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Berman, E. (2004). On: Review of Psychoanalysis, identity and ideology: Critical essays on the Israel/Palestine case. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(2):529-530.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(2):529-530

On: Review of Psychoanalysis, identity and ideology: Critical essays on the Israel/Palestine case

Emanuel Berman

Dear Sirs,

Itamar Levy's book review (2003) is remarkably thorough and thoughtful. Still, I would like to propose one alternative formulation to his way of summarising my chapter in that book. Levy speaks of ‘a society where political attitudes are more crucial than personality traits’. I would prefer to emphasise the way political experiences shape personality traits, and become deeply embedded in them, often in unconscious ways. By political experiences I mean more than opinions, but the way one absorbs the impact of political history (including wars, migration, discrimination and so on) on one's personal life and on one's familial heritage. In the clinical example I give, the ‘political transference’ (as Levy aptly calls it) did not involve only attitudes regarding current issues, but also the way an analysand's transferential encounter with me was coloured by both common and divergent elements in the histories of our families of origin vis-à-vis Nazism, and in the ways the two of us handled this heritage.



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