politics cannot manage or understand this vortex.
Only a clinical view can understand, but I don’t believe it will cure. We are dealing with widespread psychosis with a very high power of contagion.
The first thing we need to do is avoid contagion and avoid ending up like Israeli politicians shouting drunken phrases to calm their anxiety.
But we must also create a cultural and psychic vaccine against contagion, and this task that psychoanalysis could not do in the last century is the task before us, if not later.