Most would be familiar with Maslow's pyramid table setting out the hierarchy of human needs.
He theorised that, in order to survive, human beings would first secure the basics of air, water, food and shelter before worrying about the next level, safety and security. Only when these are achieved will they aim higher again, seeking respect and recognition, and finally, "self-actualisation".
Maslow (1908-1970), whose full name was Abraham Harold Maslow, was the first-born son of Jewish refugee parents who had fled to the US from Kiev in Czarist Russia (Kyiv) escaping violent European anti-Semitism.
In addition to psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatry, and social theory, the Jews have driven advances in the physical sciences as well as literature, music, the visual arts, and popular culture.
Pound-for-pound, this extraordinary cultural-intellectual output has been surpassed by no other ethnic grouping.
Even the industrialisation of genocide by the Nazis in the 20th century could not crush the defiant human spirit and creativity of this indefatigable people.
But European and broader Western guilt for irrational hatreds left unchecked on the continent, would again doom the Jews to a life of perpetual conflict.
Why? Because the creation of a Jewish homeland by international fiat would make new refugees of the Palestinians and, because the new state of Israel would behave with little of the EQ so evident in its people.
What started out as a progressive, secular, social-democratic state has gradually succumbed to the external pressures of constant existential danger, and internally to the illiberalism of religious dogma.
Not however, for a lack of effort. In the 1990s, Israel finally secured recognition of its right to exist from the very people it had dispossessed, via the Oslo Accords. The prospect of two separate states - Palestine and Israel - living peaceably together between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean became visible.
But racist and religious fanatics on both sides would not agree. Would never agree. The toxic contest of territorial wars, skirmishes, endemic terrorism, permanent military occupation and illegal settlement only accelerated.
Will it ever be solved? As Israeli forces rain vengeance on Hamas-controlled Gaza, firing rockets into a refugee camp and even an ambulance, peaceful co-existence seems further away than ever.
Whole new generations are being schooled in the methods of violence and death as a way of life.
As the unflinching guarantor, America is now wedged between its strategic protection of Israel and the fact that the government led by Benjamin Netanyahu is a major political obstacle to peace.
According to Politico, Biden has concluded that the Israeli prime minister has a short "shelf-life" and has conveyed this view to Netanyahu personally.
Publicly, however, America stresses its unconditional support for the war irrespective of civilian deaths. Still, Biden has backed "periodic" humanitarian pauses to allow time for Israeli hostages to be freed and critical humanitarian aid sent in. Netanyahu responds that "nothing will stop" Israeli forces, which have now encircled Gaza City.
The Israeli prime minister remains the only figure relevant to the catastrophic intelligence failure of October 7 who has not accepted personal responsibility. Rather, he has used a late-night social media post (since deleted) to blame officials prompting even more calls for his resignation.
Around the world, right wing defenders of his no-holds-barred approach are revealing their true colours.
Alan Dershowitz, an American Democrat-aligned academic lawyer who astonishingly claims an ongoing commitment to human rights, says the Gazans, "these innocent civilians whom so many people are shedding tears about" should be regarded simply as Hamas supporters. Whereas the Israelis slaughtered in the initial Hamas attack, he opines, were probably peace-loving two-state "Kibbutzniks" who opposed Netanyahu and his illegal settlements. With something like half of Gaza's population being under 18, Dershowitz's callousness lays bare the moral gymnastics pro-Netanyahu voices will use to justify an unconscionable death toll.
Inside Israel however, constructive minds are wrestling with the consequences of all this violence, and in so doing, proving that opposition to the government does not amount to support for terrorism.
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Ami Ayalon, a 78-year-old former Commander-in-Chief of the Navy and a former director of the Israeli National Security Service (Shin Bet), before entering the Knesset as a Labour MK, insists a sustainable peace can only come from a regional settlement based on the Arab Peace Initiative (Beirut 2002) and reindorsed since. It proposed constructive relations between Israel and its Arab neighbours in return for a withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories.
Tellingly, Ayalon believes Netanyahu and his far-right partners have so broken Israel's capacity to change course that a solution must now be imposed by the international community - primarily the US and the Saudis.
"If I understand President Biden and [Emmanuel] Macron, and the Saudis and many Arab leaders, they're starting to talk about it and I hope that they will present it," he told CNN on Thursday, before adding "as I understand Israelis, the moment it would be on the table, we shall accept it - not our government today, probably not our prime minister, [but] we should change our government if people will understand it is a viable, better future".
That goal would be security in the Arab world, not security from it.
Interestingly, Abraham Maslow authored another piece of oft-quoted wisdom relevant to a hyper-militarised state: if all you have is a hammer, every problems looks like a nail.
- Mark Kenny is The Canberra Times' political analyst and a professor at the ANU's Australian Studies Institute.