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The Battered Woman Syndrome
By Jerry Klinger
“If I had been a better wife, he would not have beaten me. If I had prepared his dinner better, if I had not angered him, he
would not have hurt me. It is my fault he threatens the children.
My friends tell me to get out. He is crazy.
Get out and go where? I know he is not like this. It will pass. It won’t happen again.
It is one of our dirty secrets. It’s not talked about. Such stories are inventions, the Rabbis insist. It does not
happen in Jewish homes, especially not in religious homes. Shalom Bayit, the most important thing a good wife, a mother can bring to
a Jewish home, is sacred. Ask anyone, they all will tell you the same thing. If it happens, if…., it is very rare. What happened
in the past is best left in the past. My own Rabbi told me so. Let a sleeping dog alone. Use sechel, a little brain power, leave it
alone. It will pass.
Certainly we do not show our dirty linen to the goyim.
Spousal abuse does happen in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. Spousal abuse is quite real and quite secret,
especially in the religious community. It is not an epidemic, it not a pandemic, but, even in Israel, it does happen. There are too
few shelters, safety nets and trained religious leaders to provide proper alternatives. In the Haredi community, there are few
Until Bat Melech was created, battered Orthodox women had nowhere to turn to for help. Most of the time the advice from their
spiritual counselors is the same, be quiet.
The Battered Wife Syndrome is well described in literature. It was an astonishing realization. The Jewish people are a battered
people. We too exhibit characteristics of a battered spouse.
Commonly ascribed as unique to women in their relationships with men, or other male family members, the Battered Wife Syndrome is
not a one way street. Women can also be abusers.
The Battered Wife Syndrome is “A pattern of
signs and symptoms, such as fear and a perceived inability to escape, appearing in women who are physically and mentally abused over
an extended period by a husband or other dominant individual.
A battered spouse endures repeated episodes of physical assault by the person with whom he/ she lives or with whom they has a
relationship. It often results in serious physical and psychological damage to the victim. Such violence tends to follow a
predictable pattern. The violent episodes usually follow verbal argument and accusation and are accompanied by verbal abuse. Almost
any subject-housekeeping, money, childrearing-may begin the episode. Over time, the violent episodes escalate in frequency and
severity. Most battered spouses report that they thought that the assaults would stop; unfortunately, studies show that the longer
the individual stays in the relationship the more likely they are to be seriously injured. Less and less provocation seems to be
enough to trigger an attack once the syndrome has begun. The use of alcohol may increase the severity of the assault… Battering
occurs in cycles of violence. In the first phase the spouse acts increasingly irritable, edgy, and tense. Verbal abuse, insults, and
criticism increase, and shoves or slaps begin.
The second phase is the time of the acute, violent activity. As the tension mounts, the spouse becomes unable to placate their
partner, and they may argue or defend themselves. The abuser uses this as the justification for their anger and assaults the victim,
often saying that they are teaching the victim a lesson.
The third stage is characterized by apology and remorse on the part of the abuser, with promises of change. The calm continues
until tension builds again.
Battered woman syndrome occurs at all socioeconomic levels, and one half to three quarters of female assault victims are the
victims of an attack by a partner…. Men who grew up in homes in which the father abused the mother are more likely to beat their
wives than are men who lived in nonviolent homes. Personal and cultural attitudes also affect the incidence of battering. Aggressive
behavior is a normal part of male socialization in most cultures; physical aggression may be condoned as a means of resolving a
conflict…. The typical battered spouse is reserved, withdrawn, depressed, and anxious, with low self-esteem, a poorly integrated
self-image, and a general inability to cope with life's demands. The parents of such spouses encouraged compliance, were not
physically affectionate, and socially restricted their child’s independence, preventing the widening of social contact that normally
occurs in adolescence. Victims of the battered woman syndrome are often afraid to leave the spouse and the situation; change,
loneliness, and the unknown are perceived as more painful than the beatings.”
There are four psychological stages of the Battered Woman Syndrome.
“Denial -The woman refuses to admit--even to herself--that she has been beaten or that there is a "problem" in
her marriage. She may call each incident an "accident". She offers excuses for her husband's violence and each time firmly believes
it will never happen again.
Guilt - She now acknowledges there is a problem, but considers herself responsible for it. She
"deserves" to be beaten, she feels, because she has defects in her character and is not living up to her husband's expectations.
Enlightenment - The woman no longer assumes responsibility for her husband's abusive treatment, recognizing
that no one "deserves" to be beaten. She is still committed to her marriage, though, and stays with her husband, hoping they can work
Responsibility - Accepting the fact that her husband will not, or cannot, stop his violent behavior, the battered woman
decides she will no longer submit to it and starts a new life.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Leo Max Frank (April 17, 1884 – August 17, 1915) was a Jewish-American businessman whose lynching in 1915 by a party of prominent citizens in Marietta, Georgia turned the spotlight on anti-Semitism in the United States and led to the founding of the Anti-Defamation League.
The superintendent of the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, Frank was convicted on August 26, 1913 of the murder of one of the
factory workers, 13-year-old Mary Phagan. She had been strangled on April 26, and was found dead in the factory cellar the next day.
Frank had been one of the few people in the factory the day she died, and was the last person known to have seen her alive; there
were also allegations that he had flirted with her in the past.
His trial became the focus of powerful class and political interests. Raised in New York, he was cast as a representative of Yankee capitalism, a rich northern Jew lording it over vulnerable working women, as the historian Albert Lindemann put it. Former U.S. Representative Thomas E. Watson used his sensational coverage of the case in his own newspapers to push for a revival of the Ku Klux Klan, calling Frank a member of the Jewish aristocracy who had pursued "Our Little Girl" to a hideous death.
Frank and his lawyers resorted to stereotypes too, accusing another suspect—Jim Conley, a black factory worker who testified against Frank—of being especially disposed to lying and murdering because of his race.
There was jubilation in the streets when Frank was found guilty and sentenced to death. By June 1915 his legal appeals had failed, but Governor John M. Slaton believed there had been a miscarriage of justice, and commuted the sentence to life imprisonment—to great local outrage….
A crowd of 5,000 marched on Slaton's home in protest, and two months later Frank was kidnapped from prison by a mob of 25 armed
men—the "Knights of Mary Phagan"—who drove him 150 miles to Frey's Mill, near Phagan's home in Marietta, and hanged him. A crowd
gathered after the hanging; one man repeatedly stamped on Frank's face, while others took photographs, pieces of his nightshirt, and
bits of the rope to sell as souvenirs.
On March 11, 1986, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles granted Frank a pardon, citing the state's failure to protect him or
prosecute his killers, though they stopped short of exonerating him. The names of the lynchers, though well known locally, were not
made public until January 2000, when Stephen Goldfarb, an Atlanta librarian and former history professor, published a list on his
website. The Washington Post writes that it includes several prominent citizens—a former governor, the son of a senator, a Methodist
minister, a state legislator, and a former state Superior Court judge—their names matching those on Marietta's street signs, office
buildings, shopping centers, and law offices today.”
The Frank case was the worst outbreak of physical anti-Semitism in United States history. The guilt of Leo Frank, for many,
remained very questionable. The fairness of his trial, in an environment of Jewish blood seeking anti-Semitism, was highly
questionable. Governor John Slaton decided to commute Frank’s sentence to life imprisonment. It was a decision that destroyed his
political career. Slaton was forced to leave Georgia for more than a decade in fear of his life. In 1955, a future American
president, John F. Kennedy wrote his Pulitzer Prize winning book “Profiles in Courage.” Governor John Slaton’s act of moral courage
was one of the principal stories in the book.
“In 1982, nearly 70 years after the murder, Alonzo Mann, who had been Frank's office boy, told authorities that he had seen Jim
Conley alone at the factory carrying Phagan's body. This contradicted Conley's testimony that Frank had paid him to move the girl's
body. Mann swore in an affidavit that Conley had threatened to kill him if he reported what he had seen. When the boy told his
family, his parents made him swear not to tell anyone else. Mann finally decided to make a statement in what he called an effort to die in peace. He passed a lie detector test, and died three years later at the age of 85”.
Jews in Atlanta and throughout Georgia lived in shocked fear after the Frank lynching. Their delusion of security and accepted
equality as Georgians and Americans was called deeply into question. The Leo Frank case was not talked about. If it was, it was
talked about in hushed tones and only within the Jewish community.
For years afterwards, Leo Frank’s lynching was viewed as a blight upon Georgia and Southern life by many Georgians.
Ellis Arnall was elected governor of Georgia in 1943. He was governor from 1943-1947. In 1986, governor Arnall was interviewed
by Mel Steeley from the West Georgia College about his years as governor. He was asked about the Leo Frank.
“Now that has been a blot on the good name of Georgia, just like the Burns case was a blot for years. I considered at one time
undertaking to have the pardon board pardon Leo Frank, and yet some of my Jewish friends told me that that was a dead issue now and
not to stir it up again; it would be stirred up if I did. So I desisted from it. As you know, a year or two ago, some man in his
old age confessed that he heard the janitor say he killed her. But there’s been a lot pro and con.”
Governor Arnall’s statement was an incredible revelation. Forty three years before the gargantuan effort to gain Leo Frank a
posthumous pardon in 1986, Governor Arnall had thought it appropriate to seek and grant a pardon from Leo Frank. The only reason
that Frank was not pardoned was continuing Jewish fears of angering bigots and racists in Georgia. It had little to do with Frank’s
innocence or guilt. It had more to do with Jewish fears to admit there had been a problem. It had more to do with Jewish fears that
reexamining the Frank tragedy would create an incident that would again generate violence against Jews. It had much to do with, if
he was guilty, communally fearing that the racist reactions against the Jews might be justified. The possibility that Frank was
innocent and did not deserve the fate he was given did not enter the Jewish argument with the governor. They were committed to being
good Georgians. They did not want to embarrass Georgia and believed that if they kept things quiet, it would not happen again. The
mob, rising up demanding the blood of a Jew, would not happen again. It would be forgotten over time.
The parallel with the Battered Woman Syndrome was unmistakable.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There are four psychological stages of historical Zionist development.
Denial – the oppression of the Jewish people is an aberration. It will never happen again.
Guilt – we deserve to be beaten or chastised by God for our evil ways. The anti-Semites are God’s
Enlightenment – We are still committed to being Jewish. We do not deserve this unending chastisement,
terror and a life lived in fear as a second class human being.
Responsibility – We recognize that the anti-Semites will never stop. We will no longer submit to their
oppression and terror. We will take control of our own lives, in our own land. As Theodor Herzl called it, Altneuland ,our
Old New Land.
Zionism was born from classic Battered Woman Syndrome. For two thousand years Jews reassured themselves that the terrible things
done to them were aberrations of human behavior. They refused to believe that it would ever happen again. Many Jews believed they
deserved their punishment because they had, and their ancestors in Israel, had turned their backs on God. Jews convinced themselves
if they would become better Jews, more observant, less of a problem for their host countries and cultures, they would be permitted to
live in peace and await the Moshiach.
Theodor Herzl said it was time for the Jews to stop denying the reality and blaming themselves for what was befalling them. He
asked that Jewry enlighten itself and admit that anti-Semitism was not going to go away or change. No matter how closely they shaved
their beards, abandoned their Jewish faith and culture, the anti-Semites would remain. Herzl called for the Jews to take charge of
their own lives, their own futures. If the world did not want them in their countries it was time for Jews to return to their own
Herzlian Zionism was born with a vigor and logical energy that gripped the Jewish world but not fully until the horrible paroxysm
of the Holocaust. The final denial of anti-Semitic reality occurred as the Nazi gas chambers doors slammed shut. For many it was
too late. For the survivors, it was time to take responsibility.
2,000 years of battering has left deep claw marks of generational, psychological damage on the Jewish mind. December 2007, Michael
Freund wrote that Israel suffers from a condition he termed the Battered Nation Syndrome.
The Battered Nation Syndrome:
"Like a victim of ongoing domestic abuse, the advocates of surrender to the Palestinians cannot muster the wherewithal to hit
back at the abuser. All the hallmarks of the syndrome are there: low self-esteem, a belief that the violence aimed against us is
somehow our fault, and a tragic pattern of preferring to appease those who terrorize us rather than confront them.
Naturally, this distorted world-view results in an almost obsessive focus on Israel's perceived faults as lying at the root of the
conflict with our neighbors…..
Speaking to the Knesset on May 17, 1965, Eshkol suggested turning the 1949 armistice agreements into peace treaties, and offered
to hold direct talks with the Arab states in order to do so.
Pointing out that Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, combined had 60 times the land area of the Jewish state, the premier noted that
there was no logical reason for the Arabs to continue to pursue war. Instead, he offered a vision of peace that included open
borders, bilateral trade, economic cooperation and freedom of access to the holy sites.
All he asked in return, said Eshkol, was ‘full respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the States
in the region.’
But Israel's offer of peace was met two years later with a clear and unequivocal Arab response. Egypt and Syria mobilized their
armies and their people, and vowed to destroy the Jewish state.”
Our adversaries, who had gleefully pledged to feed us to the fish in the Mediterranean Sea, were forced to look on as their troops
beat a hasty and humiliating retreat.
And yet, it seems, four decades later, many Israelis still just cannot forgive themselves for winning.
In what has become an annual ritual, a variety of media pundits, left-wing activists and even some
officials launch into mournful sessions of hand-wringing and breast-beating. They bemoan the outcome of the Six Day War, grumble
about Israel's success in reclaiming Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and sound as if they would have preferred going down in defeat.”
Perhaps, some Jews argue, the trauma of the millennias of abuse should be understood positively. We know the meaning of oppression
and hopelessness. We know that unless we, the strong, reach out to help the weak, there will never be a peace.
Is the Peace Now movement a denial of reality or the reality of denial?
Ori Nir, posted his view on the PeaceNow.org site, Dec. 2010.
“They say: The Arabs' conflict with Israel has nothing to do with territory. It is all about the Arabs' hatred toward Jews. In
other words, what fuels this conflict is anti-Semitism, plain and simple. Trying to make peace with anti-Semites is futile. It will
We say: If you care about fighting anti-Semitism in the Arab world you should be fighting to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace
agreement. Moreover - if you care about Israel's future -you wouldn't hand anti-Semites veto power over a peace agreement that Israel
Anti-Semitism exists in the Arab world. Unfortunately, it exists everywhere. It would almost certainly continue to exist even if
there were peace. And, problematically, in the Arab world anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment - fanned by images of violence and
injustice that the conflict produces - are often indistinguishable.
So is a peace agreement likely to be stable, despite negative sentiments among Arab publics? Can peace hold if the parties to a peace
agreement still harbor hatred?
The answer is yes.
Similarly, an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement can deliver for Israel. It can help Israel better defend itself, normalize its
presence in the Middle East, and address its burning demographic crisis, despite the hatred that is present. It can also dramatically
improve Israel's standing internationally, and pave the way for broader peace between Israel and the rest of the Arab world.
There are clear signs that the Arab world is ready to accept Israel. Palestinian leaders have repeatedly recognized Israel, expressed
their readiness to live side-by-side in peace with their Israeli neighbors, and committed themselves to non-violent means. And all 22
members of the Arab League have repeatedly reaffirmed their peace initiative, originally proposed in 2002, offering Israel full peace
and normal relations with all of the Arab states. This is an opportunity that Israel can't afford to miss.
…. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the implementation of a two-state solution will present an opportunity for reducing
enmity. Without such an agreement, we can expect violence to continue, creating an echo of anti-Israel sentiment far beyond Israel's
Hatred and resentment is a barrier to normalized relations between Israelis and Arabs, but it should not be viewed as an impenetrable
wall to negotiations and to peace agreements. To the contrary: Peace must be achieved despite these sentiments, rather than being
avoided because of them.
A peace treaty will not instantly erase Arab anti-Semitism. It will also not erase the deep-seated Israeli suspicion of, and often
racist attitudes towards, Arabs.
Decades of anger, fear, and hatred will not disappear overnight. But it will be significantly easier for Israelis and Arabs - Jews,
Christians and Muslims - to overcome these challenges in the context of a peace agreement and normal relations. “
Dr. Kenneth Levin, a historian and professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School had answered Nir five years earlier in his
book , The Oslo Syndrome, Delusions of a People Under Siege. He asked what of the present “Peace,” with Egypt and Jordan.
“A very cold peace with the Egyptians and Jordanians who have opted to let the Palestinians fight the wars – who is a peace to be
with anyway. If a peace exists with the Palestinians why should there be a war with the Egyptians? If there is a peace with the
Egyptians why should there be a peace with the Palestinians.”
Dr. Levin expanded on his views.
“Clues to the psychology of those who embraced Oslo can be found in the rationales with which they sought to defend their
position. Those arguments were very often either delusionally self-deprecating or delusionally grandiose.
Illustrative of the former was the burgeoning of a largely bogus revisionist history of Israel, the so-called New History,
beginning particularly in the late nineteen eighties, and its embrace by a substantial following in Israel. This rewriting of the
history of the state implicitly or explicitly placed the onus on Israel for perpetuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict over the
previous half-century: It was Israeli militancy and Israeli occupation of the territories in the face or Arab openness to compromise
that initiated and sustained the conflict. Therefore, Israel’s ceding of the territories would end the conflict and bring about a new
era of genuine peace.
Many Israelis were drawn in by the new historians’ claims that, despite the Palestinian Arabs’ rejection of the UN partition plan
in 1947 and despite the subsequent invasion of Israel by five Arab armies, Israel was actually the villain in the story.
They took to heart assertions that the Arab terror of the 1950s really was not so onerous and Israeli counteractions were too
heavy-handed ….. There was abundant evidence of Arab intent available to any Israeli, evidence in the form of anti-Jewish rhetoric
and policy aimed at undermining the legitimacy of the state and reflecting an Arab perception that the only just outcome would be
Israel’s dissolution. It still, therefore, required a major exercise in self-deception to perceive Arab intentions as “moderate,” as
having always been “moderate “and as consistent with genuine peace were only Israel to change its ways and be forthcoming enough in
………… Both the self-deprecating and the grandiose distortions of reality have a common source: A wish to believe Israel to
be in control of profoundly stressful circumstances over which it, unfortunately, has no real control.
…….. The inclination to retreat to delusions of transgression, and of salvation through self-reform and concessions, is
common, even endemic, within communities under chronic siege.
This is true whether the
situation is that of a state besieged by foreign forces or of a vulnerable community that, within its polity, is under chronic
attack, physical assault, bias, defamation, marginalization – by other groups in the surrounding society. The syndrome has been so
prominent within Jewish Diaspora communities subjected to chronic manifestations of anti-Semitism that, as noted, an extensive
literature examining the phenomenon was produced over the last century. This literature, much of it the work of psychiatrists:
artists and psychologists often applied to the syndrome the rubric “Jewish self-hatred.”
Dr. Levin wrote in Jews, Israelis and the Psyche of the Abused:
"Subject to persecution over many centuries, Jews have inevitably developed, and displayed in their communal life, psychological stigmata of the chronically oppressed.... Generally ignored...is a fundamental psychological response to abuse that has figured prominently in Jewish communal history not only in the Diaspora but also in Israel, among Jews living under very different social and political conditions.
This response is one widely noted and studied in children subjected to early abuse and other traumas: An inclination to blame themselves for their misfortune. A recurrent theme in such children's comprehension of their trauma is that bad things have happened to them because they have been 'bad'.
...A similar tendency to assume responsibility for their misfortunes and to cling to unrealistic images of transforming their predicaments by reforming themselves is a common theme among peoples subjected to abuse, and nowhere more so that among the Jews. That is, the varying responses of individual Jews and of Jewish communities to the bigotry and oppression encountered over the centuries have included a persistently recurring one of taking to heart the indictments of their persecutors and seeing self-reform as the path to relief.
....Indeed, so powerful has been this impulse among Jews that it has not only put its stamp on life in the Diaspora but has also proved to be a potent social and political factor in Israel, among Jews no longer living as a minority or sharing the millennia-old vagaries of life in exile.
....The mimicking by Israelis of the anti- Israeli litanies of the nation's enemies has become a prominent theme not only in particular political circles, but even more dramatically, among Israeli writers, artists, and academics.
...What is heard is widespread repetition by Israelis of anti-Jewish and anti- Israeli indictments as well as utopian assertions of the good things that will come of Israeli reform."
...The self-indictment and the accompanying delusions about the wonderful things that will flow from penance and reform require not only distorting or denying realities of the present. They also require ignoring or distorting the past, creating a myth of Jewish original sin, in order to define and sustain the self- indictment....An extreme form of the indictment...is that the Jews colonized Arab land, and Israel's existence is itself sinful. A less extreme and more popular form, commonly mouthed by mainstream politicians, is that the Jews have a right to their state but that there was, in its creating, an inevitable injustice done to the other people who occupy this 'one land belonging to two peoples,' and that the Jewish sin lies in Israel's not sufficiently recognizing this other claim."
Israeli novelist, Aharon Megged commented:
"We have witnessed a phenomenon which probably has no parallel in history; an emotional and moral identification by the majority of Israel's intelligentsia with people openly committed to our annihilation."
“At 10:15 A.M. on Thursday, August 23rd, 1973 the "Sveriges Kreditbank" of Stockholm, Sweden was rocked by sub-machine gun fire."The party has just begun", announced a 32 year old prison escapee named Jan-Erik Olsson. "The party", indeed, continued for some 131 hours, or five and a half days, as Olsson held four of the bank's employees hostage in an 11 by 47 foot vault until late in the evening of August 28th.
… Swedes held in a bank vault for six days during a robbery became attached to their captors, a phenomenon dubbed the Stockholm Syndrome. According to psychologists, the abused bond to their abusers as a means to endure violence.”
The term "Stockholm Syndrome" was coined by the criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot, who assisted the police during the robbery, and referred to the syndrome in a news broadcast. It was originally defined by psychiatrist Frank Ochberg to aid the management of hostage situations.
George E. Rubin wrote in Commentary Magazine, 2000:
“After 50 years of unending conflict, most Israeli Jews seem to have concluded that the burden of maintaining their nation is just too difficult to bear. The country's secular leftist elites--who control education, culture, the news media, and the government--blame the Jews for the Arabs' desire to destroy Israel, and the majority seems to be afflicted with the "Stockholm syndrome": though the victims of Arab hate, they identify with their oppressors.”
Douglas Feith, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
"[Many] supporters [of the Oslo peace process] -- like so many distraught battered wives -- simply cannot be persuaded that there is no romance, there is no peace process. And despite Arafat's cynicism, contempt and hostility they cannot be persuaded that their man Arafat -- their 'peace partner' -- is a gangster and a liar who is just no darn good. The whole situation is both sad and dangerous. This kind of irrationality is bad enough in a relationship between two private people. It can be disastrous if it dominates the national security policy-making of a state."
Stan Goodenough, Canadian Friends of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem added:
How true this is today of the many, many Israelis who fiercely defend the peace process and the right of the Palestinian Arabs to a state inside Israel despite the risk it poses to the Jews. Who can blame them? After living their lives in a sea of hatred, daily hearing the threats to complete what Hitler began, repeatedly--every year, every month, sometimes every day--seeing Jews killed at the hands of the threat- makers; they now are offered hope in a different future. Who can blame them for grasping at it with both hands, or for slapping away those who question "the peace"?
Perhaps most succinctly, Paul Johnson, observed in his book "A History of the
"The deception often worked because the Jews wanted to be deceived. They needed to have hope."
The characteristics of the battered woman and the Stockholm syndrome flow into the American Jewish experience.
Dr. Levin continues:
“Even among American Jews who remained fully committed to the faith and the community, even among those who
immersed themselves in community causes and community leadership, there was, as in Europe, a predilection to eschew Jewish
“particularism.” Under the pressure of the anti-Jewish bias of the surrounding society, there was an impulse to emphasize communal
commitment to broader, less parochial agendas, as a way of assuaging anti-Jewish hostility. Many chose in this context to emphasize
the Universalist elements of the Jewish mission and Jewish message. While these predilections were often cast in lofty terms, they in
large part, as in Europe, reflected fears that Jewish advocacy of Jewish issues would exacerbate anti-Jewish sentiments. They were
also driven by a wishful belief that sufficient Jewish self-effacement would assuage anti Jewish feeling and win the Jews acceptance
by the wider society.”
“It is noteworthy also that many Jews, including individuals within the leadership, had, under the weight of the
surrounding anti-Semitism, internalized the “parochialism” canard and genuinely struggled with the propriety of aggressively
demanding special steps to rescue Jews threatened with extermination. In contrast, it was largely non-Jewish voices, starting with
some key church figures in Britain but ultimately joined by prominent individuals in the United States, who cast the martyrdom of the
Jews as a crime against humanity. In their calls for rescue efforts, they pointed out that, if Jews were the victims, this was
nonetheless not simply a Jewish issue, that the genocide was an assault upon and a test of Western civilizations.”
The greatest irony of the Battered Woman Syndrome is that the very individuals who are actively involved in the
preservation, the protection and rescue of Jews and Israel today are the very ones attacked by the Jews – Christians.
Jerry Klinger is President of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation
from the February 2011 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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