The Social Actor: A Critical Appraisal of the Palestinian Context and Its Challenges

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:45
Oral Presentation
Bilal SALAMEH, Bethlehem University- Palestine, Palestine
There is no doubt that the arrogance and political violence Palestinians are forced to endure is unmistakeably one of the most pronounced and harrowing experiences of the 21st century. Numerous forms of psychological damage to Palestinians are perpetrated against this population under Israeli occupation and colonialism.

he colonial context generates psychological and political repercussions that create a fertile environment for psychological disorders and mental illness that are expressed, in the most severe cases, through anger, rebellion, and tension. The environment of violence rebounds on Palestinian society in the absence of an inclusive liberal vision.

Accurate psychological diagnosis is ineffective since it is devoid of the value of cultural and national content. Deciding the treatment for psychiatric patients is impossible because the policies and practices of Israeli colonialism continue, and therefore, the causes and factors leading to the mental disorder, as well as the problems and challenges Palestinians face, are not included in the appraisal of their cases. Moreover, psychosocial and traumatic conditions and adaptation are measured solely by exaggerated quantitative digital statistics. Psychological trauma, behavioral and emotional disorders are unable to respond to the techniques associated with Western diagnosis and treatment.

This article is based on a critical vision that attempts to highlight the importance of the social actor in the Palestinian context as a whole. It includes basic ideas about the author's understanding and expectations of all the aspects associated with the role and profession of the social actor, as a transforming mechanism of issues in the Palestinian context.

If we accept that Palestinian society is vulnerable to psychological setbacks, its recovery, according to Fanon (1972) lies in the resistance against the colonizer.

Keywords: Mental illness in Palestinians; Detrimental social factors in Palestine; effects of Israeli colonialism on Palestinian mental health