Jewish Collective Guilt


Jewish Collective Guilt

Take Back the Night

- or the real news from Israel this week:

by Judy Cohain


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In his last book, called Moses and Monotheism, (written ironically, in 1939, while Freud himself was in exile from his beloved Vienna after the Nazi invasion of Austria in 1939), Freud gives us an explanation for Jewish collective guilt. He suggests the Jewish people got angry at Moses at Mt Sinai and murdered him. This, he says, has resulted in 3000 years of subliminal Jewish guilt. Preposterous? Until now.

My aunt Lila, from Indiana, just returned from the whirlwind Jewish Federation tour organized to “show support” for Israel. Bottom line that was presented to her in this tour, was that Israel shares guilt for the violence happening in Israel at this time. The speakers presented Federation tour visitors with the example of the Israelis blocking roads in the territories, and not allowing a 10 year old girl, suffering from appendicitis to go to the Israeli hospitals for treatment. Freud would be delighted by the proof of his theories. “The Jews killed a 10 year old Arab girl.” It would be funny if it wasn’t going to cause a war in which thousands will die.

If subliminal guilt were not operating, an intelligent person would surely ask:

  1. Among all the Palestinians, who are running their own country already, hospitals, post-office, courts, was there not a single hospital or doctor who could handle a simple appendicitis?

  2. The Israelis only close the Israeli roads to Arab traffic as a response to Arab violence. Arab roads are closed to Jewish traffic for months now. The Arab territories are 100% closed to Jewish traffic and if a Jew takes a wrong turn and ends up in a Palestinian village, he is lynched and killed and it is whose fault? His, of course.

  3. Why was there no mention of the 30 Jewish ambulances that have been stolen in the past several months, so that Palestinians can infiltrate Israel and make bomb attacks under the guise of bringing “sick” Palestinian children who are “dying” of appendicitis to Israeli hospitals? Why is there no mention of how Palestinians use fire engines and ambulances to transport terrorists into Israel??

  4. Why is there no mention that now that Palestinians have sovereignty, Israel no longer covers the Palestinians for life saving surgery in Israeli hospitals, which they used to before the Palestinians had a state, but the Palestinians will NOT pay for any surgery to save their own people?

In New York City, Women took to the streets at night in a major effort to decrease the occurrence of rape. There was a movement to TAKE BACK THE NIGHT. The slogan, and nightly vigils helped women feel safe again at night. In Brooklyn, the Jewish Defense League, took back the streets from the constant anti-semitic terror with citizen patrols of the streets.

But here in Israel, it is totally acceptable that we hide in our houses at night from Arab terrorists. In our own country, In our own country.


Passing on absurd news like Jews won’t allow a girl with appendicitis go to the hospital or Jews take part in the violence is in effect, Jews killing Moses, killing ourselves, causing future 1000’s to dies in an upcoming war.

A result seemingly of some collective Jewish guilt. Maybe Freud was wrong and the guilt is not caused from killing Moses. But it is sure to kill Jews in the next war. The war will be caused by those who tell stories about Israel sharing guilt in the current violence. If this inaccurate news is spread by foreign reporters, then the guilt lies in us printing it. Unless we TAKE BACK THE NIGHT, blood is on our hands.

Judy Cohain is a Certified Nurse Midwife from New York City, a graduate of Cornell, Columbia and U of Minnesota, who is living in Israel for the past 12 years.


from the Febuary 2001 Edition Jewish Magazine

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