Friday, January 21, 2011

Israel as the victim of "mobbing"

There has been a growing awareness in recent years of the phenomenon of workplace bullying, known as "mobbing."

Commenter Mario noticed that the attributes of mobbing mirror almost exactly what Israel is forced to endure on a daily basis.

Here is one list of mobbing indicators and some links that show examples:

  1. By standard criteria of job performance, the target is at least average, probably above average.
  2. Rumours and gossip circulate about the target's misdeeds: "Did you hear what she did last week?"
  3. The target is not invited to meetings or voted onto committees, is excluded or excludes self.
  4. Collective focus on a critical incident that "shows what kind of man he really is".
  5. Shared conviction that the target needs some kind of formal punishment, "to be taught a lesson".
  6. Unusual timing of the decision to punish, e.g., apart from the annual performance review.
  7. Emotion-laden, defamatory rhetoric about the target in oral and written communications.
  8. Formal expressions of collective negative sentiment toward the target, e.g., a vote of censure, signatures on a petition, meeting to discuss what to do about the target.
  9. High value on secrecy, confidentiality, and collegial solidarity among the mobbers.
  10. Loss of diversity of argument, so that it becomes dangerous to "speak up for" or defend the target.
  11. The adding up of the target's real or imagined venial sins to make a mortal sin that cries for action.
  12. The target is seen as personally abhorrent, with no redeeming qualities; stigmatizing, exclusionary labels are applied.
  13. Disregard of established procedures, as mobbers take matters into their own hands.
  14. Resistance to independent, outside review of sanctions imposed on the target.
  15. Outraged response to any appeals for outside help the target may make.
  16. Mobbers' fear of violence from target, target’s fear of violence from mobbers, or both.

While the analogy is not perfect - Israel does have one strong friend at this time, and the country is not cowed by the hypocrites - the behavior of the mobbers is eerily similar to the behavior of the Israel-haters.

It is notable that all of these behaviors also fit in excellently with traditional anti-semitism.

Bullies are, by nature, insecure, and easily threatened by someone they perceive as being different or better. Israel fits that role. Combined with the omnipresent threat of terrorism for those who associate with Israel, it is very easy for even third parties who are otherwise sympathetic to be forced into silence when confronted by the bullies.

This idea deserves a much longer treatment.