Between national ideology and Western therapy: ON the emergence of a new “culture of trauma” following the 2005 forced evacuation of Jewish Israeli settlers Academic Article uri icon


  • The Israeli government's decision to evacuate Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank introduced a new category of at-risk individuals to Israeli mental health discourse, namely victims of what has come to be termed the trauma of the Disengagement. This category refers to Jewish settlers who are motivated by a religious-Zionist ideology and who define their role as fulfilling the divine command of redeeming the Land of Israel. Based on an analysis of the professional activities of the Mahout Center, a mental health service that aimed to mitigate the trauma of the Disengagement, this article examines how the Disengagement experience was constructed in the rhetoric and practices of mental health practitioners identified with the religious-Zionist enterprise. It explores the specific notion of trauma and the characteristics of the resilient self, as fashioned according to the distinctive culture of trauma that has been developed in the Mahout Center in the context of the Disengagement. This culture of trauma is based on a unique alliance between the Western therapeutic model of trauma and the ideological and theological imperatives of religious Zionism. 2013, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013