Skip to content
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

Hatred of the Jews as a Psychological Phenomenon in Palestinian Society

Filed under: Anti-Semitism, International Law, Israel, Palestinians, Peace Process, Radical Islam
Publication: Jewish Political Studies Review

Jewish Political Studies Review

Jewish Political Studies Review 18:3-4 (Fall 2006)



Palestinian hatred of the Jews emanates from three principal sociohistorical sources:  (1) Koranic and Hadith injunctions; (2) extremist Islamic militancy; and (3) the highly successful indoctrination and incitement of children established by the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat. The evolution of this hatred is related to psychological processes arising from Arab childrearing practices. An authoritarian upbringing, particularly when severely punitive, is associated with personality characteristics incorporating a Manichean thought process and lack of empathy.  Indoctrination of such personality types can readily orient them to terrorism and “martyrdom.” Severely dysfunctional families in the West are progenitors of particularly violent criminals. In the Arab-Muslim world, the strongly collective nature of society appears to incline such individuals to action on a group level. The essentially monolithic ideology and practice of Islam, which date from the inception of the Arab-Muslim world, make Palestinian hatred  merely one instance of general Arab-Muslim, particularly Islamist, hatred of Jews and of the West.


The ubiquitous Palestinian hatred of Jews is shared by the major part of the current Arab-Muslim world, and is one facet of a mindset that also facilitates terrorism and suicide bombings. In view of the growing worldwide manifestations of these phenomena, it is crucial to examine what cultural factors foster them, with particular emphasis on group cohesion, and to what extent this differs from characteristic Western mores. Terrorism researchers now consider group cohesion to be the fundamental factor modulating terrorist activity. Western martyrdom terrorism is negligible except for those individuals influenced by radical Islam, and anti-Semitism, though common, is hardly ubiquitous.

Composite unifying factors in the Arab-Muslim sphere engender these phenomena. The omnipresent hatred of Jews in this world has a common heritage and is illustrated by a recent Pew poll.[1] It indicates an unfavorable view of Jews among 99-100 percent of Lebanese; 99 percent of Jordanians; large majorities of Moroccans, Indonesians, and Pakistanis; and 60 percent of Turks.[2] Teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, according to the Hadith (traditions ascribed to Mohammed), declare that: “The Day of Resurrection will not come until the Muslims make war against the Jews and kill them, and until the Jew hides behind a rock and a tree, and the rock and tree say ‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, a Jew is behind me, come and kill him.'”[3]  The original Hadith[4] appears as Article 7 of the Hamas Charter.[5]

Mohammed’s antagonism was ostensibly prompted by Jewish rejection of his interpretation of Judaism, as reflected in the latter passages of the Koran in contrast with the earlier ones. Modern militant Islam espouses the latter Koranic injunctions, considering them to abrogate the earlier ones.[6]  Nevertheless, Jews had been permitted to live in Muslim lands under dhimma but with subservient status, onerous taxes, limited legal rights, intermittent physical abuse, and periodic outright massacres. This situation deteriorated, with increasing persecution following the establishment of the state of Israel and the burgeoning of radical Islam, now believed to constitute 10 to 15 percent of the Muslim world of over one hundred billion people. Anti-Semitism is a prominent feature of both radical and mainstream, religiously moderate Islam.[7]

In this world, personality and behaviors are governed by belief systems instilled by Islamic education that emphasizes repetition and Koranic rote learning. Such teaching, which stems from a pre-Islamic tradition of memorization,[8] occurs in the madrassas of Arabia, Asia, and Africa, where prolonged Koranic chanting is mandatory. Independent thought is stifled, while teachings foster mindsets prone to terrorism and “martyrdom.”

A crucial factor in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle is the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing use of schoolbooks[9] and television for indoctrination to extremism, based on Koranic excerpts and directed at children from the earliest age. Keynote themes are Jews as the worst enemies of Islam; delegitimization of biblical Israelite history, which is usurped as Canaanite and Arab history;[10] denial of contemporary Jews’ descent from ancient Israelites who purportedly died out, today’s Jews instead being ostensibly descended from Khazar converts to Judaism; and the allegedly illegal Jewish seizure of the land of Palestine.

Children are indoctrinated with the aim of destroying the Jewish state and with hatred of the West. “Martyr clips” on PA television showing children on their way to “martyrdom” display high emotion, intense colors and action, inspirational narrative, and accompanying, strongly rhythmic music with martial overtones. Also featured are inciting clips from religious sermons.[11]

Such techniques are extremely effective, combining powerful psychological mechanisms of established learning theory with states of enhanced suggestibility and hypnotic phenomena, already fully described elsewhere.[12]

National Character

The concept of national character has been challenged, with criticism leveled at seminal analyses such as Raphael Patai’s The Arab Mind [13] and Sania Hamady’s Temperament and Character of the Arabs.[14] Yet a favorable review of Patai’s book by the CIA[15] indicates the relevance of national-character and cultural research to war-intelligence analysis, and its application to U.S. military training.[16]

The basic postulates of early experiences exerting a lasting personality effect, together with the similar cultural patterning found in ethnically or culturally homogeneous societies,

provide a viable infrastructure for the establishment of “national character.” Patai discusses this issue at length, including insights from anthropological and psychological sources.  Muslim-Arab society is one in which cultural homogeneity-with the exception of peripheral Muslim groups, such as the Sudanese–dictates the national society, or modal personality, to be relatively homogeneous.[17] Modern families, as contrasted with Islamist fundamentalist ones, may demonstrate trust, affection, and cooperation rather than extreme authoritarian forms of patriarchy.[18] Muslim-Arab societies are highly collectivized and thus differ from individualistic Western societies. Ba’athist totalitarian modalities are politically superimposed on the general authoritarian Islamic structure.

Traditional Arab childrearing practices show “general conformity to an all-Arab basic pattern”[19] in which the incidence and severity of corporal punishment are much greater than in the Western world. The authoritarian nature of Arab society is particularly pronounced among Islamic extremists. In general, it is manifested in teaching methods involving rote learning and the disallowance of disparate opinion, in schools and in the patriarchal home where absolute obedience and corporal punishment are norms,[20] and in societal pressures for conformity of thought and deed, both personal and political. Bernard Lewis notes two traditions in Islam, one authoritarian, the other radical and activist.[21] He also affirms that “immunity from critical comment or discussion is accepted as normal even in ostensibly secular and democratic Muslim societies.”[22]

The Authoritarian Personality and the Narcissistic Personality

“Personality” and “personality traits” refer to the characteristic thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of an individual. If inflexible or maladaptive, with functional impairment, a personality disorder is considered to be present. (The person, however, is generally legally sane and responsible for his actions.)

Adorno’s five-year study of religious and racial prejudice, particularly anti-Semitism, delineated characteristics classified as the authoritarian personality, associating prejudice with a prefascist mentality and with right-wing authoritarianism. [23] The concept was extended[24] to include left-wing authoritarianism, since Leninist and Maoist mentalities exhibited similar characteristics, namely: intolerance; a rigid, categorical thought pattern; submissiveness to higher authority but aggression toward undesirable inferiors; and a polarized, Manichean viewpoint defining “my” good and “your” evil. Individuals possessing such mentalities were insecure, superstitious, and potentially paranoid. This personality was associated with a rigidly disciplined childhood, and affection conditional on the child’s “good” behavior.

The concept of the authoritarian personality has survived various criticisms and constitutes a pivotal breakthrough in understanding authoritarianism.[25] The linkage with rigid discipline and conditional affection, but not necessarily brutally traumatic upbringing, is increasingly confirmed. The insistence on submission to authority and rote learning in Arab culture is evident, and ethnocentrism and distrust, also considered aspects of authoritarianism, are clearly demonstrable in Arab societies.[26]  German and Japanese children were also highly disciplined, and were readily indoctrinated with Nazi and imperialist ideologies.

Narcissistic personality disorder is defined by the American Psychiatric Association in its internationally accepted Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.[27] The disorder is characterized by pervasive grandiosity, sense of entitlement, and need for admiration, which, if thwarted, leads to anger, rage, defiant counterattack, and lack of empathy for others. If not severe enough to impair function, these characteristics are termed narcissistic traits.

Terrorism researchers recognize that this profile is encountered in ruthless totalitarian leaders.[28] Its most extreme manifestation is in remorselessly aggressive, power-hungry, omniscient, grandiose individuals who manipulate others with absolutist, polarizing rhetoric and, frequently, charismatic charm. Such individuals demand admiration, attention, and ultimately obedience while totally lacking conscience and empathy toward others. The full-blown disorder is associated with a characteristically abusive, punitive childhood responsible for creating the “wounded self,”[29] as with Saddam Hussein,[30] who was unloved and in whom an authoritarian upbringing was paired with severe child abuse.

Personality Types and the Arab Population

No population is monolithic. But when the general population has learned authoritarian behavior in the home, it will readily follow an authoritarian leader. Abusive childhoods will engender various degrees of narcissistic features or outright narcissistic disorders, producing some potentially violent, extremist individuals.

Psychohistorians tend to argue that individual psychological processes cannot be extrapolated to a “national character.” But as already mentioned, where powerful unifying processes enable cultural homogeneity, extrapolation from the individual to the larger society appears justifiable. Regarding the Palestinians, these unifiers are: (1) Islamic history; (2) religious ideology; (3) deliberate indoctrination programs; and (4) substantially pervasive and extreme modes of childrearing.

Of relevance is an extensive West German study of 250 captured terrorist Red Army members revealing that one-quarter had lost one or both parents before age fourteen, demonstrating the significance of a common etiological factor in subsequent behavior.[31] Also important is that these terrorists had been educational, occupational, and social misfits until functionally redeemed by group process following their enlistment into the terrorist group.

What is it, then, about Arab childrearing that renders the child so vulnerable in this respect? Authorities who have reviewed the available literature find that basic similarities exist throughout the Arab world,[32] particularly regarding corporal punishment, which far outweighs that seen in Western countries.[33]  Many Western researchers share opinions expressed here[34] (though not an Arab writer).[35]

The clash of the norms of Arab civil society with what Westerners consider acceptable is startling. English-speaking and other Western societies stress optimal childrearing as characterized by consistency, predictability, affection, good communication, and absence of emotional or physical abuse.[36] Negation of these precepts correlates with emotional dysfunction, including violent, criminal, and addictive behaviors, [37] which are well documented in the West.

Arab childrearing demonstrates built-in unpredictability. Vastly differential treatment of boys and girls favors boys.[38]  Even the boy’s world, however, is marked by pain, uncertainty, and rejection.  Although primary parenting of the boy by the mother until age seven is viewed as generally permissive and affectionate, the father then takes over and characteristically uses harsh physical discipline to instill respect for authority.[39]

A less benign alternative pattern indicates mothers as disciplining, particularly by shaming the boy, comparing him unfavorably with his brothers. This, if severe, is emotionally abusive and instills unhealthy competitiveness. The mother may use counterproductive threats rather than rewards. Indeed, rewarding-behaviors by mothers in Lebanon were found to be associated with higher child achievement and were significantly more common among Christian Arabs than Sunni Arabs.[40]

Psychohistorian Lloyd deMause[41] cites copious Arab and Muslim sources describing conspicuous violence against wives and children in Muslim families. Child discipline extends to whipping, thrashing, and worse.

A Muslim sociologist states: “in our society there is no relationship of friendship between a man and a woman,” DeMause notes that “families that produce the most terrorists are the most violently misogynist,” and that “young girls are treated abominably in most fundamentalist families.”

A recent survey of Palestinian society[42] indicated child sexual abuse to involve 50 percent of boys and 31 percent of girls aged six to twelve, in a study involving 184 subjects. The author considered this to signify a “prominent presence….of [this] dangerous phenomenon,” and also indicated the unusual predominance of boys among the victims (on international statistics, see below).

Whereas in the female domain the boy is indulged and can bully and physically abuse others, under the father he is powerless and forbidden to express frustration and anger. He quickly learns to identify with his father’s behavior and to desire power.

Circumcision without anesthesia is a prime trauma performed from ages four to twelve or thirteen. Older boys are usually aware, but younger ones are totally unprepared for the surgery, only having been told about celebration aspects.  Bravery is emphasized; expressions of pain are disdained. A boy interviewed a few months later seemed sad, observing that “I became small.”[43]

Breastfeeding of boys continues until age two or three and is permissive, with demand feeding, but termination is abrupt.[44] This constitutes a massive perceived rejection with consequent emotional trauma. Weaning may also be rough.  A mother said of a newly weaned child, “Now he knows that treachery exists in the world.”[45] As Sania Hamady, an Arab American anthropologist originally from Lebanon, observes, “Mistrust among the Arabs is internalized early within the value system of the child.”[46]

Discipline is inconsistent, transgressions being arbitrarily ignored, indulged, or punished. This discourages development of internal values and instead fosters uncertainty, anger, and manipulativeness as a coping mechanism. Honor, with avoidance of shame and loss of face, is paramount, the child mainly learning to think “Can I get away with it?” Being shamed, with scorn and punishment from others, is the predominant issue; guilt-that is, internalized self-punishment-and remorse, which form the basis for acceptance of responsibility, are relatively absent.[47]

Also significant is the effect of a mother who has been beaten or degraded by male relatives, and who may have undergone female genital mutilation. International statistics involve parameters that vary grossly between countries and are incomplete, rendering comparisons problematic. UN News noted that there is a significant lack of information on violence against women in developing countries.[48] Such violence renders these mothers depressed, apathetic, and emotionally unavailable, or hostile and angry. Additionally, whereas the mother of boy children is lauded by society, for the birth of a girl she is often despised.[49]

In Western upbringing, when one family member is consistently loving and reliable, it has a protective effect and helps obviate personality damage.[50] This may also be a saving mechanism for luckier Arab children.

The Wounded Self in the West and in the Arab World

The connection between child abuse and the eventual criminal, often violent adult[51] is not only explicable in basic psychoanalytic terms but also well documented in the Western world.[52] “A consistent finding in the childhoods of extremely violent criminal recidivists is that of severe abuse.” [53]

Although Western criminality should not be equated with the mores of Arab societies, child abuse has sinister consequences as it distorts the individual’s personality. Such grave outcomes are not culture-bound, but their modes of expression are.

Thus, in individualistic Western societies, the affected individual may rebel against family and society, frequently with criminality. More rarely, with a different personality configuration, he may join a terrorist group and become collectivized therein.[54] In Arab society, because of its strongly collectivist and patriarchal nature, the individual characteristically does not criminally act out against the mores of family and society. Instead, the buried emotions of childhood trauma are handled by the psychological defense mechanism of splitting, whereby antagonistic feelings toward the parent, and toward the individual himself, continue as a dammed-up source of predominantly subconscious anger. Later, this is discharged by projection outward onto a socially endorsed target-in this case, Jews and Israel.

An eminent Palestinian psychiatrist noted the authoritarian upbringing and harsh disciplining of children in Gaza for even an incorrect answer in school. He suggested that children of the First Intifada were rebelling not only against the actions of the “invading Israeli army” but also displacing onto Israelis their repressed anger at the harsh circumstances of their daily life.[55]

How Early Abuse Produces Catastrophic Effects

The first few years of infantile development are pivotal in determining the baby’s self-esteem and his future personality. No mother is perfect,[56] but if she is a “good-enough mother”[57] the baby will incorporate predominantly good memories. With seriously defective or abusive mothering, or with harsh paternal abuse, the child will be negatively influenced, lose basic trust in one or both parents, withdraw emotionally from them and from others, and come to trust only himself, losing empathy with others and possibly becoming capable of great cruelty.

Concomitantly, he experiences severe anxiety and rage. But since he cannot yet accurately localize these painful feelings, they are translated by a postulated, primitive, punitive superego (or early “conscience”)[58] into self-blame, followed by poor self-esteem. He either sinks into apathy or compensates by developing fantasies of self-grandeur. For this, and to maintain trust in himself, he needs and demands constant reassurance in the form of admiration and attention. Thus evolves the pathological narcissist, or at its worst the malignant narcissist who, if charismatic, intelligent, and articulate, may become a ruthless authoritarian leader.

Recent research utilizing new brain-imaging and other techniques indicates that previously severely abused children, due to abnormal stress hormone production, suffer abnormal brain development affecting nerve centers that regulate memory, emotions, and behavior, including aggression. These findings appear to link child abuse, consequent aberrant brain development, and ensuing psychological, emotional, and behavioral consequences.[59]

The most important psychological mechanism alleviating the painfully damaged psyche is the abovementioned splitting,[60] whereby the good and bad internal representations are split off from each other. The intensely negative representations of self and parent, having been split off and rendered unconscious, are displaced, by the well-known defense mechanism of projection, onto others toward whom the individual is caused to feel hatred.[61]

Thus the emerging leader is enabled to become grandiose and feel omnipotent. But because of associated split-off fear he blames and scapegoats the other, considering himself and his cause “the victim,” thereby manifesting early paranoia that accompanies the projective mechanism. Refusing to accept responsibility, he even perpetrates atrocities against the “other.”

Invoking this projective mechanism affords a powerful propaganda and psychological tool for Arab audiences when blaming Israel for the recent massive terror attacks in New York and Washington, London, Sinai, and so on.

Splitting, with its polarized thinking, is equally significant intellectually in that the individual, rendered emotionally incapable of tolerating ambiguity, intellectually precludes negotiation and compromise.

The charismatic, authoritarian, narcissistic leader affects the general population. Many followers were also traumatized as infants and have narcissistic traits and fantasies of grandeur, but temperamentally are too timid to act them out. Instead, they are attracted by a leader who represents their own idealized self-image.[62] Acceptance by such a leader, or his group of followers, strengthens their own ego. Such is the power of the group, whether a football team, a street gang, or a terrorist organization.

Why Are Jews the Target?

Despite hatred advocated by Islamic sources, the ameliorating Koranic concept of dhimma  enabled Jews to live under Islam with some stability, punctuated by abasement and violence,[63] with particular hardship in historic Palestine for centuries.[64]

In the nineteenth century, Jews in Palestine were often attacked by Bedouin marauders. Arab nationalism, apparent before 1914, gained impetus from corruption in the declining Ottoman Empire and from Jewish immigration. The Ottoman Land Code of 1858 had slowly led to land grabs by wealthy Arabs, among them absentee landlords living in Lebanon who sold such lands to Jews unbeknown to peasants who lost their grazing rights.[65] When so informed by new Jewish owners, the peasants’ understandable fury  turned against the Jews.

The British Mandate with its centralization process induced change and instability,[66] a common breeding ground for anti-Semitism. Jewish commercial development fostered a growing economy that employed many Arabs. This threatened the power of Arab ruling classes, who concomitantly became hostile toward Jews.

The injection of religion into the growing struggle led to escalating Arab riots, culminating in the 1929 massacre of sixty-seven members of the ancient Jewish community of Hebron.The intensifying Muslim anti-Semitism was nourished by ancient and modern, Western and Christian sources, with themes of Jewish ritual murders, Freemasonry, and aspirations for world dominance.[67] When the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem fled to Nazi Germany, Arabs and Nazis reinforced each other’s radical anti-Semitism.[68]

After Israel’s War of Independence, Palestinian Arab dislocations were exploited by Arab nations. Refugee camps under the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) became centers of Islamic extremism, emphasizing the expulsion of Jews from Israel and  the establishment of a worldwide Islamic caliphate. These trends were further impelled by the rise of an Iranian fundamentalist regime in 1979. Given the Koranic prohibition against Muslims living under the rule of infidels, many Arabs view Palestinian Arabs living under Jewish rule as a direct affront to Allah.


Arab-Muslim cohesion around the themes of anti-Semitism and martyrdom results from militant Koranic indoctrination by some mosques and madrassas in the Islamic world, and in the Palestinian Authority by dissemination of Friday sermons, official textbooks, and pioneering media programs. These, together with destructive childrearing practices that produce intractably violent criminals in the West but in the Arab-Muslim world are modified by collectivism and authoritarianism, engender hatred of Jews and Westerners and jihad-inspired terrorism.

Only fundamental changes in education and childrearing will change the predisposition of such a national culture in Palestinian society, and indeed within culturally similar Arab-Muslim Islamists, toward the authoritarian, totalitarian, and anti-Semitic societies we  witness today..

*     *     *



[1] Pew Global Attitudes Project, July 2005, of the Pew Research Center, Washington, DC,

[2] As summarized by IMRA Daily Digest, Vol. 2, No. 1141, 15 July 2005, [email protected],

[3] As quoted by Sheikh Mohammed Abd al-Hadi La’afi, in Itamar Marcus, “Are Palestinian Leaders Preaching Nazi-Like Hatred of Jews?”, quoting Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, 18 May 2001, and Palestinian Authority television variously, e.g., 30 March 2001.

[4] Raphael Israeli, Fundamentalist Islam and Israel (New York: University Press of America, 1993), 137, in which he quotes the Hadith, citing Bukhari and Muslim, authors of the two most authoritative and widely accepted Hadith collections.

[5] Ibid., in which Israeli also analyzes the Hamas Charter.

[6] Bernard Lewis, The Crisis of Islam (New York: Modern Library, 2003), 138-39.

[7] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “The Mahathir Affair,” Jerusalem Viewpoints, No. 506, 2003,

[8] Raphael Israeli, personal communications.

[9] The Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP) issues annual reports with numerous quotations and precise citation of sources, e.g., Jews, Israel and Peace in Palestinian School Textbooks 2000-2001 and 2001-2002, e.g., 43, “The Canaanite Palestinians Are the Ones Who Invented the Alphabet,” from PA textbook National Education, Grade 7, 8, [email protected].

[10] Steven Stalinsky, “Palestinian Denial of Jewish Ties to Jerusalem,”, 10 December 2004,

[11] E.g., Itamar Marcus, “Ask For Death,” Palestinian Media Watch, Special Report No. 40, October 2002. Current material is available from [email protected] and

[12] Daphne Burdman, “Education, Indoctrination and Incitement: Palestinian Children on Their Way to Martyrdom,” Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 15, No.1 (Spring 2003): 96-133. An abbreviated version of this paper was presented as “Psychological Mechanisms Underlying Martyrdom among Palestinian Youth” at the symposium on “New Directions in Psychiatric Aspects of Terrorism: Causes, Consequences, and Responses,“annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Atlanta, 26 May 2005.

[13] Raphael Patai, The Arab Mind, rev. ed. (New York: Hatherley Press, 2002). Patai, a cultural anthropologist, was director of the Syria-Lebanon-Jordan Research Project of the Human Relations Area Files of New Haven, Connecticut.

[14] Sania Hamady, Temperament and Character of the Arabs (New York: Twayne,  1960).

[15] Lloyd F. Jordan, book review of Raphael Patai, The Arab Mind, stamped CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM. RELEASE IN FULL. 2 JULY 1996 UNCLASSIFIED,

[16] Norvell B. De Atkine, “Why Arabs Lose Wars,”

[17] Patai, Arab Mind,16-25.

[18] Mazharul Haq Khari, Purdah and Polygamy: A Study in the Serial Pathology of the Muslim Society (Peshawar Cantt, Pakistan:.Mashiran-e-Ilm-oTaraqiyrt, 1972), 91;

Ruth Eglash, “Israeli Arab Women Assuming More Modern Family Roles,” Jerusalem Post, 2 May 2006.

[19] Patai, Arab Mind, 27.

[20] Ibid., 27-28.

[21] Ibid.,118-19; Lewis, Crisis of Islam, 11-12, regarding two traditions in Islam;

Fatima Mernissi, Islam and Democracy (New York: Addison-Wesley, 1992), 107; “Arab Human Development Reports (AHDR), 2003, 2004,” United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Arab States,

[22] Lewis, Crisis of Islam, 17.

[23] T. W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswick, D. J. Levinson, and R. Nevitt Sanford, The Authoritarian Personality (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950). See also R. Christie and M. Jahoda, Studies in the Scope and Method of “The Authoritarian Personality” (Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1954).

[24] B. Altemeyer, The Authoritarian Specter  (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996), 216-20, esp. 219-20.

[25] Ibid., on consistency, 258-306; L. Duckitt and B. Farre, “Right Wing Authoritarianism and Political Intolerance among Whites in the Future Majority-Rule South Africa,” Journal of Social Psychology, No. 134 (1994): 735-41; S. McFarland, V. Ageyev, and M. Abalakina, “The Authoritarian Personality in the United States and in the Former Soviet Union,” in W. F. Stone, G. Lederer, and R. Christie, eds., The Authoritarian Personality Today (New York: Springer Verlag, 1993), 199-225.

[26] Jerrold M. Post, ed., The Psychological Assessment of Political Leaders, 1st pbk. ed. (Ann Arbor:University of Michigan Press, 2005), 25.

[27] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. (DSM-IV) (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

[28] For an invaluable psychological-psychoanalytic explanation, see Jerrold M. Post, “Narcissism and the Charismatic Leader-Follower Relationship,” Political Psychology, Vol .7, No. 4 (1986): 675-88.

[29] See Post, Psychological Assessment, 336; Gertrude Blanck and Rubin Blanck, Ego Psychology: Theory and Practice (New York: Columbia University Press, 1974); Alice Miller, The Truth Will Set You Free (New York: Basic Books, 2001), Ch. 7,; Alice Miller, “The Childhood Trauma,”; Lloyd deMause, “The History of Child Abuse,”

[30] Post, Psychological Assessment, 335-66.

[31] H. Jager, G. Schmidtchen, and L. Suellwold, eds., Analysen zum Terrorismus, Vol. 2 (Opladen: Westdeutscher-Verlag, 1981). [in German]

[32] Patai, Arab Mind, 26-27.

[33] Ibid., 27, and many others including Kobrin and deMause cited in note 34; also Eyad Elsarraj  “Palestinian Children and Violence,” Palestine-Israel Journal, Vol. 4, No. 1 (1997): 13

[34] Avner Falk, Fratricide in the Holy Land (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004); Nancy Kobrin, personal communication, June 2004; de Mause, “History of Child Abuse”; Miller, Truth Will Set You Free; Lloyd deMause, “The Childhood Origins of Terrorism,”; Robert Godwin, “The Land that Developmental Time Forgot,”;

Robert Lindner, “Destiny’s Tot,” The Fifty Minute Hour (New York: Bantam Books, 1955).

[35] Fouad M. Moughrabi, “The Arab Basic Personality: A Critical Survey of the Literature,” International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 9 (1978): 99-112.

[36] “Child-Rearing Reforms: The Seeds of Democracy and Human Rights,” Project NoSpank,

[37] Dorothy Otnow Lewis, “Adult Antisocial Behavior and Criminality,” in Harold I. Kaplan and Benjamin A. Sadock, eds, Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 5th ed., Vol. 2 (Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1989), 1400-03.

[38] Patai, Arab Mind, 26-27; on differential treatment of boys and girls, see 27-31.

[39] Patai, ibid., 26-41;

[40] Patai, ibid., 40-41.

[41] DeMause, “Childhood Origins of Terrorism.” Regarding violence, he quotes Mazharul Haq Khari, Purdah and Polygamy, 107; regarding separation and distancing of men and women, he quotes Soraya Altorkl, Women in Saudi Arabia: Ideology and Behavior among the Elite (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), 30, and also Mazharul Haq Khari, Purdah and Polygamy, 91; regarding “no…friendship between man and woman,” he quotes Nlona AIMunajjed, Women in Saudi Arabia Today (New York: St. Martin’s, 1997), 45; regarding treatment of young girls in fundamentalist families, he quotes Jan Goodwin, Price of Honor ( Boston: Little, Brown, 1994), 43; regarding violence against children, he quotes Mazharul Haq Khari, Purdah and Polygamy, 107. On flagrant sexual abuse, see deMause, “History of Child Abuse,”

[42] On sexual abuse of Palestinian children, see Safa Tamish, Misconceptions about Sexuality and Sexual Behaviour in Palestinian Society (Ramallah: Tamer Institute for Community Education, 1996), 5.

[43] Susan Schaefer Davis, “Growing Up in Morocco,” in Donna Lee Bowen and Evelyn A. Early, eds., Everyday Life in the Muslim Middle East (Bloomington:

Indiana University Press, 1993 ), 30-31; Patai, Arab Mind, 95.

[44] On weaning, see Patai, Arab Mind, 30-31.

[45] Davis, “Growing Up in Morocco,” 26-27.

[46] Hamady, Temperament and Character, 101.

[47] On the shame society, see ibid., 34-39; on childrearing, 70-71; on the contrast with the guilt society, 34-35. Also, on shame, see Patai, Arab Mind, 113.

[48] DeMause, “Childhood Origins of Terrorism”; Amnesty International, “Making Violence against Women Count: Facts and Figures,”; also UN News, 18 January 2006.

[49] Patai, Arab Mind, 29-31

[50] Miller, “Childhood Trauma.”

[51] Miller, Truth Will Set You Free.

[52] Dorothy Lewis, “From Abuse to Violence: Psychophysiological Consequences of Maltreatment,” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1992,

[53] Kaplan and Sadock, Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 1402;

Cathy Spatz Widom quotes a “National Institute of Justice Study, from 1992, showing that childhood abuse or neglect increases the chances of arrest as a juvenile by 53% and as an adult by 38%,” in “Social Environment Contributes to Crime,”

[54] Jager et al., Analysen zum Terrorismus.

[55] Elsarraj, “Palestinian Children,” 12-15.

[56] See Edith Jacobson, “Concept of the Ego,” in Kaplan and Sadock,  Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, Vol. 1, 383.

[57] Kaplan and Sadock, Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 382.

[58] Blanck and Blanck, Ego Psychology, Ch. 5.

[59] Martin H. Teicher, ‘Wounds that Time Won’t Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse,” Cerebrum, Vol. 2, No. 4  (Fall 2000): 50-67,, also at; Allan N. Schore, “The Effects of Early Relational Trauma on Right Brain Development, Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health,” Infant Mental Health Journal, Vol. 22 (2001): 201-69,; Michael D. DeBellis, “Developmental Traumatology: Neurobiological Development in Maltreated Children with PTSD,” Psychiatric Times, September 1999,; Dorothy Lewis, “From Abuse to Violence.”

[60] On splitting, see Post, “Narcissism.”

[61] Anna Freud, The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense, rev. ed. (New York: International Universities Press, 1966).

[62] See Post, “Narcissism.”

[63] Bernard Lewis, Islam in History (Chicago: Open Court, 2001).

[64] Andrew G. Bostom, “The Legacy of Jihad in Historical Palestine,” Part II, November 2005,;

Andrew G. Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad (New York: Prometheus Books, 2005), 30.

[65] Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), esp. 93-99.

[66] Said K. Aburish, Children of Bethany (London: Bloomsbury,1991).

[67] Asaf Romirowsky, “Anti-Semitism Revisited,”, 28 February 2005; Robert Wistrich, “Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism,” Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 3 & 4 (Fall 2004).

[68] Lewis, Crisis of Islam, 59-60.

*     *     *

DAPHNE BURDMAN is a physician with double specialist certification from the American Board of Pathologists and the American Board of Psychiatrists and Neurologists, and has published research in both fields. She was assistant clinical professor of pathology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army.  In Israel she was research associate for a special project at the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1996-1999.