March 26, 2009

Hamas in Therapy

Hardly a week goes by without someone telling me about this or that 'outrageous' article appearing in some newspaper full of lies and totally unfair criticism of Israel. Here in Britain, it's mostly from the usual suspects like The Independent and The Guardian.

But "Therapy Today" ???
Take a look at this most despicable article they published as a front page feature this month.

I hope you will agree with the sentiments expressed in my letter to its editor which appears below.

But agreeing is not good enough.

I'm calling on all Jewish and pro-Israel members of the British Association for Counselling & Psycotherapy [BACP] to consider whether they wish to remain members of an organisation that publishes this kind of drivel, and then reinstates the article without apology or independent verification of the facts. Perhaps to also cancel their membership and subscription.

I'm calling on everyone on this blog list - especially those in the therapy and counselling profession - to send their own message to the editor:

And to copy its current president, Professor Cary Cooper CBE, at:

My own letter appears below:

To Sarah Brown

Editor, Therapy Today

My sister Susan has been a member of the BACP for more than 15 years. She was outraged by the front page article you published under the title: ‘Palestine - to resist is to exist’ and its emotive cover photo.

As children of Holocaust survivors, my sister and I are very sensitive to articles and statements which demonise the Jewish state, especially when comparisons are drawn to the Nazi extermination of half of our people in Europe. They were not killed because they were firing rockets at German schools, or blowing up families and kids in Berlin discotheques and pizzerias. They were exterminated simply for being Jewish.

Therefore, as someone who has read hundreds of articles and blogs on the Gaza situation, I can honestly say that your feature was one of the most egregious I have seen. It is replete with hearsay and pure Islamist propaganda. I spend a great deal of my time in Israel and the territories, and I know that the vast majority of accusations would simply not stand up to any kind of close scrutiny. Quotes attributed to self-appointed leaders of extreme left-wing NGOs are no substitute for truth and fact, except when there is no interest in presenting any kind of balanced assessment.

The purpose of this note to you is not to argue Israel’s case. People are entitled to their private opinions, even if they are based on ignorance or rooted in bigotry. My complaint is that you used my sister’s membership and subscription - and those of thousands of her fellow readers and therapists – as a means of peddling cheap political propaganda and as a mouthpiece for two people with extreme political views.

This clearly has no place in “Therapy Today”. Neither does the thinnest smattering of technical jargon like PTSD etc. justify its being there. Yours is the house journal of a professional association whose first principles are Ethics and Good Practice. What a travesty this is!

When I visited your site today, there was a notice saying that – due to complaints – the article had been temporarily removed from your website to enable you ‘to reflect and consult more wisely’. But the article has now been restored, along with a hastily prepared editorial which sadly offers no apology for betraying BACP principles and the trust and loyalty of your subscribers.

If you are genuinely interested in a child-therapy dimension of the Middle East conflict, I will take you to S’derot where Israeli children have been huddling in shelters under daily rocket barrages. So far, there have been more than 6,000 launched indiscriminately from Gaza farms evacuated by Israel 3½ years ago.

Gaza’s current plight is neither the fault of Israelis nor the Palestinian Arabs. It is entirely the fault of Hamas and their Iranian sponsors who have never stopped fanning the flames of this conflict to serve their own agenda: a “one-state solution” by the nuclear erasure of Israel.

That agenda and the turmoil it causes will never cease as long as Arab children are so radically indoctrinated in Islamic schools and madrassas and brainwashed into a culture of pure evil and hatred.

Now there’s a mental health dimension you could really chew on.


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