Jazz Review: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble in Reading, January 2019

The insane slander campaign against me, my work and my music has boomeranged once again.

The insane slander campaign against me, my work and my music has boomeranged once again.

GA: Last week we played in Reading despite the relentless efforts by pro Israel Labour Cllr Rachel Eden and threatening letters from Campaign Against Antisemitism’s ‘enforcement’ chief. The gig was sold out two weeks in advance. Once again it becomes clear that the insane slander campaign against me, my work and my music has boomeranged. Following is a review of our Reading Concert.

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble “Spirit of Trane” | January 2019

http://www.jazzinreading.com/?p=12229&future=true

Friday 18 January, Progress Theatre, Reading

Gilad Atzmon soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, | Ross Stanley piano | Yaron Stavi double bass, | Enzo Zirilli drums

Their ears assailed by what seemed like an obsessive twenty-three-minute solo outing of ‘My Favourite Things’ on a strange high-pitched serpent-like instrument, the soprano saxophone, large chunks of the audience voted with their feet and beat a hasty retreat from the Guamont State Kilburn on the opening night of John Coltrane’s first, and only, visit to Britain on 11th November 1961. ‘WHATHAPPENED!’ screamed the Melody Maker headline. It left the paper’s Bob Dawbarn, ‘baffled, bothered and bewildered’. The critical debate continued unabated in the jazz press with Benny Green, saxophonist, writer, broadcaster and general know-all, who incidentally didn’t attend the concert (or any that followed in Birmingham, Glasgow or Newcastle for that matter) adding his two-penny-worth by declaring that ‘Coltrane threatens to upset the entire jazz conception’. And thus, John Coltrane added his name to those of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, judged respectively to be ‘too loud’ and ‘too exotic’ when they first played on these shores; in Coltrane’s case he was ‘too loud’, ‘too exotic’ and ‘too long’.

With this occasion in mind, ‘Are you ready to be challenged?’ seemed a fair question for Gilad Atzmon to ask in his inimitable and uncompromising manner as he set the scene for a two-hour concert inspired by the ‘Spirit of Trane’; have we Brits become more attuned to the sound and emotional impact of John Coltrane over the passage of nearly sixty years?

‘Yes!’ came the resounding response from the sell-out Progress audience, in perhaps the nearest experience we shall ever have of listening ‘live’ to John Coltrane. True, there were no marathon solos, or any of the ugly, grating sounds from the latter days of Coltrane’s much-too-short career, and he did break us in gently with the beautiful ‘In A Sentimental Mood’ from the 1962 collaboration with Duke Ellington, and the Latin breeze of ‘Invitation’, but come ‘Moment’s Notice’ he hit the ground running and it was as much as we could do from then on to keep up.

It wasn’t so much the ferocious tempo that was so impressive, but rather the sheer momentum of Atzmon’s playing. Fueled by Enzo Zirilli’s drums, the rock-steady bass of Yaron Stavi and Ross Stanley’s timely contributions at the keyboard, the notes flowed from Gilad’s tenor in a torrent so characteristic of Coltrane and which prompted the writer Ira Gitler to coin the phrase ‘sheets of sound’; each as hard-edged as steel and filled with a haunting melancholy. And yet, however complex the improvisation became it never lost touch with the original theme, suggesting that Coltrane was actually a far greater ‘tunesmith’ than he was ever credited for.

A perfectly sublime untitled ballad, in which bassist Yaron Stavi demonstrated that the art of playing a melodic walking bass solo is still alive and well, provided a welcome breathing space before the band launched into another maelstrom of sound. And Gilad set yet another challenge, or maybe he was simply playing mesmerizing tricks with our aural senses. What was he playing? ‘Scarborough Fair’? ‘My Favourite Things’? Ross Stanley kindly resolved the conundrum in a brief interval chat and confirmed that ‘it was both!’ No matter, the effect was enthralling!

‘Big Nick’, a catchy dedication to ‘Big’ Nick Nicholas, the tenor saxophonist alongside whom Coltrane sat in the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and another title from the Ellington collaboration, brought the first set to a light-hearted conclusion.

The second set opened with ‘Impressions’ and ‘Naima’, the name of Coltrane’s then wife, and each bore the imprint of his fascination for Far Eastern philosophy and mysticism. Gilad switched from soprano to alto for ‘Giant Steps’ with the assurance that he would take the tune at a more leisurely waltz time than the breakneck speed of Coltrane’s original recording. He failed … and matched the original in every detail in a breathtaking display of virtuosity.

‘What’s New’ brought another change of instrument. Gilad switched to his tenor, a beautiful product of English craftmanship as he explained, made in 1926. Coincidence or what? 1926 was the year of John Coltrane’s birth. It provided the perfect vehicle for Bob Haggart’s tender ballad more often associated with trumpet players than saxophonists.

I would guess that Gilad’s original composition ‘The Burning Bush’ is open to many interpretations, but for me it stood as a series of lamentations, expressing a sense of near-despair, etched even more deeply by his use of vocal cries to separate each section and Enzo Zirilli’s emotionally charged drum solo and percussive effects. Listening to it was an extraordinarily moving experience.

What better way to round off the evening than ‘Mr. P.C.’; not a description of Gilad Atzmon, but a dedication to bassist Paul Chambers, Coltrane’s colleague in the Miles Davis Quintet and countless other recordings including the monumental ‘Giant Steps’. Nat Hentoff was of course writing about John Coltrane in his sleeve notes to the album. However, his closing sentence could equally apply to Gilad Atzmon:

‘He asks so much of himself that he can thereby bring a great deal to the listener who is also willing to try relatively unexplored territory with him.’

All praise to Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble and to everyone at the Progress Theatre for hosting a truly memorable event; a wonderful evocation of the spirit and enduring legacy of John Coltrane.

Review posted here by kind permission of Trevor Bannister.

Photo by Colin Swain Photography 


“My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

ATB

Gilad ”

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Happy New Year from Gilad Atzmon

December 30, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Everything you need to know about Zionism, Controlled Opposition, The Post Political and Athens vs. Jerusalem so you are ready for 2019.

https://youtu.be/SRX55nHmuUQ

To sign a petition in support of Gilad click here

Lodge a formal complaint with Islington Council: https://www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints?status=inprogress

To support Gilad’s legal fund:  https://donorbox.org/gilad-needs-additional-support

 

Gilad Atzmon on Kevin Barrett’s Truth Jihad talking about the Islington “Blockhead Ban”

December 21, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Sign the Hands Off Gilad Atzmon petition!

Kevin Barrett: Gilad Atzmon is one of Europe’s greatest saxophonists—and probably the hardest working one. He also may be the “most censored thinker” in the Western world. Everywhere he goes, Zionists (and occasionally anti-Zionists) clamor to have him banned.

Now the censors may have gone too far. After the Islington (London) council banned him from performing with The Blockheads based on a single complaint from an angry Zionist, a wave of support for Gilad, and for free speech, has been washing across the world.

In this interview Gilad says he is grateful that the Zionists have exposed their own neuroses—compare their absurd anti-Gilad discourses to an actual news story about the Islington censorship episode.

click here

We also discuss identity politics, the joys and perils of truth-seeking, the question of whether BDS should be applied to Israeli universities, and the notion that Gilad may in fact be participating in “prophetic Judaism”—a tradition of free-thinking universalism and ethical rigor exemplified by such “self-hating Jews” as Jesus and Spinoza.

To sign a petition in support of Gilad click here

Lodge a formal complaint: https://www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints?status=inprogress

Email: assemblyhall@islington.gov.uk

Contact the Council: +4420 7527 2000

Support Gilad: https://donorbox.org/gilad-needs-additional-support

British Labour? Labour Zionism more likely

December 20, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Gilad Atzmon

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke

Although some of us still harbor hopes for  Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour party has not exactly been a happy collective. Labour can look like a treacherous herd spitting poison and stabbing each other in the back. Bruke might have said that for evil to triumph all that is needed is a few Labourites to accomplish what they do best: being compromised. The following may shatter any hopes you still clung to for a  Labour transition. I apologise in advance.

The current saga was launched last month by Mr. Martin Rankoff, an ultra Zionist campaigner,  a man who is not afraid to express himself in the most gruesome manner.

Here is Martin Rankoff’s hate spewing  twitter page.

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Apparently, Mr Rankoff doesn’t like Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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Bad taste humour is something Goyim may not remember from the oh-so-distant past when the Brits reigned supreme in poking fun at those in power. Within the Zionist cyber universe, however, no one is even mildly offended by Rankoff’s attempted humor as he seems to enjoy imagining pushing our mild mannered Labour leader off of his non-carbon emitting bicycle :

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But apparently, the mere thought of my playing the saxophone with the Blockheads at a Christmas celebration pained the humorless Mr. Rankoff. So Mr. Rankoff  wrote to the Islington Council to express his indignation. How could the Council  allow a critic of Jewish culture to play Christmas music? The thought caused him to want to give away his ticket.  All who believe Mr. Rankoff ever intended to attend the Blockheads’ Christmas concert, raise your hand!

For the occasion, Mr. Rankoff managed to restrain his humor and wrote an earnest sounding missive:

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I hardly have an issue with Mr Rankoff,  but it is nice to see him acknowledge what the rest of us know, Mr. Corbyn, whatever his flaws, is not a racist. But Rankoff is doing what many Zionist activists so often do – smear and slander.

Islington is a Labour Council. But it seems the officers involved didn’t bother to check who Mr, Rankoff was or to take a look at Rankoff’s grotesque anti- Corbyn anti-Labour social media profile. In fact, the Leader of the Council Cllr Richard Watts, rushed to appease the man who told Corbyn to shut his Hanukah greeting where the ‘sun doesn’t shine.’

The Following is Labour politician and Cllr Richard Watts email to Martin Rankoff as published  by Mr Rankoff.

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Rankoff professed his delight and  somewhat speak for the “Jewish community at large” as he praised Labour politician Watts for “embrac[ing] the spirit of Hanukah”  by interfering with the artistic offerings of the last standing working-class band in the Kingdom:

rankoff to Watts.jpg

I fully appreciate that Hanukah is a prime holiday for British politicians. It provides an extended opportunity to prove their commitment and loyalty to Israel and its Lobby. But maybe, someone should remind Cllr Watts that most Brits actually celebrate Christmas and that hundreds of music lovers had bought tickets for the Blockheads Christmas concert, and that one may presume that in doing so they intended to hear all of the Blockheads.

Perhaps Cllr Watts didn’t think that Mr. Rankoff would publish their correspondence. In it,  Cllr Watts is caught shamelessly toadying to an enemy of the Labour party and to the Board of Deputies a body that claims to represent British Jews and uses their self-appointed platform to torture  Labour’s leader. Does Cllr Watts perform his embarrassing prostration for his Leader or against his Leader? It is beyond me. The only thing that is clear, as far as I can tell, is that Labour politician Watts made the wrong decision.

In the coming days we will learn more about how the Labour Council zigged and zagged in a most distressing way to justify banning a saxophone from the Blockheads. Instead of simply fixing its mistake, the Council dug itself a muddy ditch. To be continued…

To sign a petition and express your disgust with Islington Council click here

Lodge a formal complaint: https://www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints?status=inprogress

Email: assemblyhall@islington.gov.uk

Contact the Council: +4420 7527 2000

Support Gilad: https://donorbox.org/gilad-needs-additional-support

Gilad Atzmon on The Richie Allen Show talking about the Islingtonian Tyranny

December 19, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Gilad’s interview launches around 14 minutes in.

To sign a petition in support of Gilad click here

Lodge a formal complaint: https://www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints?status=inprogress

Email: assemblyhall@islington.gov.uk

Contact the Council: +4420 7527 2000

Support Gilad: https://secure.squarespace.com/checkout/donate?donatePageId=5c08119121c67c2d9fb14f32

To Rid the World of Antisemitism

November 29, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 CNN: “42% of Hungarians think Jews have too much influence in finance and business across the world.”

CNN: “42% of Hungarians think Jews have too much influence in finance and business across the world.”

On Tuesday, CNN published a survey of anti-Semitism in Europe. The poll revealed that  “more than a quarter of Europeans surveyed believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. One in five say they have too much influence in media and politics. In some countries the numbers are often higher: 42% of Hungarians think Jews have too much influence in finance and business across the world.”

In my recent book, Being in Time, I argue that Jewish power is the power to silence opposition to Jewish Power.  CNN’s poll supports my thesis.  That some Jews enjoy significant influence in politics, culture and finance is not a matter of ‘opinion,’ it is an established fact as reports in the Jewish and mainstream media reveal on a daily basis. Jewish prominence in certain areas is a frequent boast of renowned Jews such as Alan Dershowitz. Yet only one of five Europeans is brave enough to admit that in the open.

CNN’s poll suggests that 80% of those who dwell in Europe are either lying, blind or, most likely, terrified of the truth. They have good reason to be scared. They have seen the onslaught of revenge from Jewish institutions against artists, writers, comedians, politicians, activists and academics including: Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, Richard Falk, Alison Weir, Norman Finkelstein, David Icke, Jeremy Corbyn and yours truly. Telling the truth about Israel, Zionism or expressing any form of criticism of Jewish politics subjects the teller to an immediate and colossal smear campaign. The CNN poll suggests that 80% of Europeans seem to have accepted the present tyrannical and authoritarian conditions. But this isn’t exactly a stable situation. It is only a question of time before the genie pops out of the bottle as has happened far too many times in the past.

By now it has become clear that the more Jewish institutions  ‘fight’ anti-Semitism, the more the opposition is directed against Jewish politics and Israeli brutality.  The same applies to the holocaust; the caravans of Jewish youngsters visiting Poland didn’t kill anti-Semitism nor did it revive the memory of the holocaust. In Poland, according to the CNN poll, “50% of people think that Jews use the Holocaust to advance their position.”

 What can Jews do about anti-Semitism? Simple– look in the mirror– introspect.

If Jews want to be loved or simply just ignored, then :(1) maybe The European Jewish Congress  should seriously consider the possible consequences of  its ‘demand’ that “the Bible and the Koran use ‘trigger warnings’ to highlight anti-Semitic passages,”  (2) The French Jewish organisations might want to reconsider their  relentless campaign to decimate the artistic career of France’s most popular comedian, or (3) It might not be a great idea for Britain’s Jewish institutions to interfere with British national politics by smearing  Britain’s  number one anti racist.

If Jews want to rid the world of antisemitism, Jewish bodies should carefully self reflect and take responsibility for their own actions instead of blaming the Goyim…

Jewish Politics in America – A Post Political View

November 14, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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I was invited to join the Unz Review, here is a link to my first contribution:

http://www.unz.com/

“The two contradictory Jewish ideologies (Identitarianism and Israelism) are each well- ensconced within the two rival ideologies that are tearing America apart. The red Republican counties want America to be Israel Again. The large metropolitan areas near America’s coasts have adopted the twelve tribes of Israel model – a loose Identitarian coalition threatened by Samaritans, Canaanites, Amalekites or as Hillary Clinton calls them the ‘basket of deplorables.’

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In 1994 I enrolled in a postgraduate course in philosophy at a British University. On my first day at the University I had to complete a few routine administrative duties such as registering my name with the philosophy department and meeting my supervisors. I was also told that I had to join the student union. Being a subservient type, I walked over to the Student Union hall where I soon realized that the task was slightly more complicated than I had expected. There were a plethora of student unions to choose from: The Black Student Union, The Asian Student Association, The Socialist Students, The Gay Student Society and more. Confused, I asked for assistance. They asked where I was from. When I told them “Israel,” I was told that the “Jewish Student Union” was my home.

It was then, at the Student Union Hall, that I first encountered the identity split between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. It would take some time before I was able to define this binary tension in philosophical or post political terms and before I understood the Jewish dilemma in terms of Nationalist/Identitarian dialectics. Two decades later, the political battle now going on in America is basically an extension of that internal Jewish debate.

Back in 1994 I didn’t see any reason to join the Jewish Student Union. I had never identified ‘as a Jew’ and Judaism meant little to me. Israel was my place of birth. My ‘identity’ as I then saw it was geographically oriented. Fortunately, I managed to complete my postgraduate course without becoming a ‘union member.’ But my thoughts about that morning at the student union hall have evolved into a few controversial books and hundreds of papers on ID politics and the current Identitarian dystopia.

In 2011 I wrote The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics. The premise of the book was that if Israel defines itself as the ‘Jewish State’ then we have to dissect the meaning of the J-Word. We have to grasp how Judaism (the religion), Jews (the people) and Jewishness (the spirit, ideology and culture) relate to each other and how these terms influence Israeli politics and the activities of the Jewish Lobby around the world. Instead of studying ‘Zionism,’ an archaic term that is not relevant to most Israelis, my book focused on Jewish identifications. I did not address the problematic question of ‘who and what Jews are,’ I tried instead to find out what those who call themselves Jews identify with.

While this question is certainly germane to an understanding of Israel and the Middle East conflict, it is also crucial to an understanding of the current American dystopia. Instead of asking ‘who Americans are’ let us explore what Americans identify with.

In the post-political era, America is divided into two camps, let’s call them Americans and Identitarians. Americans see themselves primarily as American patriots. They often subscribe to a nationalist populist ideology and, like the Israelis, identify with a piece of geography. On the other hand, Identitarians are primarily liberals and progressives. They identify themselves in biological and sociological terms, and they see themselves first as LGBTQ, Latino, Black, Jewish, feminist etc. Their bond with the American nationalist ethos is at most secondary and often non-existent.

This division in America between ‘nationalism’ and ‘identitarianism’ is similar to the dichotomy I observed at the student union hall in 1994. In fact, Israel has become a prime model for American nationalists. Similarly, it is Jewish progressive ideology that inspires Identitarians globally and in America in particular. It is the pervasiveness of Jewish ideologies within both nationalist and Identitarian discourses that sustains the dominance of Jewish and Israeli political institutions in American politics.

The Israeli Lobby’s hegemony over American foreign policy and its force in advocating policies that favor Israel has been widely recognized. Numerous studies on the topic have been published, such as: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (Prof John Mearsheimer and Prof Stephen Walt), The Power of Israel in The United State (Professor James Petras). Alison Weir’s website, If Americans Knew routinely presents a devastating chronicle of Israeli intervention in American politics. The Washington Report on the Middle East Affairs has been producing outstanding work as well. The crucial question is, why have Americans let this happen?

My study of Jewish ID politics suggests that America isn’t just influenced by one Jewish lobby or another. The entire American political-cultural-spiritual spectrum has been transformed into a internal Jewish exchange. Most American do not see the true nature of the battle they participate in and, for the obvious reasons, their media and their academics do not help. It is more convenient to keep Americans in the dark.

America is rapidly moving towards a civil war. The divide isn’t only ideological or political. The split is geographical, spiritual, educational and demographical. In a Voxarticle titled, “The Midterm Elections Revealed that America is in a Cold Civil War,” Zack Beauchamp writes, “This is a country fundamentally split in two, with no real room for compromise.” Of the midterm election Beauchamp reports that “American politics is polarized not on the basis of class or even ideology, but on identity… One side open to mass immigration and changes to the country’s traditional racial hierarchy, the other is deeply hostile to it.” He correctly observes that “Republicans and Democrats see themselves as part of cultural groups that are fundamentally distinct: They consume different media and attend different churches; live in distinct kinds of places and rarely interact with people who disagree with them.”

Despite this American schism, Israel and its Lobby are somehow able to influence both sides, managing to finding pathways to the secluded corridors of both parties. Although Democrats and Republicans can no longer talk to each other, it seems that both are happy to talk to Israel and the Lobby. And it is at AIPAC’s annual conference that these political foes compete in their eagerness to appease a foreign state. This anomaly in American politics demands attention.

As a former Israeli, I had not observed the effects of the Israel/ Jewish Diaspora dilemma until I had my experience at the Student Union Hall in Britain. Israel was born with the Zionist desire to eradicate the identity of Jews as cosmopolitans. Zionism promised to bond the Jew with the soil, with a territory, with borders. Thus, it is consistent with the Zionist paradigm that Israel is notorious for its appalling treatment of asylum seekers, immigrants and, of course, the indigenous people of the land. Israel has surrounded itself with separation walls. Israel deployed hundreds of snipers in its fight to stop the March of Return – a ‘caravan’ of Palestinian refugees who were marching towards its border. Israel has been putting into daily practice that which Trump has promised to deliver. For a Trump supporter, Israel’s politics is a wet dream. Maybe Trump should consider tweaking his motto in 2020 into ‘Let’s make America Israel.’ This would encompass building separation walls, bullying America’s neighbors, the potential to cleanseAmerica of the ‘enemy within,’ and so on. It is not surprising that in 2016 Trump beat Clinton in an Israeli absentee exit poll. The Israelis do love Trump. To them, he is a vindication of their hawkish ideological path. Although during the election Trump was castigated as a vile anti-Semite and a Hitler figure by the Jewish progressive press, once elected, Fox News was quick to point out that Trump was actually the ‘First Jewish President.’

We can see that Israel, Trump and his voters have a lot in common. They want militant anti immigration policies , they love ‘walls,’ they hate Muslims and they believe in borders. When alt right icon Richard Spencer described himself on Israeli TV as “a White Zionist” he was actually telling the truth. Israel puts into practice the ideas that Spencer and Trump can so far only entertain. But the parallels between Israel and the Trump administration’s Republican voters is just one side of the story.

In my recent book, Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, I point out that while the old, good Left tried to unite us by insisting that it was not important whether one was Black, a Woman, a Muslim, a Jew or Gay; in the class war, we were all united against capitalism. It was the new Left that taught us to speak ‘as a’: as a Jew, as a Gay, as a Black and so on. Instead of being one people united in the struggle for justice and equality, within the post political realm we are pulled into endless identity battles.

Seemingly, this Identitarian revolution has been inspired by a few Jewish ideological and philosophical schools including, most importantly, the Frankfurt School. Truth must be said, when it comes to ID politics, Diaspora Jewish ideologists are often slightly more advanced than others, not because Jews are more clever than anyone else but simply because Jews have engaged in identity politics far longer than anyone else. While Gay identity politics is about four decades old and Feminism is maybe a century old, Jewish identity politics started in Babylon two and a half millennia ago. In fact, Judaism can be realised as an exilic Identitarian project. It deliberately and carefully sustains Jewish cultural, spiritual and physical segregation. Although Jews often drop their religion and dispose of God, many cling to Jewishness. For one reason or another, Jews often choose to operate within Jews- only political cells such as Jewish Voice for PeaceJewish Voice for Labour and so on. These Jewish bodies tend to preach inclusiveness while practicing exclusivity.

So it is hardly surprising that Jewish Identitarian philosophy and Jewish Identitarian success provides the model that inspires most, if not all, Identitarian politics within the New Left milieu in general and the current Democratic Party in particular. This isn’t the place to discuss at length or in depth the reasons behind Jewish identitarian success, however, it should be mentioned that while most Identitarians are taught to celebrate victimhood, to blame others for their misfortune, Jewish Identitarianism has a subtle dynamic balance between victimhood and entitlement.

Naturally, Jewish ideologists are at the helm of the Identitarian revolution. Maybe more well known is the fact that a chief funder of that revolution is financier George Soros and his Open Society Institute. Soros may genuinely believe in the Identitarian future: It is cosmopolitan, it is global, it defies borders and states but far more significantly, it also serves to divert attention from Wall Street and capitalist crimes: as long as Identitarians fight each other, no one bothers to fight Wall Street, Goldman Sachs and corporate tyranny. Soros didn’t invent this strategy, it has long been called ‘divide and conquer.’

The abovesheds light on the depth of influence of Jewish politics in America. While Israel is an exemplar of contemporary Republican goals, Democrats are emulating Jewish Diaspora identitarianism. The two contradictory Jewish ideologies are each well- ensconced within the two rival ideologies that are tearing America apart. The red Republican counties want America to be Israel Again. Thelarge metropolitan areas near America’s coasts have adopted the twelve tribes of Israel model – a loose Identitarian coalition threatened by Samaritans, Canaanites, Amalekites or as Hillary Clinton calls them the ‘basket of deplorables.’

The story of Jewish political strength in America doesn’t end there. A New York Jew can easily metamorphosize from an hard-core Identitarian into rabid Zionist settler and vice versa, but such a manoeuvre is not available to ordinary Americans. White nationalist Richard Spencer can not make the political shift that would turn him into a progressive or a liberal just as it is unlikely that a NY transsexual icon would find it possible to become a ‘redneck.’ While Jewish political identity is inherently elastic and can morph endlessly, the American political divide is fairly rigid. Jewish ideologists frequently change positions and camps, they shift from left to right, from Clinton to Trump (Dershowitz), they support immigration in their host counties yet oppose it in their own Jewish State, they are against rigid borders and even states in general, yet support the two state solution in Palestine (Chomsky). Gentiles are less flexible. They are expected to be coherent and consistent.

It was this manoeuvrability that made PM Netanyahu’s 2015 speech in front of a joint session of Congress a ‘success,’ although it might well have been considered a humiliation for any American with an ounce of patriotic pride. As we wellknow, Bibi can communicate easily with both Republicans and Democrats just as he cansimultaneously befriend Trump and Putin. He deploys snipers at the Gaza border with orders to kill while considerately peppering his statements with LGBTQ human rights advocacy. Not many Americans have dared to address this topic, but I believe that there are some who, by now, can see the situation clearly.

It was the Israeli in me who saw the disparity between ‘Israeli’ and ‘Jew’ at the Student Union Hall because I was raised as an Israeli patriot. I was trained to love and even die for the soil I mistakenly believed to be mine. As an Israeli, I was also trained to think tribal but speak universal, and I learned how to whine as a victim yet exercise oppression. But at a certain point in my life, around my thirties, I started to find all of it too exhausting. I wanted to simplify things. I demoted myself into an ordinary human being.

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