My name is Avigail Abarbanel* . I was born in 1964 in Tel Aviv and was raised in Bat Yam. I went to Yitzhak Sadé primary school in Bat Yam and completed my High School education at Ort Yad Singalovsky. I was fortunate to have excellent education back in the 1970s in Israel, and school was a positive experience in my life. However, it was a very Zionist education system that without our awareness was preparing us all to be loyal citizens of the state of Israel and to dedicating our abilities and talents, our whole existence, to protecting the country.
I left Israel in 1991 and moved to Australia. I lived in Sydney for seven years and then another eleven years in Canberra. I completed two thirds of a BA at Bar-Ilan University at the Combined Programme in the Social Sciences. I finished my BA(Hons) in Politics at Macquarie University in Sydney. I then went on to study individual and relationship psychotherapy at the Jansen Newman Institute in Sydney and added an extra year of Gestalt therapy studies at the Illawarra Gestalt Centre in Wollongong.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but I was already on a journey to leave the Zionist indoctrination I was brought up on. I started out as a ’soft lefty’ who didn’t really understand Israel’s history but didn’t like the injustice done to the Palestinians. In 2001, at the start of the second intifada, I renounced my Israeli citizenship. From then on I became a more outspoken activist for Palestinian right. But it took a few more years before I completed the journey to renounce Israeli settler-colonialism, which means becoming an anti-Zionist.
I have been a psychotherapist in private practice since 1999. You can read about me professionally on my work website. I live and work in the Scottish Highlands.
I would like to use this website to share my writings on Palestine, psychotherapy and anything else I might write about in the future. Please have a look around and if you have any feedback, questions or comments, get in touch.
*I am not a ‘real’ Abarbanel. I inherited the name from my first husband. After we divorced I didn’t want to go back to my maiden name for my own reasons, so it stuck…