American Psychological Association rejects call from member group for ‘liberation from ‘Zionist aggression’

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

American Psychological Association rejects call from member group for ‘liberation from ‘Zionist aggression’

EXCLUSIVE: Section IX division of 146,000 member-organisation supports BDS and claims 'condemning the Zionist ideology is not antisemitic'

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement wants to end international support for Israel.
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement wants to end international support for Israel.

The United States’ largest professional organisation of psychologists has formally distanced itself from a statement made by one of its divisions that “one source of antisemitism is, in fact, Zionist ideology” after being s alerted by Jewish News.

The American Psychological Association, (APA) has officially distanced itself from a statement by its so-called “Section IX” division and instructed the division to take the wording off its website.

The lengthy Section IX statement denounces Israel, calls on psychologists to join the BDS movement, and declares: “We are clear and firm in our belief that condemning the Zionist ideology is not antisemitic. We are clear that one source of antisemitism is, in fact, Zionist ideology”.

Kim Mills, senior spokesman with the APA, which has more than 146,000 members, including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students, told Jewish News that the APA “was unaware of this statement until you called it to our attention. It does not represent the position of APA regarding the war between Israel and Hamas”.

Section IX has now been asked “to remove the statement and related links from its webpages”.

Ms Mills added: “Divisions are loosely affiliated with APA and are largely autonomous, with their own missions and leadership. They are, however, covered under our Association Rules, which detail the operational and managerial authority needed to conduct the affairs of the association under the APA Bylaws. As such, they are required to comply with APA’s policies and not to take public positions that do not comport with those of APA”.

APA Twitter

Section IX’s online newsletter is called The Psychoanalytic Analyst and its statement on the Israel/Hamas conflict was issued on October 17. The board of directors of the division said that they were “unanimous in our solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle and our condemnation of the Zionist ideology that has resulted in the occupation, oppression, and dispossession of the Palestinian people.

“We unequivocally denounce genocide. Zionist aggression, arising out of the trauma from the Holocaust, World War II, and beyond, has resulted in what amounts to an ongoing and relentless displacement of Jewish people’s own historical traumas onto a people who have no contiguous land, no control over common resources, no access to citizenship rights, no freedom of movement, no right of return, and no organised defence or independent access to arms (an army)”.

Referring to Hamas, the statement declares: “We do not condone the actions of Hamas that have targeted Israeli civilians. We are challenged to hold the horror, pain, and suffering caused by Hamas, while simultaneously acknowledging the horror, pain, and suffering caused by Israel’s occupation and continued attacks on Gaza and the history and context of the Palestinian uprising.

“As psycho-analytic and dynamic practitioners, we recognise that the horrors that surfaced in the attacks of October 7 cannot be separated from the 75-year history of Palestinian displacement, and thus are inextricably linked to the oppressive regime against which they emerged.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: