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The Real Reason Jihadis Throw Jews Off Balconies & Buildings

Understanding a literal concrete projection in the psychotic mind

Once again an elderly Jew René Hadjaj of Lyon was brutally murdered by a jihadi. Like Sarah Halimi who was thrown off the balcony of her apartment, here too Hadjaj met his death. Both elderly Jews were not safe in their homes in France. The police were quick to dismiss the possibility of antisemitism motivating a jihadi attack.

Fortunately, the Paris based organization National Vigilance Bureau (BNVCA), taking its own initiative, knew to investigate the social media platforms, in this case Twitter of the accused killer, an Algerian Muslim Rachid Khechiche, 51 years old. Sure enough, Khechiche had an “unhealthy” obsession with the “sayan” (Hebr. Assistant) in conspiracy think blaming the Jews.

As Ben Cohen has described “According to the promoters of the [sayan] theory, influential Jews around the world have been secretly recruited to serve Israel’s interests, including against the interests of the nations of which they are citizens, should the Jewish state so require. Like most anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, it seeks to depict the legitimate engagement of Jewish communities with democratic politics as the machinations of a secret and malicious cabal.”

The French police in both cases were so quick to dismiss antisemitism and jihad as the motivating factor for the brutal deaths of René Hadjaj and Sarah Halimi that they disclosed their own kind of Jew hatred through an identification with the aggressor.

Jihadis also throw the other Others off of buildings and cliffs especially homosexuals. This week another “ejected” murdered Iranian was thrown off of a building but the powers that be claimed it was a suicide:

The death of IRGC (Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force) Col. Ali Esmailzadeh – thrown off a building

Col. Ali Esmailzadeh was a high ranking Iranian in the elite Unit 840. He was close to Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei who was assassinated in revenge for attempted attack on an Israeli diplomat in India in which the wife was injured.

Prior to his death was that of Khodaei:

“The report said that after Khodaei’s killing, the IRGC began hunting for security leaks and became suspicious of Esmailzadeh. He was then thrown from his roof, but the IRGC told his family he died by suicide because he was distraught over his separation from his wife, Iran International said, citing “sources in Iran.”

Esmailzadeh became the IRGC’s “Jew” as he became identified with the Zionist entity.

But how do we understand this method of medieval murder so ruthless and devoid of any sense of humanity? What is its unconscious driver? And does it help knowing this deeper level of nonverbal communication? How are the jihadis speaking to us in such a cruel pantomime?

It's quite simple. It’s an impoverished way of thinking. It is literally a concrete “projection.” Projection means to throw but jihadis have no sense of metaphor.

Thus, a psychological projection is different in that regard as it may be defined as:

“. . . the process whereby one subject believes they see attributes (both good and bad) in another. The theory views this tendency as a defense mechanism whereby unenviable or unpleasant traits, impulses or ideas are attributed to another. In this way, the projector is able to avoid the unpleasantness in themselves. However, the theory goes on to explain that in severe cases of projection, the condition of projection may degenerate into paranoid delusions to the point that the projector believes others are responsible for the projector’s problems and are secretly plotting against them. The projection basically allows a subject to ignore faults within themselves.” P. 196-197 in The Jihadi Dictionary

Translating this psychological definition into the concrete behavior of the jihadis I have written:

Because of the deep psychological splitting in the mind of the jihadis, their attacking behavior is a projection, as they strive to rid themselves of their toxic, unbearable terrors. If we could do a psychological X-ray, it would reveal an inner world of psychotic chaos. The jihadis’ unconscious “lived experience” and its projection of blood, guts, fire, explosives, and fighting to the death in suicide bombing paints a picture of a violent, iconoclastic breaking of the maternal attachment.

In a fascinating, seemingly unrelated, short essay entitled “Crime as an attempt at intrapsychic adaptation,” the late Marti Tuovinen, M.D., a psychoanalytically trained Finnish psychiatrist, explained the mindset of the perpetrators of crime. Tuovinen walked in their shoes, explaining the adaptive value of their seemingly bizarre violent behavior, which helps the observer of criminal behavior understand the bizarre violence as having specific meaning to the perpetrators, who are without real thought or empathy for their victims. The essay lays bare the root problem of the highly problematic violent behavior so that law enforcement and other officials can develop appropriate and effective interventions. In addition, this perspective on the perpetrator’s mind educates the public to the real causes of the violence and explains the force of the criminal’s projections onto the victim. As such, Tuovinen’s essay offers insights into the skewed thinking of the jihadis that results in their criminally depraved acts and the reasons behind their violent projections. P. 197 The Jihadi Dictionary

Indeed, the perpetrators’ abhorrent murders of both Hadjaj and Halimi reveal how the gruesome acts were also projected psychologically into the French police as they fled into denial that this could be an act of jihad. With the above described Iranian murders particularly of homosexuals and Esmailzadeh who was working against theIranian regime, the unconscious meaning and function remain quite similar – purging one’s self of toxic feelings related to the Other who is in their mind’s eye is a Jew. Jew hatred runs that deep. But why? Because jihadis who eject others out windows and from balconies have felt themselves to be in a fusion with the Jew. Jihadis are not “self-standing individuals;” they use others as props and when they become enraged at their inability to be autonomous and self-sufficient they “purge” themselves of the envied Other.

Jihadis project their psychotic terrors into us. Their projection is a kind of transference or transferring onto the other the terrified psychotic self-states that jihadis experienced during early childhood with their mothers. While jihadis project unconsciously into “us,” the victims and witnesses, the projection is unconscious and rapid. It constitutes the essence of transferring through powerful nonverbal communication. This is how they “connect” or “bond” to us unconsciously. P. 250 The Jihadi Dictionary

The jihadis have a form of psychotic anxiety [which] is malicious, annihilating, and sick. It is intended to destroy as they evacuate some unknown inner part of themselves. It is persecutory anxiety on steroids. Jihadis are like malignant borderlines, projecting their malignant intent onto others. The jihadi manifests hatred for the other, which means that the jihadis hate themselves. This hatred is at the core of their personality, and it can be surmised that this core is psychotic given their behavior and “chronic disgust with reality.

This concept of a psychotic core may be useful for non-clinicians such as the military and the police for understanding the internal lack of empathy in the sociopathic behavior of the jihadis. P. 208 The Jihadi Dictionary

This too helps explain why the jihadis literally throw their victims off of balconies and buildings because they cannot understand that “throwing” doesn’t have to be concrete behavior nor the means of evacuating raging murderous feelings in order to cleanse the toxic psychotic self. A psychosis is fundamentally disorganizing and terrifying to those who have to make sense out of such horrific murder. Hence the French police “fled” from the reality that both the murders of Hadjaj and Halimi were acts of antisemitism, Jew hatred.

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Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin, Ph.D.

Psychoanalyst Counter Terrorist Expert

Psychoanalyst Counter Terrorist Expert

The aim of this blog is to promote and advance an understanding of the relationship of early childhood to the jihadis’ violent behavior and externalized hatred. Many aspects of culture will be addressed in order to do a deep dive and a deep dig into the unconscious behavior behind all the political ideologies and the verbiage. 


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