Therapists' 'Nazi' slur

By James Martin, April 14, 2009

A medical journal has been condemned for publishing an article comparing Israel’s actions in Gaza to Germany under the Nazis.

Therapy Today, the 32,000-circulation house journal of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), ran a 4,000-word article in its March edition titled: “Palestine: to resist is to exist.”

The piece was written by Martin Kemp and Eliana Pinto, two psychotherapists who went on a 10-day trip to the West Bank in November, and gives their views of the effect of the Gaza conflict on the health of the population.

They claimed there were “strong echoes between the period of Nazi rule from 1933 to 1938 and what we witnessed”. They further likened the alleged stoning of Palestinian children by West Bank settlers to “Jews who had been stoned in their gentile schools after Hitler came to power”.

Angry readers included Manchester-based psychotherapist Elizabeth Jackson, who said: “Not only was the emotive nature of the piece designed to shock. It failed to substantiate ‘facts’.”

Following a number of complaints, a disclaimer was put up on the magazine’s website stating: “The article does not represent the views of Therapy Today or BACP which has no position with regard to Middle Eastern politics.”

A Therapy Today spokesperson said the article was “a personal account of a visit to Palestine by two psychotherapists who were profoundly affected by what they saw. Our intention now is to publish a piece in May which sets out cogently and respectfully the other side, by commissioning an expert to talk about the trauma of life in Sderot and the broader context of the conflict”.

Last updated: 4:53pm, April 14 2009