Off base on denial

To the Editor:

As a doctoral-level practicing mental health clinician and university professor of 40 years, as well as a leader of a community of scholars advocating academically for Israel, I find Mr. Ben Ami’s and Ms. DeLee’s reference to the term denial completely inappropriate and misused. Denial is a defense mechanism that does not allow individuals to accept reality or responsibility for their own perceptions or behaviors.

In the article, the authors neither accept the reality of ongoing declared war on Israel by many of her neighbors since the state’s creation. The authors never accept responsibility for the fact that by pathologizing people who support Israel, given the reality of it being a state under seige, they are alienating themselves from effectiveness in Israel advocacy, not facilitating either converts to their position or the peace process in general.

Their assumptions are predicated on the fact that the instranigence of one side has hampered the peace process more than anything the people they eschew. Their language is accusatory and divisive, which is precisely antithetical to the cause of peace.

Divisive language and casting aspersions on others will not solve any of the complex issues; these leaders should be ashamed of themselves. As a progressive liberal strongly committed to Israel’s survival as a sovereign nation able to recognize the peaceful legitimate aspirations of her neighbors, I am greatly offended by this editorial and I suspect many of my like-minded colleagues are as well.

Edward Beck
Harrisburg, Pa.
 

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