We need to listen to people like Gabor Mate

The Caribbean Camera Editorial.  for November 23rd, 2023


Just about the time Dr Gabor Mate was being interviewed by British broadcaster Afshin Rattansi on his Going Underground broadcast on the Russian RT channel (the program does not air in the UK and EU).

Media reported that a delegation of 60 comprising five Canadian Members of Parliament and a number of Canadian Jewish leaders “arrived in Jerusalem Monday for a quietly planned visit meant to show solidarity with Israel…They plan to meet with some of their Israeli counterparts and pay tribute to the victims of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.”

Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, who is Jewish, is quoted as saying, “I want to make sure that it is clear to Israelis that Canadians support them.”

Since the Canadian government has been declaring its support for Israel every day since the Hamas attack, and while the mainstream media have been interviewing Israeli victims of the attack every day, Housefather et al could have saved the travel money and get an education by tuning into Gabor Mate’s interview.

Israel and Hamas war

Maté, born in 1944, is a Hungarian-Canadian physician and author. In 2018 he received the Order of Canada.

He has a background in family practice with a special interest in childhood development and trauma. He is Jewish, born in Budapest, Hungary. His maternal grandparents were killed in Auschwitz. His aunt disappeared during the war, and his father endured forced labour at the hands of the Nazi Party.

Gabor Mate is not a Zionist. He’s compassionate and describes both the Hamas attack and Israel’s bombing of Gaza as atrocities.

Points Mate made in the Going Underground interview:

– 60 years the press trumpeted all of Israel’s talking points and totally ignored the occupation and oppression of the Palestinians.

– what is horrendous is that we are seeing the carnage in Gaza live. It’s the darkest thing I’ve seen in my life. This is unprecedented…the politicians say it’s ok and the media is justifying it.

– there’s a disconnect between what people are watching and what they are being told.

– fear is a form of political control…Israelis went into the fear mode after Oct 7 but they are doing it in a vacuum because they don’t understand the Palestinian situation because they are never taught it.

– it is ahistorical to ask if Israeli bombing is proportionate…the Western media is making every effort to dehistoricize Oct 7…the Hamas attack did not happen in a vacuum…it happened after 80 years of collective brutal trauma visited on the Palestinian people and is ongoing.

– in 2005 before Hamas took over, a study found that Gazan children were the most traumatized. in the world growing up in an open-air prison and looking across to the fields their families once worked, and when they protest peacefully they were picked off by Israeli snipers…the decades-long traumatized Gazan children are now members of Hamas.

– when they see Jews wearing the Star of David on their uniform and all the things that have been done to them in the name of the Jewish state. and if their oppressors say they are doing it as Jews in the name of the Jewish people. What do you expect?.

– do their hatred of Jews the same as historic anti-semitism? It is not the same.

– the founding of Isreal was rooted in deep trauma of the Jewish people. following their near extinction in Europe during WWII in Germany.

– the European countries feel a measure of guilt; so there is fear that in speaking of Palestinian suffering you’re diminishing Jewish trauma.

– the English-speaking countries are rooted in colonialism. so they are more likely to identify with the colonizers than with the colonized.

– Israel couldn’t have been established without foreign interest even as the land was already the home of the indigenous people from time immemorial.

– David Ben Gurion was the first Prime Minister of Israel, Vladimir Jabotinsky was founder of religious Zionism which became the root of the terrorist organization Haganah. led by former prime ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shameer. Jabotinsky, former IDF military chief Moshe Dayan, Ben Gurion later said that we call what Arabs are doing terrorism but all they are doing is defending their land from us.

Gabor Mate is one of a large number of Jews who have been accused of self-hatred because of their views on this human tragedy. But they got to this position because they are humane, courageous, and clear thinkers.

It’s this kind of thinking that will lead to a just solution in Israel/Palestine.

We should pay attention to people like Gabor Mate, as should Mr. Housefather and his parliamentary comrades.