Israel–"From Trauma to Trust"?

There ought to be more to what underlies Israel’s policies than the Shoah’s traumatic suffering–When one writes a blog and one tries not to knee-jerk or be too superficial, one reads a lot. So much of that reading is a must, or have-to in some way, rarely does a piece stand out because it offers a penetrating idea. Avraham Burg wrote such a piece published a few days ago in the Los Angeles Times’ Op-Ed section. A former speaker of the Israeli parliament,now a businessman and author, he wrote about what it was that has made him retreat from Israeli politics–their focus on the Shoah. To him the way the Shoah has permeated all aspects of Israeli political life, interferes with the vision necessary to make the country inspire others. “The deeper we are stuck in our Auschwitz past, the more difficult it becomes to be free of it,” he writes. An individual overly focussed on a past trauma would be said not to have digested, learned, processed or overcome it. More than likely we would suggest he or she find a good therapist. The principle is the same for a country, although obviously nations can’t be referred to therapy. An individual is more than the suffering he or she has endured, so is a nation. A religion too is more than how to address suffering. Hopefully Israel will find a way to honor its history, including the Shoah, without that part of its past running the risk of becoming a stumbling block to getting beyond it, or as Mr. Burg puts it, go “from trauma to trust”. If it does, then Israel will surely find the key to its non-ending war with Palestinians and its promise of justice, tolerance diversity and democracy will shine not only for all Israelis, but for all in the region, for Jews everywhere and even for the entire world.