Dear IPA Colleagues,
I am writing in response to numerous messages from members who wrote after reading the article I wrote for the IPA newsletter
sent to you on 27 October.
I discussed the expressions of distress that I received with the IPA Board at their online meeting on 28 October. A majority of Board members endorsed the restatement of the first part of my article noted below**. A subgroup of Board members suggested taking time to offer a considered and more psychoanalytic statement.
A primary concern for the IPA is for its members and candidates in the Israel Psychoanalytic Society, their direct experience of atrocities committed by Hamas that began on October 7th and the ongoing daily threat to their families’, friends’, patients’, and their own lives.
The IPA has also Muslim and Arab members and the surge in antisemitism worldwide is accompanied by an increase in Islamophobia. These abhorrent consequences of war in the Middle East lead us to crave an end to violent intractable conflict.
The IPA will continue with the task of thinking psychoanalytically about the impact of unimaginable trauma, its stages – acute, ongoing, and transgenerational - and the roots of the human capacity to objectify and annihilate fellow human beings.
6 November 2023
**Board approved restatement:
In the last month, starting October 7th, the world has been shocked by dramatic evidence of cruelty and brutal assault on human life inflicted on innocent Israeli civilians by the barbaric inhuman attack of Hamas. Innocent bystanders continue to fear for their lives. Israeli citizens and others who were on Israeli soil were taken hostage. The hostages - including children - are held, tortured, and some have been killed. The methods and ideology of Hamas raise the specter of the Holocaust. In the wake of this brutal aggression, innocent citizens in Israel and in Gaza suffer inhumane conditions and extreme violence. How can we respond?
We stand in solidarity with our Israeli members and candidates who are under threat. As practitioners of a profession that is embedded in humanitarian values and ethical standards, we stand with innocent victims on all sides of the conflict and in other areas of violent conflict already active in the world.