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Kemp, M. (2017). In Memoriam: Adib Jarrar. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 14(4):317.

(2017). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 14(4):317

In Memoriam: Adib Jarrar

Martin Kemp

Adib Jarrar was my friend, but this is not the place for personal grief. There was a reason why he befriended us - myself and two colleagues - when we visited Palestine in 2014, and it is this that bears dwelling upon as we reflect on his life and contribution. In the West we agonize over the social role of the psychotherapist, and whether s/he has one, a discussion that makes little sense from the perspective of a Palestinian clinician. Adib worked clinically with individuals in Palestine, and this for him was a political activity; but he also supported families and communities facing the violent colonization of their land and the attempt to rob them of their culture and self-belief. He understood that the colonizers' aim was to kill the spirit of the colonized, and it was this that he set himself to prevent, to sustain Palestinians' capacity for self-agency and creativity in the face of daunting odds.

He shared the view that nothing would shame Israel into reforming itself, that the only hope was to reveal its true character to the world through deepening public understanding of the truth of the ongoing Naqba. Britain, in his view, carried a particular responsibility - for the Balfour Declaration, the strengthening of the Zionist movement under the Mandate, its crushing of the Intifada of 1936-9 and its conscious abandonment of the Palestinians to their fate in 1947-8. When we met the Palestinian community was being further burdened by the effects of Tony Blair's involvement as ‘Middle East Envoy’.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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