Jonathan Cook: the Blog from Nazareth -

Israel and ideologies of hatred

Lots of interesting things to chew over in this interview with Israeli sociologist Niza Yanay on ideologies of hatred. Excerpts below:

The media often describes the suicide attack as a hate crime, but I have never come across a report describing the US drone attacks in Pakistan – that have killed over 3,500 people – as hate crimes. This suggests that hatred as ideology is at work. And this ideology helps determine who is blamed for being the initiators of hate, who becomes the target of hatred, and, in fact, when hatred counts as hatred at all …

It is not surprising that people react with hatred toward those who humiliate them, control their movement, or deny their rights … This is hatred as a response to power. But there is also hatred as an operation of power. Israel’s persistent claim that it has no partner for peace is, I would claim, part of an ideology of hatred. The role of Israel’s no-partner myth is to portray the Palestinians as primitive and warmongering and in this way it hopes to circumvent and conceal its own desire to receive moral approval from the Palestinians …

Often, the ideology of hatred operates side by side and in tandem with humanitarianism. The American initiative to build secular schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan is one example, while Israeli food and medical aid to Gaza in the midst of Israel’s military attacks on the Strip is another. Such humanitarian acts allow the Americans and Israelis to think of themselves as decent and righteous people. But in effect, these humanitarian interventions are the continuation of war and violence in a language of “love full of hatred” or “hatred full of love” …

The prohibition to love the other, at work within national politics, is perhaps the core paradoxical symptom of nationalism and its defence mechanisms … On the one hand, the colonialist wishes to dismiss the colonial subject from thought and to imagine the colony clean of its natives, but, on the other hand, the coloniser knows that without its colonial subjects the colony and his domination has no meaning. The coloniser’s desire of the colonised signifies an unconscious politics according to which the coloniser must keep the colonised subject alive. Only when the coloniser becomes indifferent to the life of the other does genocide or ethnic cleansing occur.


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