The People


March 07, 2005

Yael Danieli:

One-Question Interview


Dr. Yael Danieli is a clinical psychologist and traumatologist in private practice in New York City. She is also the co-founder and Director of the Group Project for Holocaust Survivors and their Children; Founding President, International Network for Holocaust and Genocide Survivors and their Friends; and Co-founder, past-President, Senior United Nations Representative, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS).

Dr. Danieli integrates treatment, worldwide study, teaching/training, publishing, expert advocacy, and consulting to numerous governments, news, international and national organizations and institutions on victims rights and optimal care, including for their protectors and providers. Most recently she received the ISTSS Lifetime Achievement Award. Her books include International responses to traumatic stress...; The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Fifty years and beyond; Sharing the front line and the back hills (Baywood) all published for and on behalf of the United Nations; International handbook of multigenerational legacies of trauma (Kluwer/ Plenum) and The trauma of terrorism: An international Handbook of sharing knowledge and shared care and the upcoming On the ground after September 11: Mental Health Responses and Practical Knowledge Gained (Haworth Press).

Q: What policy should we put in place to help the victims of terrorism and their families, and how would that policy differ from the treatment of (for instance) victims of natural catastrophes or car accident sufferers?

A: The international community must regularly assert its commitment to help victims of terrorism and their families; to combat impunity and adopt provisions under law for justice and redress, acknowledging the victims’ suffering, and securing restitution, compensation, and rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition for them. This should be done on the individual, societal, national and international dimensions.

Policy makers, be it locally, nationally and/or internationally, must remember that the consequences of decisions they frequently make with short-term considerations in mind can not only be lifelong but also multigenerational and are in stark contrast to their rhetoric of making the world a safer and better place for our generation, and for generations to come. The issue is not only how and how many resources they choose to commit to victims’ care, and for preparedness, but it is also the untold multidimensional costs -- economic, psychosocial, educational, political, to name but a few -- over time and down through generations that will be incurred if they fail to provide for them.

We know that man made disasters have far worse consequences than natural ones or accidents. Findings in the field of traumatology note that the intent, time, place, duration, extent and meaning of the trauma for the individual and the survival strategies used to adapt to it will determine the degree of the traumatic rupture and the severity of the aftermath. These are usually intensified in particular by the conspiracy of silence, the survivors' reaction to the societal indifference, avoidance, repression, and denial of the survivors' trauma experiences, that are also more serious with man made disasters.

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The Workshop

On March 11th 2005 the Atocha Workshop on Global Terrorism, hosted by the Safe Democracy Foundation, will create a repository of original thinking on Global Terrorism that will continue to be fed weekly in the form of a weblog by creative thinkers on the subject from around the world.

The launching event will take place at the Atocha Train Station on March 11th, 2005 at the restaurant Samarkanda. Here, in in an atmosphere that will encourage creative thinking, around 200 people will participate as policy proponents, webloggers or as public; all will be engaged in the discussion of the proposed policies.
Workshop Program and Agenda >>

The People

The Workshop will bring together journalists, politicians, activists and scholars in the fields of democratic advocacy and terrorism analysis (see full list). We are introducing them by means of One Question Interviews. Anyone can register to the Workshop and participate by asking them further questions, challenging their assumptions or proposing their own alternative ideas.

The Proposals

The general criteria for published ideas in the Atocha Workshop Weblog are that they be original, creative, potentially executable and most important that their implementation would likely lead to a more democratic world. The basic concept of the Worshop is that in politics, as in biology, diversity is needed to fight a threat. Political leaders, when confronted with the problem of global terrorism need a menu of possible responses. From the proceeds of the discussion on the weblog plus the physical event we will offer a series of Policy Proposals.
Read more >>>

The Topics

During the Creative Debates we will be working towards making Policy Proposals from the 12 topics that we have selected. These topics are only starting points.

The Atocha Workshop is sponsored by the Safe Democracy Foundation. (Formerly the Varsavsky Foundation)

With the support of

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