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The blogger known as has posted an article entitled by of the in . In the article, Dr. El-Sarraj seeks to identify the causes of the differences between the first intifada (uprising) of 1987-1991, which "was characterized by an overwhelming sense of solidarity, resilience and commitment to moral values, " and the ongoing second intifada, "which has been dominated by chaos, disintegration and division. " Based on what has been learned by the GCMHP in its work with the boys of the first intifada who have grown up to be the men of the second intifada, Dr. El-Sarraj locates the decisive difference in trauma. Several aspects of this argument are especially interesting to me. In , I discuss the ways that traumatized cultures become traumatizing cultures. While virtually all human cultures are both traumatized and truamatizing at this stage in human history, armed conflicts and other human-generated disasters can intensify and exacerbate the process. Ibuprofen 400mg pills $195.00 as dr. El-Sarraj writes, "Psychological research worldwide has shown that ongoing armed conflicts result in what is known as chronic social toxication which makes people and children less sensitive and more ruthless, less rational and more impulsive, less conversant and more violent. " That appears to be happening within Palestine right now, where "bizarre acts of revenge, torture and killing" have been perpetrated "in the recent clashes between Fatah and Hamas. " Dr. El-Sarraj shows how the psychological defense mechanism known as identification with the aggressor is hard at work in Palestine, thanks to torture, beatings by soldiers, and other atrocities committed by the Israeli authorities in response to the first intifada. First described by Anna Freud -- the abused daughter of Sigmund who, despite the identification with the aggressor inherent in her own embrace of his malignant theories about female development and childhood sexuality, had many smart things to say based on her own careful and empathic engagement with children -- identification with the aggressor is an unconscious maneuver wherein a victimized person copes with the unbearable feeling of helplessness by adopting attitudes or behaviors of the powerful perpetrator. In Aftershock, I mention Israeli abuses of Palestinians as an example of identification with the aggressor in the wake of the Holocaust. Now, it seems, the victims of Israeli aggression are the next wave of victims to embrace the values of their violators. Dr. El-Sarraj ibuprofen 400mg pills $195.00 writes:
The commonest problem arising from torture is the violence which the victim directs to women and children, which in its turn makes the home a battlefield. The reason for such phenomenon is that the torture a young man is subjected to makes him harbor a desire for revenge by violent means and subsequently he unconsciously resorts to identify with the Israeli torturer.And:
In our work at the Gaza Community Mental Health Program we conducted a research on three thousand Gaza children. The study has found that those children were subjected to several traumatic and violent experiences including beating ibuprofen 400mg pills $195.00, bone-breaking, injury, tear gas and acts of killing and injury, all of which experiences have left indelible effects on their psych. Yet, to many, the most excruciating experience was seeing their fathers beaten helpless by Israeli soldiers without resistance. . . . No wonder then that the Palestinian child will see his model in that Israeli soldier and that his language will be the language of force and his toys and games will be the toys and games of death.But what I notice is missing from Dr. El-Sarraj's analysis of the situation is a gendered perspective. Perhaps this is because he supports partriarchal values, as evidenced by his comment about "the phenomenon of social disintegration and disunity which is manifest in the decline of the father's authority with all the moral values it embodies. " Whatever the reason for its omission, the lack of a gender analysis in this article leads Dr. El-Sarraj to miss a key component of the problem: violent/violated masculinity. What we have here is not just identification with the aggressor but gendered identification with the aggressor: male victims identifying with the violent masculinity of male aggressors as a means of coping with assaults to their (or their fathers') masculinity. Torture is typically highly sexualized, with male captives deliberately made to feel shamefully demasculinized in the eyes of their male captors. This process only works when both men believe masculinity to be superior to femininity and assume that masculinity equals strength while femininity equals helplessness. Thus, torture tends to violate a man's sense of his own masculinity while reinforcing his mistaken belief that masculinity is a superior identity that resides in the ability to overpower others. Is it any wonder, then, that tortured men will, when they get back home, tend to turn to the time-honored method of elevating themselves by beating on women? And, when they come into conflict with other men, should we be surprised that they will use any means possible to assert themselves as "men" (i. e. , people with power over others)? It seems to me, then, that the only way out of this particular cycle of violence is to directly address gender, not by bolstering the masculinity of the victims of male-on-male violence but by [ibuprofen 400mg pills $195.00] challenging the social construct of masculinity itself. My guess is that, if this were done in the course of treatment of torture survivors, they would obtain more substantial relief while at the same time becoming less likely to violate others as a means of reasserting their violated sense of masculinity. Before closing, let me note that despite the absense of a feminist analysis in Dr. El-Sarraj's article, the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme that he directs does have a directed by Shadia El Sarraj, who writes of the dual oppression of Palestinian women who must endure both "the violent environment and a seemingly eternal victimization by our own authoritarian and patriarchal society. " Thus it may be that the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme attends more closely to gender than the article by Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj would suggest.