A bullied nation

At Think-Israel, psychologist Babs Barron considers the effects of bullying on nations – in particular, the results of local and worldwide “pressure” on Israel – in terms of Jungian psychoanalysis. Excerpt:

I have been told that Israel is desperate to be liked, but, if that is the case, her government appears to believe that this will happen by magic and without its having to do anything to help the process along. It ignores the importance of the work done by the army of volunteer hasbara advocates throughout the world and seems to assume that the “nice guys really” message will somehow get out even when the government itself does not offer formal support for hasbara/advocacy. Similarly, the Israeli government appears to believe (equally magically) that if it apologises for imagined as well as real mistakes the world will once again accept it on equal terms. Israel’s alleged involvement in the Gaza beach bombing is a case in point, where it apologised and took all the blame for having caused the deaths by shelling of eight Palestinians before the full circumstances which absolved it became known.

This last is, in fact, a typical response of the emotionally bullied (and Israel is increasingly aware of the reaction of her shadow self to emotional bullying over which she has no control). Indeed, I would argue that, far from being the bully in the Middle East as she is so often represented in the media, Israel seems more and more to take on the characteristics of the emotionally bullied. 

Although the focus of the article is on Israel, the conclusions it draws are equally applicable to other victims of inter-state bullying around the world.


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