Vamık D. Volkan, M.D., DLFAPA, FACPsa.

 
 
 
 
 
ARAB-ISRAEL DIALOGUE: THE MOUNTAIN HOUSE MEETING
 
 
AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION (APA) CONFERENCE ON
PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS 
 
 
Caux, Switzerland
  April 12–19, 1983.
 
 
 
 

Note: This is the very first international psychopolitical meeting chaired by Dr. Vamık D. Volkan. With fond memories of the participants who have passed away since this meeting and with appreciation for their contributions.

 

                                                                     
                                                                  

 

Members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Committee on Psychiatry and Foreign Affairs:
 
 
Vamık D. Volkan, M.D. (Chairperson)
 
 
 Demetrios Julius, M.D. (Assistant committee chairperson)
 
 
Rita Rogers, M.D.
 
 
Joseph Monteville
 
 
Ed. Kelty, Ph.D.
 
 
Fritz Redlich, M.D. (guest)
 
 
Ellen Mercer (Coordinator) 
  
  
 
Other Participants:
 
 
 
Israelis: 
                                                                                            
Nechama de Shalit Agmon, M.D.
Child Psychiatrist, Jerusalem
 
Alouph Hareven
Van Leer Jerusalem, Jerusalem
 
Major General (Ret) Shlomo Gazit
President, Ben Gurion University of the Negev Beersheva
 
Rafael Moses, M.D.
Psychoanalyst, Jerusalem
 
Joseph Bashi, Ph.D. 
School of Education. The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
 
Yitschak Oron
Head, Research Department Foreign Ministry, Jerusalem
 
Professor Shimon Shamir
The Israeli Academic Center in Cairo
 
 
Palestinians:
 
 Elias Freij
 
Hatem Abu Ghazaleh, M.D.
Society for the Care of Handicapped Children, Gaza.
 
Iyad Al-Sarraj, M.D.
Psychiatrist, Gaza.
 
Aziz Shihadeh
Lawyer Ramallah
 
 
 Egyptians:
 
Mohammed  Shaalan, M.D.
Psychiatrist, Cairo
 
Adel Sadek, M.D.
Psychiatrist, Cairo
  
Kadry Hefny, Ph.D.
Psychologist,Cairo
 
 Abd El-Azim Ramadan, Ph.D. 
Historian, Cairo
  
Ez El-Din Shawkat
First Secretary, Embassy of Egypt Press Office, Washington D.C.
 
Bahira Mokhtar
El-Ahram Newspaper, Cairo
 
 
 
 
From: Dr. Volkan’s upcoming book: Without Bullets and Bombs: A Psychoanalyst’s Journey into Political Psychology.
 
Chapter 7: The Mountain House Meeting
In Chapter 1, I mentioned how the chairmanship of the APA Committee on Psychiatry and Foreign Affairs was given to me two days before our meeting began on April 13, 1983 at Caux, Switzerland. A few months earlier the APA Committee members had met with key representatives from Egypt and Israel at Arlie House, Warrenton, Virginia and together we planned the upcoming Caux meeting—the first, we all agreed, that would include Palestinian delegates. We had by now learned the importance of proper preparation. The first day of the Caux meeting would have one morning and one afternoon plenary session, and during the rest of the meeting, we would divide ourselves into three small groups for discussion. Participants from Egypt, Israel, and Palestine would have their own chosen leaders for the general meeting who would also conduct the three small groups. Rotating reporters were to be assigned to each small group. After small-group discussions, participants would gather in plenary meetings conducted by the leader of the American facilitating team. 
By now I was very familiar with the echo phenomenon that occurs at the beginning of each gathering, and all of us at Airlie House knew that the shadow of the June-September 1982 Lebanon War would fall upon us at Caux. This war’s negative impact on Arab-Israeli relations was palpable. We also decided that we would no longer try to turn our meetings into academic gatherings, so we had not asked any participant to give a paper or come up with topics for discussion in advance; topics would emerge from the participants themselves as the meeting progressed. I expected that Egyptians’ and Israelis’ thoughts and feelings about this first-time Palestinian presence among us would appear right away. It was very clear to us at that time that the APA Committee’s project and this meeting at Caux would offer an arena in which significant interaction between Israelis and Arabs could take place as, once again, opportunities for constructive contact between these groups were rapidly disappearing.
 
I made the journey from the States to Geneva with Fritz Redlich and Ez El-Din Shawkat. Fritz, a renowned psychiatrist, was a former dean of the Yale School of Medicine and would represent the American Psychiatric Association at the Caux meeting. Shawkat was the First Secretary, Embassy of Egypt Press Office in Washington, DC. He would also observe and join our discussions. The three of us met Demetrios Julius and Ed Kelty at the airport and proceeded by bus to the Mountain House. The breathtaking Mountain House, built at the turn of the century in a location of great natural beauty overlooking Montreux and Lake Geneva, was and is now the World Center for Moral Re-Armament. Ellen Mercer, Israelis, and Palestinian Elias Freij were already there waiting for other Palestinians, Egyptians and more Americans to arrive. All together, we were expecting four Palestinians. We had made sure that none of them were known members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).[i] Elias Freij, an orthodox Christian and at the time of the meeting the mayor of Bethlehem, was not a member of the PLO, but everyone on our committee suspected that, due to his position among Palestinians, he had access to the PLO authorities. 
As the new, unexpected, chair of the Mountain House meeting, the day after my arrival I briefly met with Mayor Freij, Rafael Moses, and Mohammed Shalaan, who had by then arrived, as they were the three persons chosen as the leaders of their own groups. Once more, we went over how we would conduct the meeting, hoping to troubleshoot any potential confusion.
Since Mountain House was the first such meeting that I conducted where enemy representatives met with a facilitating team, it has a special place in my memory. I have kept my extensive notes on this meeting for 30 years. It was also a historical meeting, since I believe that it was the first meeting during those tense times in which Israelis and Palestinians interacted unofficially as individuals, openly expressed their own personal thoughts and feelings as well as their respective large-groups’ sentiments, and were able to “hear” each other. In this book, I decided to give more detailed description of what happened at the Mountain House than I will of other such APA Committee on Psychiatry and Foreign Affairs gatherings. The reader will notice that, even though there have been some major historical changes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the last 30 years, certain sentiments and issues have remained the same. I will also illustrate how my psychoanalytic identity influenced me in conducting this type of gathering.
On the morning of April 13, 1983, a Wednesday, when I entered the conference room as the new chairperson of the Committee, I found Egyptians and Palestinian newcomers somewhat loud and agitated. I wondered if the presence of Palestinians had turned the Egyptians into instant protectors of “victimized Arabs” and that, without being aware of it, both Egyptians and Palestinians wanted to emphasize their presence in the room. I was also aware that we were meeting during the first anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from Yamit. According to the 1979 Peace Treaty, the Israelis had agreed to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula. When time came to leave the Yamit settlement, the settlers refused. On April 25, 1982, Israeli soldiers removed the Israeli settlers using brutal force and then destroyed the settlement. This event had induced “bad” feelings in the Egyptian population. As a psychoanalyst, I was cautious of inflaming feelings during “anniversary reactions.” Soon, however, I realized that there was an acute and specific reason for their nervous excitement, which was connected with the Palestinian issue. I learned that three days earlier, on April 10th, Issam Sartawi, a cardiologist who was known as an advisor and roving ambassador for Yasser Arafat, had been shot and killed in Portugal while attending the Congress of Socialist International. Arab's participants at our meeting had learned of this tragedy just before they arrived in Switzerland. I did not know who Sartawi was, but I quickly learned that he had been meeting with Israelis and seeking an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinian hardliners did not like Sartawi’s peace efforts. Sometime later in fact, the Abu Nidal Organization, a ruthless militant Palestinian group, would take responsibility for having killed Sartawi.
When all of us settled in our comfortable chairs around long tables that formed a big quadrangle in the conference room, an Egyptian with a loud voice told me to ask everyone present to pay respects to the memory of Issam Sartawi by standing for a moment of silence. He also told me that if I refused to comply with his request he would go directly to the airport and fly back to Egypt. My first task as the brand new chairperson of the APA Committee was to deal with this ultimatum. I knew that Israelis, even those who might have had a favorable view of Arafat’s friend, would not stand up to honor the memory of a Palestinian. Then Alouph Hareven rose to describe how not long ago, on February 10 of that year, his friend, Israeli peace activist Emil Grunzweig, was also killed at a peace rally in Jerusalem, just twenty minutes after Alouph had met with him. Now, competing with the Egyptians, Alouph insisted that everyone in the conference room stand for a moment of silence to honor Grunzweig’s memory. Soon a commotion ensued.
Through numerous experiences in my psychoanalytic office I had learned that whenever an analysand had “emotional flooding[ii] on my couch—meaning peaked emotions would not allow the analysand to think logically—I should stay calm, maintain my curiosity, and respond without humiliating the analysand. In addition, I would not hurry this, so that the analysand would have time to own his or her feelings and have freedom to express them. Therefore, I stayed silent, while noises from many participants circled around the conference room for some time, and searched my mind for reasons for this emotional commotion that was started by an Egyptian participant. Two things came to me:
1-During the APA Committee’s last meeting in Alexandria, the Egyptian participants were experiencing shock and an inability to begin mourning President Sadat’s assassination and changes in Egypt. At that time, no Egyptian asked us to stand in silence to honor the memory of Sadat. Instead, Israelis were expressing open sorrow. By demanding that all of us in the conference room honor Sartawi’s memory, the Egyptian participant (for himself and I believe for all Egyptians present) was reversing his former passivity, asserting himself and taking responsibility for his own sentiments concerning a loss. As I thought this, I also realized that the timing would not be right for bringing this realization to the participants’ attention in the midst of the commotion. Furthermore, at this time the Egyptians might perceive as degrading any remarks about their difficulty in starting their mourning after Sadat’s death. I said to myself: “Let them assert themselves.”
2- The Egyptian participant’s demand initiated by a recent loss was not only related to issues from the previous APA meeting, but also to another recent and unexpected “loss” when the Committee’s previous chairperson Bill Davidson withdrew from the Committee and decided not to come to Caux. In addition, not long before, Jack Weinberg, a well-liked person and frequent APA representative to our project had died unexpectedly. The Egyptians, joined by Israelis, were testing me as the new and unexpected chairperson. Later I would name this kind of an incident a miniconflict.[iii]
Miniconflicts are apt to occur in a gathering of “enemy” representatives with a “neutral” facilitating team, usually at its start; this creates an atmosphere of crisis, giving the leader of the facilitating team a sense of urgency that the crisis must be resolved at once, lest the meeting collapses. These conflicts may be connected with the event in an echo phenomenon. On the other hand, a participant uses a personal issue to create a miniconflict: “My wife came here with me. I want you to accept her as a delegate of our group. I want her to join in our discussions. If you say ‘no’ I will leave this meeting!”
It took me some time to understand the psychological reasons for the occurrence of miniconflicts. When participants from opposing large groups meet, each person directly and indirectly is given a task to be a spokesperson for his or her large group. Actual and imagined memories and fantasies about the “other,” with related emotions, are heightened. In fact, among the participants there may be individuals who actually have lost a relative, a friend, or a home due to the conflict at issue. It should be recalled that the APA Committee members at the first meeting of Israelis and Arabs at the Watergate Hotel had used “intellectualization” to hide their apprehension when they asked me to give the opening speech on Cyprus. Participants from opposing groups also may try to utilize intellectualization, but when they are flooded with emotions, intellectualization cannot be maintained. This is one reason for the miniconflict. Aside from the real and political aspects of a miniconflict, it provides a target whereon the participants from opposing large groups can displace the major large-group conflict with its personalized psychological implications and associated feelings. It provides an arena in which differing groups can posture, testing out one another before plunging into a discussion of major issues that will awaken more compelling emotions. Although the miniconflict is, in effect, a safety valve, it is connected with larger difficulties, and any leader of a facilitating team should heed it carefully, within the limits of reality and neutrality, and resolve it in a spirit of compromise in order to establish the tone of the dialogue.
In a setting such as the one that existed at Mountain House, there are many leaders, some of them in the conference room and some of them far away. Israeli participants looked to Rafael Moses as their leader even before the Mountain House meeting. But, when things got tough and when there was an unconscious wish to strengthen narcissistic investment in Israeli identity, they would turn to General Gazit to lead and speak for them. Mohammed was the obvious leader of the Egyptian group, but Tahseen Basheer who was not present at Caux, on different occasions during the previous meetings, because of his political position, had overshadowed Mohammed. This was especially evident during diplomatic bargaining, even when it was done unofficially. Soon I would notice that Palestinians from Gaza did not necessarily see Mayor Freij from the West Bank as the Palestinian spokesperson. Furthermore, the participants looked up to images of Anwar Sadat, Yasser Arafat, Menachem Begin, Hosni Mubarak, and other politicians both in the Arab World and in Israel. 
In order to work together while holding on to different large-group identities and different leaders who are either at the conference or in far away locations, the participants from opposing large groups need to accept the presence of a special leader above all other leaders during the gathering: the head of the facilitating team. Another reason why a miniconflict occurs is in the service of “creating” such a special leader. When there is doubt about his or her ability to function as the anchor of a ship in stormy weather, a commotion occurs. If he or she can handle this conflict, the special leader is “created.” Such a leader can maintain the facilitating role as long as he or she does not humiliate anyone in the room, while not shrinking from assertiveness. Looking back, I can say that I genuinely established myself as a political psychologist when I found a solution to the miniconflict presented to me during the first minutes of the Mountain House meeting:  I stood up, tapped the table in front of me gently to silence everyone, and said, “Everyone will remain silent for a minute. But, everyone is free to think about whoever they wish to honor.” Spontaneously all participants stayed silent for a minute. It was clear that through my behavior and words I had survived my initiation and established myself as the new and accepted chairperson of this gathering. The Mountain House Arab-Israeli dialogues could now begin.

Following my previous day’s arrangements with the Egyptian, Israeli, and Palestinian representatives’ leaders, I called upon selected persons from each group to speak. Since we had newcomers, we needed to orient them to our project, explain where we were, and help them to think about how they would fit in. Rita Rogers gave the history of our enterprise, and described the APA Committee's charge. Joseph Montville explained Track II diplomacy.[iv] Our orientation would be incomplete without comment from the Egyptian and Israeli delegations.

Mohammed and Rafael were assigned to review the history of our work, each from his own perspective. Mohammed reminded us that in the past some of the Egyptians had been hesitant about coming to our meetings if Palestinians were not invited, and now Palestinians were present. In addition, he said, the Egyptians had returned, even though because of Sartawi's murder many had been advised at the last minute not to put them in such jeopardy, and must wonder themselves what they were doing in such a dangerous enterprise. Mohammed added that since many leaders had been assassinated, "In a sense, we are becoming leaders ourselves—not just following leaders who are now dead!" Rafael’s remarks, with a more historical reference, gave an account of how he became involved with the group. Living in Israel, he noted, tends to give one a feeling of helplessness about the Arab-Israeli conflict. His personal reaction to the helplessness was to turn passivity into action, and he said he became active professionally in order to contribute to the possibility of peace. Referring to the Watergate meeting and the ones at Mont Pelerin, Alexandria, and the Airlie House, he said that our meetings should be understood as a continuum rather than one meeting after another, that in their course "a process had been created." 
Others joined in and told the Palestinians about their involvement in the APA Committee project. Ramadan said that his involvement had transformed him from being an extremist to being a supporter of the Peace Movement in Israel and an advocate of “freedom for Palestinian people." Nechama indicated how much our meetings had enriched her personal life. Shlomo stated that since he was in the role of an "occupier," attendance at this meeting had presented no difficulty for him, but he recognized it had required great courage on the part of the Palestinians present. 
Next, it was the Palestinians turn to present themselves. Iyad Al-Sarraj, a psychiatrist from Gaza, confessed that he had always hated Jews and Israelis until he encountered an Israeli soldier who asked him why he was so angry. He answered by saying that he was miserable because he dreaded what might happen to his family, whereupon the soldier confided that he did not really want to be a soldier, and was himself hoping for peace. This man-to-man exchange had transformed him. Aziz Shihadeh, a lawyer from Ramallah, not far from where Nechama spent her childhood, spoke of having been dedicated to peace and active in the peace movement since 1930, and of undergoing hardship because of his views. When I asked Elias Freij for his comment, he said, "I promised to come, and here I am. You will find me construc­tive." Later during the meeting, after Elias felt more comfortable, he confided with some humor that when he had received a call from Ellen asking him to attend he had had no idea what the American Psychiatric Association might be, and was puzzled as to what psychiatry had to offer in the way of solutions for the Arab-Israeli problem. It was "the sincerity in Ellen's voice," he told us, as well as her mentioning that General Gazit would attend, that led him to accept. On the day after Ellen’s telephone invitation and after a telegram confirmed it, he had called the American consul, still uncertain as to whether or not he was the victim of some hoax. Although sub­sequent telephone conversations with Ellen persuaded him to attend our meeting, I think he arrived still puzzled about the whole situation.

During our afternoon plenary session, we decided to look at the “Reagan Plan.” After the war in Lebanon and the expulsion of an estimated 15,000 Palestinian Liberation Organization fighters from that country on September 1, 1982, President Ronald Reagan, citing the Camp David Accords, presented a plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Very briefly, this plan included full autonomy for the West Bank and Gaza Palestinians, a freeze of Israeli settlements, and negotiations on the final status of the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem. The afternoon plenary session became a dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis with few direct references to the Reagan Plan.

Mayor Freij began by saying that 1,300,000 Arabs had been governed by Israel on the West Bank and in Gaza for 16 years. They lived under military occupation with all its frustrations and humiliations, and no Palestinian liked or accepted the occupation. He declared that Palestinians should challenge Israel for peace, and that Israelis and Palestinians should live as equals and neighbors within the boundaries of their own respective nations. Despite conferences held on the issue, nothing was changing, and there were no serious exchanges between the two peoples.  Israel is here to stay, he said, but Palestinians should have their own home and govern themselves. He noted that the Israelis are continuing to colonize the West Bank and Gaza in expectation of annexing them: "I have seen places where every town in the West Bank and Gaza, every Arab sector, will be turned into a ghetto surrounded by Israeli settle­ment."

 

I noted that he found the Reagan Plan a useful basis for negotiations, in spite of its official rejection by the Israelis and acceptance by a number of Palestinian leaders. He said of the Committee of Psychiatry and Foreign Affairs that it had proved itself a success even before the conference opened, since it had succeeded in getting Palestinians and Israelis to meet. It became clear that as a newcomer he did not yet know what the content of such meetings was and that he did not expect any significant achievement. However, his comment made me think that even if "the content" should prove useless, the possibility that the Palestinians and Israelis in the room might continue talking with one another after the meeting was enough to consider the gathering a success.

After Elias’ remarks, other Palestin­ians focused on the situation in Gaza and on the West Bank and spontaneously brought up personal issues. Listening to personal stories helped the participants to maintain their individuality and be heard by “others” more empathetically. Iyad Al-Sarraj described the life of a Palestinian in Gaza in a way that everyone seemed to find moving, emphasizing the damage to one's sense of identity. "I am not allowed," he said, "to carry a passport to indicate my nationality. I must travel with a document in which my national identity is indicated as ‘undetermined’." Once, we were told, the Israelis changed the name of the Palestinian Medical Association to the Arab Medical Association. "Israelis do not regard us as equals, and harass us day and night... Certain books are prohibited in Gaza, and our telephones are tapped." He had once been asked to give a lecture on the importance to children of identity, but had been forbidden to do so by Israeli authorities, as they considered it a breach of security. With rising emotion, Iyad went on to tell about a Palestinian working as a painter in a house occupied by an Israeli—but it was actually his own house! He told of an engineer who was working as a garbage collector; and a psychiatric patient whose memory held nothing after the year 1948.
Aziz Shihadeh spoke of the Palestinians’ fear that the Israelis would seize all the land in the West Bank and Gaza and expel the Palestinians. He seemed also to regard the Reagan Plan as feasible. He made reference to the recently publicized illness of Palestinian girls whom some considered to have been poisoned while others suspected hysteria. Granting that their problem might be hysteria, he said that we should seek a reason for it. "Fear is spreading on the West Bank," he explained.
Another Palestinian was Hatem Abu Ghazaleh, a physician from Gaza. "Begin is carrying on relentlessly without any worry about what others will say," he declared. "If Palestinians are made to feel secure, that alone would be a bridge to peace." He told about the formation in 1975 of the Society for the Care of Handicapped Children in Gaza. At the time of our meeting at the Mountain House Hatem was the head of this society. We learned that although this organization was apolitical, it was not allowed to receive donations. Workers there wanted to open a school for the deaf, and wrote about this to the Israeli authorities, but received no reply. Members of the Board of Trustees of the fledgling university in Gaza, he said, were treated like criminals. Of Hatem’s four children, the youngest was four years old; he was born in Tel-Aviv because there were no good hospitals in Gaza. Three weeks before our meeting opened, Hatem continued, soldiers had gone to the school attended by Hatem’s nephew and seized him, taking him away to be beaten. "Even the colonel, who is the military governor, beat the child," Hatem said angrily. The boy was then taken to a military court, before which his lawyer had to agree that the child had thrown stones at Israeli soldiers, although this was known to be a falsehood. His punishment was to sit before a government building all day for many days. His father sought to take the case to the Israeli Supreme Court, but an arrogant military man told him not to, that it would be useless. "Israelis are attacking their own institutions in punishing us," he explained. Hatem himself had sent his 12-year-old son to England for his education in order to spare him humil­iation. He noted that in the past the Israeli Military in charge of occupied territory had been "decent people." "I'm not saying this because General Gazit is sitting in this room," he explained. "I know Israel is a divided country. Not all Israelis want to do such things as I have described." In closing, he said that if the meeting helped to improve the quality of life for Palestinians and reduced the sense of humiliation even one percent, it should be considered successful. Here I wish to remind the reader that the Gaza Strip would remain under the Israeli military administration until 1994, and the Israeli military and Israeli settlers would completely withdraw from Gaza in 1995. That same year the Palestinian Authority would extend its authority to include most West Bank towns.
I asked Israelis to respond to Palestinians’ statements. General Shlomo Gazit spoke first. "What the Palestinians have said is not subject to a practical solution," he stated and added, "It could have been worse! What we have been told is almost unavoidable, a part of the cruel reality of using the military as an occupying force." In reference to "the Arab girls' hysteria," he indicated it might not have been hysteria, but more simply, "premeditated faking" used as a weapon to drive the Israelis away. He deplored the "fact" that the girls "were allowed to fake, but nothing happens to them; the worst is that they get a pill and go home, and this indicates that things are not so bad." Shlomo asked if we had thought about what would happen to the Palestinians under Soviet occupation. Certainly, they would not be permitted to attend a four-party conference and speak out. He wanted us to understand that the four Palestinians present, from Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Gaza, would return home and nothing would happen to them. He agreed with Hatem that the hardships reported by the Palestinians were "the end results of bad administration." "I was the coordinator of occupying forces," he continued. "During my day, no man was appointed to serve in the occupying administration without being grilled first to make sure that he was the right person to serve in Gaza or on the West Bank, but this is not the case today. We are told that the worst kind of military men are sent to serve in the occupied territories. Good, ambitious military people are interested in their careers, and a military career is generally not advanced by assignment to the occupied territories. This is the cruel reality. There's nothing we can do about it!" Addressing the Palestinians directly, the General said that President Sadat had faced a great challenge when he went to Israel—the challenge of getting the Sinai back. He had not "fallen in love with Zionism." "Now," he went on, "there is a great challenge for the Palestinians. You have a potent card in your hands—the democracy of Israel. The present Israeli government is not going to change its policy. Change must come from the Palestinian leadership, especially the leadership outside the occupied territories. Time is running out. I know that in this room we can do little, but somebody has to start crying out."
Alouph Hareven then replied to the Palestinians, first recognizing their courage in coming to Switzerland. He suggested that the suppression of Palestinian identity by the Israelis had begun to distort the identity of the Israelis themselves. He theorized that the Holocaust had made the Israelis extremely vulnerable in respect to issues of security and intolerant of ambiguity, a state the Palestinians could not appreciate; the current Palestinian leadership was weak, and did not take unambiguous positions. I thought that for the first time, there was a significant reference to the Holocaust, but Alouph did not stay with this topic. He went on to say that no more than 18 percent of the Israelis wanted to expel Palestinians from the occupied territories and annex them. Thirty-six percent were willing to return the West Bank and Gaza, but some 40 percent remained undecided. With elections for the Knesset, coming up within a year the question was who would dominate the undecided vote. King Hussein remained ambiguous. Hareven went on, "For four or five years we expected help from the Egyptians. Yes, I agree that time is running out." In addition, turning to the Americans, he made an appeal: “We need help!"

Shimon Shamir reminded us that a "Jewish problem" had started the difficulties we were facing, and that it was in answer to this problem that the Jewish nation of Israel had been established. However, this had led to the “Palestinian problem,” which persists and worsens.

Nechama Agmon spoke next, pointing out, quite rightly, I thought, that each party was putting the responsibility of doing something about the deteriorating situation on the other. "Hatem says 'You do it!' and then Shlomo says, 'you do it!’” She suggested that we should devote the rest of our time at Caux to finding out what we could do together.

When the APA Committee brought representative Israelis and Egyptians together for the first time in 1980, we did not know how they would react to one another, but experience of that confrontation, as well as experience with each subsequent addition to the group, had led me to believe that at Caux Palestinians would open their exchange by claiming that they had been victimized. This proved to be the case. Heretofore, when one group gave an account of its suffering and victimization, the opposing group would counter by similar claims about its own experience. In addition, before joining in the group process, each subsequent newcomer—of whatever ethnic group—had likewise claimed injury. At the Mountain House, we were having a more orderly meeting. The Israelis did not interrupt the Palestinians; some even nodded as though hearing what they expected to hear. The two groups now seemed bent on competing over which should or could start a movement in an effort to correct the deteriorating situation. It was awareness of this competitive spirit that had led to Nechama’s plea that we work together.

The Egyptians and the Americans said very little at this plenary session. I sensed that the Egyptians were relieved that they no longer had to represent the Palestinians and speak for "the ghosts in the empty chairs.” The Palestinians were now present, facing the Israelis on their own behalf. No doubt, the Egyptians felt a burden had been lifted from their shoulders. The Americans also felt relieved; things had started on a positive note. We were beginning to show that Americans could take charge in spite of Bill Davidson's  absence. We were working in an atmosphere that in some respects was almost somber. The huge Mountain House had been opened, out of season, to accommodate members of the APA project, and people tended to keep together, probably feeling some sense of danger in­volved in their attendance. The murders of Sartawi and Grunzweig not only pointed to the realistic urgency of the situation in the Middle East, but also cast a shadow over our meeting. 

At the end of the first day, I made two notes:

1- After 16 years the Palestinians had internalized their sense of victimization and had become, in effect, "professional sufferers." When speaking of a devastating situation they exhibited a kind of anesthetized state that those witnessing it found most moving; it was, paradoxically, more effective in pleading their cause than emotionality could have been.

2- Sartawi's death just before the Mountain House meeting and the association between this murder and other loses that I referred to above also inhibit the expression of intense emotions after the miniconflict was resolved. No one exhibited anger openly. I thought there was an unconscious fear in the room that if aggression were expressed, the fate that befell Sartawi would fall upon us too.

I spoke to Demetrios and Joe about my second thought, and they agreed that they also felt that participants, including ourselves, were showing hesitation to express anger, and that there was anxiety about our well-being. With Ellen’s help, we got in touch with the Swiss authorities and asked them to provide security measures for all participants without being intrusive. All the doors of Mountain House were locked, and when we went out to dine in restaurants, security guards were assigned to us, especially to the Mayor of Bethlehem.

At dinner that first night, I sat with Ed, a psychologist, Rafael, a psychiatrist, Aziz, a lawyer, and Joseph Bashi, an educator from the Hebrew University. The subject of forensic psychiatry came up. Since there were two psychiatrists, one psychologist, and a lawyer at our table, this topic appeared to be a natural one for discussion. I spoke of the work in forensic psychiatry being done at the University of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Hospital, of which at that time I was the medical director, and described how lawyers and psychiatrists were working on the subject of the insanity plea. This led to mention of John Hinkley, who had tried to assassinate President Reagan. Aziz asked about persons with schizophrenia and the "crazy killers" from whom it was impossible to protect society. Rafael and I gave intellectual answers to his questions, and it was only later that I realized that our unconscious anxiety had found expression in our intellectual approach to Hinkley and the “crazy killers.”

After eating, we circulated among the other tables, and I found myself next to the Mayor of Bethlehem, Elias Freij. He was speaking in a humorous way of the security provided in a London hotel in which he had stayed. The hotel manager had denied his presence in the hotel to his wife when she returned there after an outing. When she demurred, "but I am his wife!" they continued to say that there was "no Mr. Freij registered." This time I was sure of the participants’ unconscious anxiety. All had been informed about the security measures with the hope they might calm the participants. I learned that after “formal” discussions end in conference rooms, thoughts and feelings about what had been discussed and felt linger and appear during social settings, even though they may be expressed indirectly. The facilitating team must pay attention to these expressions in social settings too.

On the morning of April 14, Thursday, we divided ourselves into three small groups and decided to look further into the Reagan Plan and mutual and reciprocal recognition between Palestinians and Israelis. Since I was obviously unable to cover any small group other than the one to which I was assigned, I learned about what had happened in other small groups during the plenary session that followed the small-group discussions.

In my summary, I will not dwell on what was said about historical events that were current events at the time of our meeting 30 years ago or on the people who were involved in them. These were discussions about issues such as whether or not Palestinians were ready to recognize Israel and the breakdown of talks between King Hussein of Jordan and Yasser Arafat. In our gathering, an attempt was made to examine not only how the Israelis and Palestinians oppose one another, but what internal conflicts existed at that time in each large group as well. We learned that communication between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank was virtually nonexistent. Palestinians wanted to hear an offer from Israel, but the present government of Israel at that time did not communicate with them at all. The Palestinians maintained that if they were given a "formula" they would talk with the Israelis, and the Israelis began to question their own perception that the insider-Palestinians were totally "prisoners of the PLO." Only few known leaders in the occupied territories would talk directly to the Israelis. Mayor Freij had met with Begin only twice. He declared that no Arab mayor had ever refused to meet with the Israeli authorities. Some Egyptians advocated for the idea of initiating a strong voice from inside the occupied territories and arranging get-togethers between “insider” Palestinians and Israelis. Also discussed was how each side was unable to see the other's problems and fears. Almost every Arab and Israeli agreed that extremism on either side supported the status quo.

Nobody had a problem with the issue of mutual recognition and, in fact, that concept was a problem chiefly of semantics. Nonetheless, one could sense the re-emergence of competition over who was to start the ball rolling. The Palestinians asked for a formula, while the Israelis were asking in their own way for stronger "insider" Palestinian leadership. When communication on these issues became difficult, the APA facilitating team brought the following observations to the Arabs and Israelis’ attention:

1- The models for peace envisioned by the two sides were conceptually different. Possibly, because of differences in cultural orientation and experience, the two sides were promoting different solutions while remaining emotionally and even cognitively unaware that their models were incongruent.

2- The Israelis are "process" oriented. As Shamir indicated, the State of Israel was the result of a process focused on gaining something and then seeking opportunities to gain more—and more. The Camp David Accords was consistent with this model in their view, which anticipated taking one-step at a time.

3- The Palestinians wanted to have a concrete and final objective (or ultimate solution) without regard for process. The Reagan Plan seemed suitable to them.  
 
4- The two sides were not hearing one another as long as they failed to realize the differences through which they were approaching the issue, and failed to acknowledge the emotional attachment each group felt for its own model.
 

The facilitating team suggested that a compromise solution for bringing the two models together would involve systematic movement by keeping in mind our observations—if our observations made sense to the opposing parties. Then General Gazit challenged all to see if we could really find a solution. In speaking so, he was at best ambivalent, but insisted on his challenge that the Israelis and the Arabs at Caux come up with a draft of an agreement, or at least position papers. 

Even at the Mountain House, I was developing my technique to run such meetings. I was not there to give advice to the “enemy” participants. As a psychoanalyst, I would offer empathetic explanations or interpretations to my patients about what lay behind their ambivalences and conflicts. I would not tell them what to do and how to manage their lives. While I was being trained to become a psychoanalyst, no one taught me how to manage other peoples’ lives. Unlike psychotherapy as it is portrayed in many popular television shows, in real psychoanalysis the patient finds his or her own positive solutions. Therefore, I did not respond to Shlomo’s “challenge” and waited for the Arabs’ and Israelis’ reactions. Rafael, also a psychoanalyst, did not wish the participants to “jump from diagnosis to treatment.” He thought, “We might be moving too fast.” He wanted the Israelis and the Arabs to go back and discuss further the suffering and causes of the trouble. However, stimulated by Shlomo’s "challenge," Shamir came up with an elaborate plan, complete with a map drawn on a blackboard. I have detailed notes on this plan, but after the changes that have taken place during the last 30 years in the Middle East and keeping in mind that it is too late to consider the ideas expressed in this plan—ideas such as “an organic connection between the West Bank and Jordan”—I think there is no need to describe it here. Suffice it to say that long discussions of this plan took place at Caux. Many objections came from the Palestinians, while they agreed they had made political mistakes in the past and lost opportunities. Shlomo then expressed surprise that his challenge had become a special topic. He said that we had taken it serious­ly at a time when we were not prepared to work on it. His declaration that he really had not meant us to work on it drew some strong reactions. A depressed mood crept over the participants, some gloomy remarks were made, and Arabs and Israelis went on to describe their own misfortunes and grievances.
I recalled psychoanalyst Edith Jacobson's description of mood change. "To produce a mood, the provocative experience must be of a particular intensity and cause unusually high energy tensions which cannot be immediately and sufficiently relieved by a focal discharge process only.”[v] I considered Shlomo’s "proposal" our "provocative experience," and thought that if I verbalized an explanation of mood change to the participants it would help. I told the group that the shift toward a depressive mood in the room might be the Arab and Israeli participants’ responding to General Gazit’s challenge, but not finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I suggested that the participants reverted back to the old ways of dealing with the conflict, and we were all once again trying to hold on to our own ethnic identities. Addressing the newcomers, I emphasized that in meetings like ours, experience has shown that mood changes can be expected, and do occur. I warned the group not to be drawn into such a mood change in any permanent way, and suggested that we were involved in a process, that our depressed mood was in all likelihood temporary. I noted that initially the psychiatrists in the room were more in tune with me than the others were. Rita and Nechama hugged me. But a few others declared they had not noticed a mood change. I had to wait until we met for dinner to see the reactions to what I had said. At dinner, opposite to the afternoon’s mood in the conference room, we would become elated.
We were taken for dinner that night to a small restaurant in the country where we had a room to ourselves although the security guards, to whose presence we were by now accustomed, joined us. The curtains were drawn for greater safety, making the room dark and sensual. While we ate a typical Swiss meal, there was much touching, back-slapping, and other affectionate gestures. I heard many references to the "mood change," and in touching me, one Egyptian stated that his gesture was an antidote for the former depressed mood. There were many references to "mood regulators" and "mood lifters.” Togetherness was being established along with a mood of elation.

When a musician came in, Rafael pointed to his accordion and declared: "The accordion phenomenon!" He was referring to the analogy I had used at the Mont Pelerin meeting comparing the distancing and coming together of Egyptians and Israelis on that occasion with the push and pull of an accordion. He reminded people sitting in the dining room how I had stated that as the music goes on, the vacillation of distancing/coming together becomes more and more realistic.

The accordion player was an Armenian with an uncanny ability to respond to a diversity of ethnic interests. When he learned who we were, he started playing Hebrew, Arabic, and Turkish, Greek, and American songs. As he played, everyone danced. The Arabs found themselves dancing dances of Israeli origin, and vice versa. Our "celebration" became frenzied when Mohammed, after singing Arabic songs, invited us to join in singing the “Hymn of Joy” from Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

Among the personal contacts, I made that night one that stands out was my rapprochement with Hatem Abu Ghazaleh. He told me about his previous contact with Turks, including stories about his elders’ adventures with Turkish authorities during the centuries-long Turkish rule over what is known today as Palestine.[vi] I sensed that he was disturbed by the present occupation of his land, and speaking of the occupation of the past gave him relief. We could laugh together, as a descendant of the occupier and a descendant of the occupied, at his humorous accounts of his family's dealing with the Turks, about which he expressed both anger and affection. As we rode back to Mountain House on the bus, Hatem sat behind Shlomo, and I sat across the aisle on his right. As we got up to disembark upon our arrival, I noticed that all rose at the same time. Spontaneously, and without thinking, I turned to Hatem, saying, "I allow you to go first. Let this Turk treat you nicely!" Overhearing my remark, Shlomo gestured for Hatem to move down the aisle ahead of him, saying, "I am the real Turk!" Then he confided that he had, in fact, been born in Istanbul. I think this event between the three of us gave symbolic reference to aspects of interaction between representatives of different ethnic groups: seeing myself as a representative of occupiers of the past with my gesture, I was acknowledging Hatem’s hurt and trying to repair his pride. Shlomo then identified with me, acknowledged his being an occupier, and announced that he was "the real Turk." Moreover, he transformed himself into a reparative person by permitting Hatem to go first.

On April 15, Friday, we took an excursion. When we returned to the Mountain House Shlomo asked for a special evening gathering of all participants. Consulting with the chosen leaders of Egyptian, Israeli, and Palestinian groups, we convened this get-together. Shlomo suggested that the APA should sponsor a small group of Israelis and Palestinians to meet in total secrecy to write a detailed peace treaty. The participants would be drawn from the political arena, from the military, from among lawyers, economists, and others and their names would never be disclosed. When they came up with a peace treaty, the treaty would be shown to the world as evidence that agreement was possible. We would thus show the politicians, the PLO, Begin, and others that a solution could be achieved. He began going into practical details, indicating that although the document would be duly signed, the signatures would not be made public, for security reasons. The APA would see to its publication, and if it succeeded, the APA would get the credit. Shlomo did not know if such an agreement could be reached.

Since no one in the room had known why Shlomo had asked for a special gathering and what he had planned to say, everyone was taken by surprise. The initial response to the “Gazit plan” ranged from praise for its creativity and boldness to scorn for its uselessness. The latter view was to some extent based on a lack of faith in any document that had unidentified signatories and sponsorship which came from the psychiatric community. Alouph voiced this doubt about the effectiveness of anything developed in this way. Feelings became intense.
Shlomo’s proposal had taken me by surprise as well. My first reaction was a feeling that we should take time to assimilate and understand his remarks. I concluded the special meeting by noting that we would resume the discussion of our assigned topic, the Lebanon War, in small groups on the following day, and when we convened for the ensuing plenary session, we could handle the General's proposal.

The APA committee members had their caucus in Ellen’s room that night and we reviewed our observations and experiences in detail until two in the morning. I felt that in his empathy for the Palestinians Shlomo was turning away from a process orientation, wanting a quick solution, which was not on the APA agenda. The APA Committee members and other participants were not ready to undertake or sponsor such a major plan. We decided that I prepare a written statement describing the meeting process from a psychological point of view and share this statement with our guests at the next day’s plenary session. I now dimly recall that we thought a written document would make me more of an authority and would prevent Shlomo from diverting us from a planned process. Looking back, this shows the American teams’, and my, anxiety. 

The next day, on Saturday, when everyone was present I began reading my statement with a reference to my first profession as a psychoanalyst. I stated that a general rule of thumb in psychoanalysis advises that one stay curious about anything that comes up during a process under study, and accordingly I was curious about what happened the evening before. I continued my prepared reading, which stated my belief that it was important to recall once more two issues we had faced at Caux:
 
 
2- The other issue is that we have Palestinians with us for the first time. They have described their dilemma with dignity. They forced us to search our souls, and this is a painful process. How much can we agree with them? How much can we disagree? How generous can we be in our empathy? Are they inducing guilt in us? Do we unconsciously want to blow them up because they have in­duced painful emotions in us? How much does each of us need to protect our own security and, by extension, that of our large group? Is there a solution? Is the solution of one the insecurity of another?” Palestinian participation caused re-examination of old and new wounds, and a desire to heal them.
Because of these two issues, there might be a wish for a new and dramatic solution to the problems before us. I feel that the psychological motivation for General Gazit's proposal, and its nature, arose from these two major issues. In a sense, the General was putting into words the tension and urgency we were all feeling.
Our basic new task under the APA umbrella is to let the newcomers, especially the Palestinians, get to know us, and to grasp the process in which we are all involved. Our process is in the service of understanding the psychological obstacles against finding peace in the Arab-Israeli relations. This process, while it may seem slow or abrasive, also has the potential of bringing forth new creative ideas such as the one General Gazit suggested. However, we will stay with our primary task.
Thank you for hearing me out.
 
Another psychoanalyst, Rafael, took the floor after I did, first saying that he shared the basic concepts I had communicated: "We psychiatrists have not been systematic enough in sharing our knowledge of the process with the other members. We should do this... Let's get the feelings out. We have movement. Let's move on!" Shlomo, in a brief response, noted that had it not been for the nature of our meeting a proposal such as his would not have been made. With this, we "moved on," and I asked the reporters to relay the discussions from their small groups that had just taken place prior to this plenary session. It seemed that in the small group discussions there had not been many references to the “Gazit proposal”; everyone seemed to have been willing to wait to hear what I would say about it during the plenary session.
We learned that small-group discussions on Saturday focussed on the how Israeli action in Lebanon had contributed to the "freezing" of the peace process. Yitschak Oron pointed out that the Egyptians had tried, even before the eruption in Lebanon, to "close the Israeli Embassy to Egypt" and that prestigious Egyptians were publishing anti-Semitic writings. An article in the Egyptian press had accused the Israelis of releasing Norwegian rats into Egypt in order to destroy the country! As I write this now I recall that a similar conspiracy theory came up in December 2010. In reality, three Russian and one Ukrainian tourist were seriously injured on December 1 and a German woman was killed on December 5 by shark attacks off the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The new conspiracy theory was that Israeli Mossad was responsible for putting sharks near Sharm el-Sheikh in order to ruin Egyptian tourism. One of the participants of the Mountain House meeting, an Egyptian woman journalist Bahira Mokhtar from El-Ahram newspaper, suggested that representatives of the press in both countries should be brought together to exchange views, and that information about attitudes and perceptions on both sides should be communicated. Iyad gave his opinion that very little could be expected from Arab writers as long as the Israelis continued to occupy Gaza and the West Bank.

During the War of Lebanon, from September 16 through 18, 1982, a Lebanese Phalangist group, Maronites, killed between 1,000 and 3,000 Palestinians, including children and other civilians in Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut. Israeli forces surrounded these camps when this tragedy occurred. The Maronites were responding to the assassination of Lebanist Phalangist leader Bachir Gemayel. Once more participants in our gathering made an association to an assassination, and its consequences would really touch a sore spot.

Shlomo, referring to the massacres at Sabra and Shatila, said, "We (Israelis) have no responsibility for the killings. Not one Israeli killed a Palestinian!" Shawkat raised his voice in reply. “I cannot believe what you are saying!" he exclaimed. "We know that the Phalangists were responsible for the killings at Sabra and Shatila. You (the Israelis) kept saying that Arabs were barbaric and that you were civilized. Then when you were around, killing occurred. The Israeli report on this incident (Kahan Report),[vii] says that you are responsible, but it cannot say more than that. The report is partly political; it is emotionally motivated. You cannot wash your hands! You cannot say this was only a Phalangist business!” He then added, "I hope I am not offending anybody.” Calm returned.

Copies of the Kahan Report that were brought from Israel earlier were distributed to all participants. Referring to it, Alouph stated that one could see 3000 years of Judaism in the study, interpretation, and re-interpretation of law that dominated the society. With recent events in Lebanon, the issue of whether the law or the military controlled the country came into focus and led to the Kahan Report. He added, "I have deep doubts whether such an issue can be openly discussed in other countries.” In response to this, Iyad spoke of how moved he had been at seeing the demonstrations in Israel in response to Sabra and Shatila; it had given him hope.

More personal statements followed. Adel Sadek told us how Iyad had asked him, "Am I a coward because I am a moderate?" This question had caused Adel himself to address the same issue. It came out that Adel had left his small daughter ill with a fever when he left Cairo to come to the meeting in Caux, and he had been worried about her since his departure. He had spoken of this only to an Israeli, Nechama, seeking help from her. He had tried to reach his household in Cairo by telephone, but had not succeeded until this Saturday morning when he learned that the child had recovered. However, he said, his pain continued, and he wondered to himself if he were feeling guilty for the hundreds of children caught in the massacres. He also wondered, "Am I a coward? Am I a coward for searching for peace?" His sharing his personal thoughts moved us all.

The rest of the discussion focused on observations that extreme religious fanaticism was increasing in the Arab world as well as in Israel. We also explored ideas of what could be done to strengthen the moderates in each national group.

Earlier, after I consulted with the leaders of each group and other members of the facilitating team, it was decided that from now on we would spend the last day of our meetings discussing what actions participants would try to take after the meeting was over. On April 17, Sunday, we had a very early morning plenary session in which we considered actions such as: reporting to appropriate people in govern­ments concerning the ideas that had come to the surface in our meetings (Joe Montville would be the Americans’ link to the U.S. Department of State); informing the American ambassadors in Jerusalem and Cairo about the meeting (and that Israelis and Palestinians would go to see the American Ambassador to Israel together); visiting the West Bank and Gaza (by Israelis) to review the conditions there with the help of the Palestinian participants and make recommendations for improvement and start joint projects on immigration, education, and press attitudes; conferring with each other after critical events through a conference call; publishing a special issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry on the APA Committee on Psychiatry and Foreign Affairs-sponsored Arab-Israeli meetings; and considering inviting to regular meetings representatives of special professional groups such as newspaper editors. 
After the plenary session, we took a train to Rochers-de-Naye, the snowy mountaintop above the Mountain House. It was a pleasant break of a few hours. As we watched the soaring of hang gliders from the mountaintop, we joked that we had indeed come to "a summit meeting." That evening all of us got together again and everyone had a turn making farewell remarks. We acknowledged that we had missed the presence of Bill Davidson, and Ellen added that Dr. Jack Weinberg would have been proud of us. I thanked everyone for their help in conducting the meeting and expressed my hope that they had found me fair in conducting the plenary sessions. Thus, the Mountain House meeting came to a formal end. 
On April 18, 1983 there was a suicide bombing attack on the American Embassy in Beirut that killed 60 persons, mostly Americans working at the embassy, marines and sailors. We heard about this tragedy on April 19. At breakfast, that morning the Mayor told us that Palestinians were not involved. In fact, Hezbollah, a Shi’a Muslim militant group, took responsibility with the explanation that Islamists wanted Americans out of Lebanon. With the knowledge of this new tragedy, death, and destruction, the next day the Americans flew back to their homes.
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[i] Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded during the first Arab summit meeting in Cairo in January 1964. Since 1969, Yasser Arafat had been the Chairman of the PLO’s Executive Committee. He remained as the Chairman until his death in 2004.
[ii] Volkan 1976.
[iii] Volkan 1988, 2006.
[iv] Davidson and Montville 1981-1982.

[v] Jacobson 1971, p.71.

[vi] Seljuk Turks conquered Palestine for ten years starting in 1070. The Ottoman Turks ruled Palestine for four hundred years from 1517 to 1917.
[vii] The Commission of Inquiry into the Events at the Refugee Camps in Beirut, known as The Kahan Commission (named after its chairperson, the president of the Israeli Supreme Court Yitzhak Kahan), was established soon after the Sabra and Shatila massacres. After four months, on February 8, 1983, the Kahan Report found Israel indirectly responsible for the massacres: The decision for the entry of the Phalangists into the refugee camps was taken without consideration of the danger—which the makers and executors of the decision were obligated to foresee as probable—the Phalangists would commit massacres and pogroms against the inhabitants of the camps, and without examination of the means for preventing this danger.
 
Similarly, it is clear from the course of events, that when the reports began to arrive about the actions of the Phalangists in the camps, no proper heed was taken of them, the correct conclusions were not drawn, and no energetic and immediate efforts were made to restrain the Phalangists and put a stop to their actions. (Kahan, Barak and Efrat 1983).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
On the night of April 17th, we took dinner at Chateau du Chatelard where the Mayor of Montreux was our guest. We were welcomed to the Chateau by some Swiss in native dress and the blowing of bugles. As has become our custom, we made many toasts at the last dinner. On the following day, we all left Mountain House, but the American group and the Mayor of Bethlehem with his security men moved to a hotel in Montreux for a day. The Americans met by themselves in the hotel to review the meeting. Two of them reported having had dreams during the meeting, the manifest content of which, I believe, reflected the group process then taking place. When the flow of the process had seemed "threatened," one American had dreamt of seeing one of the Israeli members marching up and down in his room in uniform. Another American had dreamt of two divisions of the Israeli Army on manoeuvres that were designed to intimidate the Palestinians under occupation. The dreamer saw black African girls who, having no place in which to relieve themselves urinated everywhere until they stood in a pool of urine. The dreamer pointed to the possibility that the day residue of this dream came from his having watched a television documentary about black children; it had claimed that the children pictured had an advantage for having been educated in Europe. Since the black girls in his dream were in captivity, however, we thought of them as representing the Palestin­ian girls who had expressed their anger (urination) by becoming "hysterical." We were meeting in Europe and our “education” in Europe might give us an “advantage.”
1- The first issue is this: Dr.William Davidson, who we all expected would lead this meeting, did not come to Caux and left me as chair­person. The issue is not whether I am doing a good job or not; a significant and sudden change in leadership has taken place, and all my experiences with psychological issues leads me to expect an obligatory reaction to such change that may exhibit itself in many ways, including the appearance among us of a wish to fill the real or fantasized vacuum of leadership.

  

 
 
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