23 thoughts on “Mysh: Israeli Visual Artist’s Meditation on Jewish Suffering, Psychic Trauma and Israeli Racism – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I think you captured the essence of the artists message in the first cartoon perfectly.One minor correction Richard: Shavuot commenced on Saturday night. The demonstration that turned into a riot was three days earlier.

  2. I think the point of Mysh’s cartoon is that most Israelis GENUINELY see themselves as the victim and don’t see themselves as an objective person would, the thug in the picture. There is no other way to understand how some Jews have become what they have in the likes of the violence and incitement against the weak.

    By the way, I would assume the second caricature is meant to be knesset member of the National Unity Party, Michael ben Ari, the self-declared replacement to Meir Kehana, who was present at the demonstration and amongst the main inciters there. The picture looks like him (white kippah and glasses) and not like Eli Yishai who wants to deport illegal immigrants, but is in no way a supporter of violence or vigilantism

  3. “… historical trauma has led to political dysfunction.”

    I’d take exception to that. Scratch the surface and you’ll see it’s not the historical trauma itself that’s lead to this dysfunction, but rather its continuous political exploitation.

    1. I think you are right: Continual references to the Holocaust are often intended to remind Jews of their vulnerability and remind others what is owed to the Jews. Read Finkelstein on “The Holocaust Industry.” It is real eye opener of how history has been unfairly and unreasonably exploited.

      The cartoon is about self-image and the reading that suggests that the bully Jew of today still sees him/her self as a vulnerable child subjected to racist domination. And the numerous cries of “anti-Semitism” (and this is really bizarre because, in the usual case, the anti-Semitism is found in political speech and not in a beating on the street!) reflect this self-image. It is the cry of the victim, but Israelis are not the victims at all. They are the perps.

      1. What I was trying to say was that the Israeli collective PTSD is mostly “self” induced by Israeli politicians for external as well as internal political gain.

  4. Isn’t that the definition of psychosis when you image of yourself varies widely from your image as perceived by the rest of the world?

    I really think they have created a bubble in Israel, detached from reality, immersed in myths and falsehoods yet ever so self-righteous and confident that “we know better than the rest of the world”.

  5. Yes, i know i will never win a popular contest in this Blog, but boy you are an hypocrite.

    First – you never express your contempt when Yariv Oppenheimer from Shalom Achshav said the settlers were like cancer in the state of Israel, in fact you didn’t write a word about it. the excuses he made while interviewed by Yael Dayan were similar to those of MK. Regev. (Hebrew)


    Second, watch the way you address those who don’t agree with your opinions usually with vile ad-hominem and generalities.

    and to address the subject of the post, the political discussion in Israel is of extreme violent (verbal) nature, from left and from the right, that style must change, but it will change only when both sides will point fingers inward and not outwards (you Richard, Included)

    1. Wow, because comparing Africans – who leave their countries due to civil war, dictatorship or tremendous poverty to seek a better life – to a cancer is like comparing the settlers to the same disease.
      You’re amazing ! Do you also think German National-Socialists who in the ’30 compared Jews to a cancer is the moral equivalent of saying that Nazism is a cancer ?
      And just in case you’ll try again: this is NOT neither the law of Goodwin nor an ‘ad hominem’….

        1. Like when I posted the figures you claimed I pulled out of my imagination on the number of refugees per 1000 inhabitants, leaving Israel far behind contrary to your claims.
          Yeah, you rather not respond than admitting you didn’t know what you were talking about.

          1. Take it as a compliment, DY.

            Hasbara operatives are labouring to convert the uninformed into misinformed. For this purpose, engaging in public debate with an well-informed, intelligent adversary is grossly counter-productive.

    2. Settlers engage in acts of unpunished terrorism against the State. Settlers torch mosques & murder Palestinians. Settlers steal huge portions of Palestinian private land. Settlers advocate murdering national leaders. Settlers advocate toppling the secular state & replacing it with a halachic theocracy. Settlers want a lot & give nothing in return.

      What do Africans do? They scrape by trying to survive & become contributing members of society. They flee prosecution & penury for a better life for themselves & their children. Africans ask for little except to be allowed to live as human beings.

      Now, what were you saying about “cancer?” Who is a cancer & who is a contributor?

      The political discussion of the Israeli left is not extremely violent. Not even violent. It is the right that introduces verbal and actual physical violence inspired at least in part by the ultra violence of the IDF & security forces. It will NOT end until/unless the right is either vanquished domestically or by international intervention. If the left ever threatened to take over politically, the right would engage in a violent putsch if it could muster the force. But the left will never again threaten to take power in Israel until circumstances change radically. Perhaps not in my lifetime.

      1. Settlers engage in acts of unpunished terrorism against the State – This is pure BS:
        1. Is it all settlers ? not even close, and besides with respect to the unpunished
        Jack Taytel will admit to the murder of two Palestinians and will spend life in jail (Today’s bibiton page 23)
        The two police officer who left a Palestinian on the side of the road (he died 2 days later) were convicted in killing (same page)
        2. Settlers steal huge portions of Palestinian private land, is it all settlers ? as much as all the illegal immigrants were involved in the recent rape attempts. and just to set the record straight most settlements are not build on private land. (Sasson report is available here – http://alturl.com/4ma2c)
        3. What do the Sudanese do ? rape, thievery, violence – is it all of them ? absolutely not, but hey if you are generalizing, so can I.

        Unfortunately nothing will change, fingers will be pointed from left to right and from right to left, but nothing will change.

        1. What do the Sudanese do ? rape, thievery, violence

          You’ve violated a major comment rule by using unfounded racist stereotypes. As I’ve already warned you once, you are now moderated. Any comments that violate comments rules will not be published.

        2. Settlers — well-organised as a collective — vehemently support the landgrab, do their worst to frustrate attempts of making amends and, more often than not, back anti-Palestinian offenders.

          Law-enforcement is far better informed and enjoys far better co-operation within the African refugee communities than it does within the settlers’ fraternity.

        3. “Nothing looks more like an African than another African” seems to be the saying in Israel, but only a minority of the African illegal immigrants/refugees are Sudanese, less than 3000 from South Soudan, a few thousand from Sudan and the vast majority are from Eritrea, former part of Ethiopia. That’s maybe why the ‘pogromists’ went for Ethiopian Jews too on Wednedday night, they couldn’t tell the difference…

          And yes, ALL settlers are participating in stealing Palestinian land and ressouces, and their presence across the Green Line is a violation of the Geneva Convention.
          If I read Liron correctly, he’s in fact positive to the Palestinian Right of Return or did I miss something ?

  6. this is the true point of comparison between israel and the US, the real shared characteristic, a nearly ubiquitous psychotic experience. not shared ‘western values’, whatever the eff that means. woods lot has a link to a great paul fussel essay on the lost lesson of WWII in american psychology. a concise summary from the link to the atlantic article:

    “the real war [WWII] was tragic and ironic beyond the power of any literary or philosophic analysis to suggest, but in unbombed America especially, the meaning of the war seemed inaccessible. Thus, as experience, the suffering was wasted. The same tricks of publicity and advertising might have succeeded in sweetening the actualities of Vietnam if television and a vigorous, uncensored, moral journalism hadn’t been brought to bear. Because the Second World War was fought against palpable evil, and thus was a sort of moral triumph, we have been reluctant to probe very deeply into its murderous requirements. America has not yet understood what the war was like and thus has been unable to use such understanding to reinterpret and redefine the national reality and to arrive at something like public maturity.”

    the ‘good war’ mythology is tacit permission to conduct a world war without end, and without a hint of irony, and israelis raised on the second hand suffering of their parents and grandparents turn every morality inside out. israel is not a democracy. it is saudi arabia with transvestites. it is iran with ecstasy labs. its morality is the calculus of the 1200 calorie diet, white phosphorous and a hail storm of unexploded ordnance. it is the civilizing mission of barbed wire, reservations and geronimo’s skull. it is a petulant teenaged bastard, adopting its parents at gun point and groping its teacher.

    1. this is the true point of comparison between israel and the US,

      Well said Marc B,

      the US really is a melting pot, ironically if it did what Israeli rightists want, and try to do, the US would expel it’s Jews to Israel.

    2. The guy called Liron is a good example of that.

      I posted links in another thread about this subject showing how rape, sexual harrasment, incest is rife in Israel, and he didn’t comment on that.

  7. RE: “The first work of his [Mysh’s] I saw was this breathtaking cartoon, A Problem of Self-Image, which speaks so profoundly to elements of the Israeli psyche and explains how historical trauma has led to political dysfunction.” ~ R.S.

    SEE: Israel’s Defense Chief OK’s Hundreds of Israeli Deaths, By Ira Chernus, CommonDreams.org, 11/11/11

    (excerpt). . . An essential motive of Zionism from its beginning was a fierce desire to end the centuries of Jewish weakness, to show the world that Jews would no longer be pushed around , that they’d fight back and prove themselves tougher than their enemies. There was more to Zionism than that. But the “pride through strength” piece came to dominate the whole project. Hence the massive Israeli military machine with its nuclear arsenal.
    But you can’t prove that you’re stronger than your enemies unless you’ve also got enemies — or at least believe you’ve got enemies — to fight against. So there has to be a myth of Israel’s insecurity, fueled by an image of vicious anti-semites lurking somewhere out there, for Zionism to work. Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran has gradually risen to the top of Israel oh-so-necessary enemies list. Iranophobia is rampant in Israel, as one Israeli scholar writes, because “Israel needs an existential threat.” [Iran is the external “existential threat”. Demographics (non-Jews) are the internal “existential threat”. – J.L.D.]
    Anyone who has grown up in Israel, or in the U.S. Jewish community (as I did), and paid attention knows all this. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/11-2

    P.S. ALSO SEE – Iranophobia: The Panic of the Hegemons, by Ira Chernus, Tikkun Magazine, November/December 2010
    LINK – http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/iranophobia-the-panic-of-the-hegemons-3

    1. DY — Yeah, it could be about any country in a sense. But, Israel is so close to the caraciature, the extremes of power versus vulnerability in the self-image.

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