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ix FOREWORD This important book by Deepak Tripathi is about the role of humiliation in international politics, specifically in relation to West Asia. Humiliation is a complex and powerful emotion. My experience from many discussions of trauma, violence, and the harm and hurt of the past to body, soul, and spirit reveals two recurrent syndromes––one in the victim, the other in the perpetrator. Humiliation causes trauma in the victim, an individual, community, or nationstate . Overwhelming thoughts dominate the victim consciously or subconsciously: innocence (it happened for no reason located in me);shame (I have been humiliated and stigmatized); fear (the perpetrator may do it again); hatred (I hate the offender for making me suffer so much); retaliation (make him or her suffer at least to the extent that I have suffered); entitlement (I am offended and entitled to be treated with care);and moral credit (I can draw upon my trauma as assertion of being right). The humiliator experiences the mirror image of the victim’s reactions: legitimacy (violence is bad, but I had good reasons); guilt (I have done something unmentionable and basically wrong); fear (one day the victim will come back and do the same to me);hatred (I hate the victim for what he or she might do in retaliation ); and deterrence (I must prevent any retaliation by the victim). Reconciliation requires coming to grips with such emotions.The victim’s humiliation is one such emotion, but we are dealing with a wider phenomenon of an escalating and vicious cycle of violence.This book does not suggest how to end a cycle of violence or turn it into a virtuous phenomenon that leads to a positive future, as happened following World War II. Here the theme is how violence causes behavior that affects societies and their relationships beyond those actually hurt.Trauma becomes part of culture, embedded in monuments and transmitted from one generation to the next. Imperial Designs_13448.indd 9 3/12/13 2:44 PM x   FOREWORD Deepak Tripathi’s book focuses on the Middle East, where antagonists are locked in a deadly embrace. Readers will have no difficulty identifying the dynamic between humiliator and humiliated in Middle East history. The traumas have names––the Shoah (Holocaust) for Jews and the Nakba (Disaster) for Palestinians . We will get nowhere comparing the levels of horror in these traumas.Traumas are not comparable, for they are intensely subjective, individually and collectively. There is, of course, a major difference between the trauma suffered by the Jews and that suffered by the Palestinians.The Jews were humiliated by Europeans and Germans, not only Nazis, because acts of omission also count. The Palestinians were, and continue to be, humiliated by Jews turned Israelis. Let us revisit for a moment the then-secret Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916),the Balfour Declaration (1917), and the U.S. recognition of Israel by President Harry S.Truman in 1948––all included among the appendixes in this book.The SykesPicot Agreement says little about“an independent Arab state or a confederation of Arab states” (the concept is mentioned in a single sentence); its vocabulary is ambiguous (“recognize and protect” and “suzerainty”). It says much, however, about the lack of independence and British-French privileges that were later known as the four colonies, two for each. Russia and Japan were informed about the agreement , meaning they were in it. The Balfour Declaration addressed to Lord Rothschild introduces an entity not defined by international law—“a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine—but with two important conditions:“that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” or “the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” There is something prescient and laudable in these conditions, but the document as a whole leaves the United Kingdom open to considerable blame for countless omissions and failures to enforce the conditions. Humiliation rises not only from what is done but also from what is not done. Before President Truman signed the proclamation recognizing the state of Israel ,it had to be edited away from the Balfour Declaration.“The new Jewish state,” which sounded like a national home for the Jewish people, became “the new state of Israel,” not explicitly linked to Jews.This only added to Anglo-American responsibility. As Deepak Tripathi points out, “Honor, humiliation, and promises drive behavior .”What is humiliation? It occurs when one is not taken seriously as a party...


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