July 15, 2014

The Psychology Behind A Minority of Israelis Cheering On The Bombing of Gaza on Hilltops

Israelis enjoying the entertainment of war on a hot summer night. They might as well be living on Mars, because none of the shitty rockets from Hamas will ever reach their precious neighbourhoods, settlements, and towns. 
"Last Wednesday night, as he stood on a hilltop outside the Israeli town of Sderot and watched the bombardment of Gaza on the plain below, a Danish newspaper reporter snapped an iPhone photo of about a dozen locals who cheered on their military from plastic chairs while eating popcorn.

Allan Sørensen, a veteran Middle East correspondent for Denmark’s Kristeligt Dagblad, then uploaded the image to Twitter with a sardonic caption that described the macabre scene as “Sderot cinema.”

The image of the Israeli spectators was taken after 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday, the reporter said, about the same time that what was intended to be a “precision strike” from Israel’s military killed at least eight of their Palestinian neighbors, seated in similar plastic chairs at a beachside cafe in Gaza, waiting to watch the World Cup semifinal between Argentina and the Netherlands.

Explaining that he has also previously witnessed Palestinians cheering news of bombings that killed Israelis, Mr. Sørensen said that, in a war, “this is what happens.” Civilians and fighters on both sides, he said, “go through a process of dehumanizing the enemy.”" - Robert Mackey, "Israelis Watch Bombs Drop on Gaza From Front-Row Seats" The New York Times, July 14, 2014.

The Psychology Behind A Minority of Israelis Cheering On The Bombing of Gaza on Hilltops

- A break from boredom.

- War as sport. Cheering your team on is fun and exciting. Just look at the World Cup.

- Fulfilling revenge urges.

- Generations of Israelis have been raised up on hatred for Palestinians, disinformation about the occupation, and totalitarian propaganda regarding the perpetual threat of terrorism.

- Release of tension and anxiety produced by Hamas rockets.

- It is a genuine communal event and a fun social experience outdoors. For some, chilling back on a cozy couch on a beautiful hilltop, with the sunset and a cool summer breeze, is more appealing than being crammed inside an overcrowded bunker underground. It's also more affordable.

- All communities develop a sick sense of humour in war-plagued societies. Palestinians and Hamas do equally deplorable things, such as teaching children to hate Jews via cartoon figures. The toxic mix of an endless eternal war, as Israel and Hamas perceive themselves engaging in, along with the natural human need to make light of difficult circumstances, produces bizarre and abnormal behaviour. In such a crazy environment, and considering the historical context, it is easy to understand why some Israelis want to watch the bombing of Gaza around the clock while enjoying beer and barbeque chicken. The humanity of Palestinians does not exist in their brainwashed minds. They are also victims; victims of a psychological war that is being waged by their government against their minds.