Gilad Atzmon rebuts Elias Davidsson’s Hasbara rant

December 27, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

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For the last several years I have repeatedly pointed out that when it comes to Palestine, the discourse of the oppressed is shaped by the sensitivities of the oppressor.  No one demonstrates this thought process better than German Jewish activist Elias Davidsson. The tribal operator ended his slanderous article about me in the German New Left Rubikon magazine:

“As a longtime anti-Zionist, I will not allow our fight for a just peace in Palestine to be disintegrated by psychopathic anti-Semites, nor will I regard people as comrades spreading the horrible theories of a Jewish world conspiracy. This theory has already resulted in millions of bodies.”

Ask yourself who comprises ‘our’ what ‘fight’ he is referring to. Indeed, I have never accused the Jews of a conspiracy. I argue, as forcefully as I can,  that there are NO Jewish conspiracies. Self–identified Jews don’t hide a thing, they act in the open.  Jewish Power, accordingly, is the power to silence criticism of Jewish power. This is exactly what Davidsson is attempting to do. And so he implements the Hasbara guidebook.

Elias Davidsson is an elder wannabe musician.  I suppose that in the last few years he has been unable to restrain his envy. His vicious attacks on yours truly have provided him his moment of fame in his waning years.

Until 2011 Davidsson regularly begged me to publish his unreadable rants. They were never up to standard and I rejected most of them. In 2011 I did publish a piece by Elias Davidsson in which the boy declared himself a “radical anti-Semite.’

A few months later, my book The Wandering Who? was published. The book was a world wide best-seller. Apparently Davidsson couldn’t take it. Although the book was endorsed by some of the greatest humanists and scholars, Davidsson declared the book a ‘neo-nazi text.’ Why? Because, like Hitler, I referred to a ‘Jewish organismus.’ If the tribal had just a few extra grey cells in his skull he would have comprehended that Hitler’s organismus was set to incriminate the Jews as a collective while my use of the term Jewish organismus was as a possible vindication of the Jews as a collective.

Here are my words,

“it is of course possible that there is no decision-making process at all. It is more than likely that ‘Jews’ do not have a centre or headquarters. It is more than likely that they aren’t aware of their particular role within the entire system, the way an organ is not aware of its role within the complexity of the organism.” (The Wandering Who pg. 21)

Basically, the concept is that the finger that pulls the trigger is not necessarily responsible for the dead body in the room.

I thought at the time that Davidsson was uniquely duplicitous, agonized with envy or just too stupid for my time. I ignored him.

I didn’t hear from Davidsson for a few years, but last week he has popped out again. In his Rubikon piece Davisson performs every Hasbara spin technique from duplicity to outright fabrication.

“Atzmon is primarily concerned with the freedom to question the Holocaust, not the general right to freedom of expression,” says the son of David. Is this true? Have I ever excluded any other intellectual domain? A week ago, at the Babylon theatre in Berlin, I spoke out against all history laws. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=48&v=-0YOJKGuNzQ

I specifically mentioned the Nakba Law and the Armenian Genocide law. However, it is the primacy of Jewish suffering embedded in the core of the Holocaust religion and the laws surrounding it that bothers me the most.

Davidsson continues:  “Atzmon is not on the side of the victims, but just trying to play down the crime.”  Is this true? Is stripping the holocaust of its religious status and treating it as a universal lesson in ethics equal to  ‘playing down the crime’? Quite the opposite. It changes the narrative from that of a Jewish/German anecdote into a vivid dynamic and universal lesson that can be applied to Palestine, Syria and Iraq.

And then we are referred yet again to that same snippet of revisionist advocacy from The Wandering Who? Davidsson calls this paragraph   “classic Holocaust Denial.”

“I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start asking questions. We should ask for historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative that is sustained by political pressure and laws. We should strip the Holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and place. The Holocaust, like every other historical narrative, must be analysed properly. 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should be able to ask – why? Why were the Jews hated?” (The Wandering Who p 175)

In the eyes of the deranged Davidsson a call for  ‘disclosure’ and openness about the past that moves beyond Jewish victimhood shows a ‘neo Nazi’ inclination.  Of course, it doesn’t. Worse, the duplicitous Davidsson cut my paragraph in the middle.

Here is the rest of the text which he chose to omit:

“65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should be able to ask – why? Why were the Jews hated?  Why did European people stand up against their neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East, surely they had a chance to open a new page in their troubled history? If they genuinely planned to do so, as the early Zionists claimed, why did they fail? Why did America tighten its immigration laws amid the growing danger to European Jews? We should also ask what purpose Holocaust denial laws serve? What is the Holocaust religion there to conceal? As long as we fail to ask questions, we will be subjected to Zionist lobbies and their plots. We will continue killing in the name of Jewish suffering. We will maintain our complicity in Western imperialist crimes

It is clear why Davidsson omitted the rest of the paragraph. It is about him and his tribal agenda.  “As long as we fail to ask questions…We will continue killing in the name of Jewish suffering.” Elias Davidsson attacks me and falsifies my words because he wants to sustain the primacy of Jewish suffering.

According to this miserable man I am motivated by “personal and pathological hatred of ‘Jews’, including Jewish activists who act  for Palestinians rights,[ …] therefore, he (Atzmon) describes himself. as a ‘self-hating Jew.’

When scholars refer to a pathology they point at forensic evidence that substantiates their verdict. Davidsson fails to offer any evidence of my ‘pathology.’  I will help the elder Zionist to refine his argument. The fact that I occasionally define myself as “a self hater” suggests that I hate myself rather than others. Consistent with Otto Weininger’s brutal realisation that in art, understanding of the self is understanding of the world, I dig into myself as an act of disclosure.

Like his friend Ludwig Watzal who was caught plagiarising quotes originally fabricated by Dershowitz, Davidsson is misquoting me and even put words in my mouth in a deliberate attempt to deceive.  Davidson builds his entire zigzag narrative on a nine year old discussion on American TV.  “Asked if any Jews had died by the Nazis, Atzmon says: ‘that is a completely irrelevant question.. Because I’m not a historian,’”

What I actually say in the video is that my concern with the holocaust is not about numbers, “even if it were, 2.5 million it is quite enough”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXAwYIU9yRs&t=1m10s

…we are talking about huge numbers here. In my work, I want to move beyond numbers and to grasp why, what is it in the Jews that makes Jewish history a chain of disasters? Why is antisemitsm rising again? And the crucial question is why Elias Davisson, supposedly, a ‘truth seeker’ is so fearful of me asking these questions? Why does Davidsson feel the need to lie and to omit certain lines? What kind of people engage in such duplicitous behaviour? The answer is simple. The fear of truthfulness is a Jerusalemite symptom. Jerusalem replaces reason with a strict regime of correctness.

Then the ignoramus argues that “ethnic cleansing” of Jews from Nazi Germany is “Atzmon’s invention.”   ”On the contrary,” Davidsson says,  “German Jews had to apply for emigration in the Third Reich. Not all could emigrate.”

Maybe the German speaking Davidsson should explain to us what the notions judenrein and judenfrei meant to the Nazi regime. One may well wonder how this nonsense passed the Rubikon’s editorial standards. David Cesarani’s  Final Solution provides  an incredible account of the Nazi’s ethnic cleansing of German and Austrian Jews. You would expect Davidsson to grasp that ‘applying for immigration’ was a bureaucratic procedure. And this is exactly why we need history to be subject to revision.

The notion of ethnic cleansing wasn’t around when Raul Hilberg wrote ‘The Destruction of European Jews,’  the only source Davidsson cites.  It wasn’t until Kosovo in the late 1990s that the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ made it into our vocabulary. It was in the late 1990s and early 2000s that the new notion of ethnic cleansing helped us to re-shape our understanding of the Nakba in 1948 and of Nazi atrocities. I guess it is too much to expect Davidsson and the Rubikon editorial to grasp this nuanced intellectual evolutionary process.

In his attempt to discuss the death march, Davidsson is again out of his depth and quoting Raul Hilberg isn’t very helpful. Here is the death march dilemma as I see it: if the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich or dead, why did they march thousands of them back to the Reich at the end of the war?

This is an historical dilemma that is begging for an answer,  it juxtaposes two conflicting historical narratives. I accept that silencing me is the preferred solution for the Jerusalemite, but if I may advise the elder Davidsson, it won’t remove the dilemma. At best it will only delay the discussion.

And finally the unthinkable happens, Davidsson manages to  depart from the Holocaust.  He lands on ‘Christ killing.’ “Atzmon said that the Israeli attack on the Gaza humanitarian flotilla ‘was [ideologically] a repetition of the killing of Jesus Christ.’” According to Davidsson this is a “propagandist” attempt  to “curry favour with Christian anti-Semites.” I will help the spin merchant to grasp some elementary basics.  Christ killing is a symbol of the murder of innocence and goodness. In my eyes, and I am hardly alone in this thought, a lot of Israeli brutality falls into this category. The crude attack on the Mavi Marmara was a prototypical case of an assault on goodness. Unlike Davidsson, I operate on my own. I am not affiliated with anyone, whether Christian, Socialist or Nazi. I am searching for that which unite us as humans. I am searching for the conditions that make humanism a possibility.  I am committed to one thing; that which I believe to be true at the time I utter it. I do accept that for Davidsson and his ilk such an approach is a fatal threat. I wish I knew how to help them out.

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Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

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Truth In Your Face

December 22, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

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German Speaking website Muslim-Market interviewed me this week about the current debate around my recent appearance at the NRhZ ceremony.  We spoke about History, the Holocaust, Israel, Jewishness… all those things Germans prefer to shove under the carpet.    

http://www.muslim-markt.de/interview/2017/atzmon.htm

MM: Mr. Atzmon, there has been a lot of nonsense written about you in the western media because of your critical positions on Israel. We would like to use this interview to understand your opinion and to correct the false reports. It is said, for example, that you are relativizing Hitler’s crimes against the Jews. Is that true?

Atzmon: I will be as clear as I can. To start with, I am subject to slander and defamation because I extended my critique of Israel beyond the boundaries of mere political criticism or denunciation of ‘Zionism.’

I realised that since Israel defines itself as the Jewish State we better find out what the ‘J word’ stands for: Who are the Jews? What is Judaism and what is Jewishness? While Israeli Jews have a relatively good understanding of these 3 concepts and how they relate to one another and to Zionism, to Israeli politics and to Israeli existence, the Jewish Diaspora and Jewish Left in particular prefer to keep these notions blurred and confusing. This is the primary reason for the campaign against me. I moved the discourse beyond the banal Zionism vs. ‘anti’ rant. Those who follow my work understand that digging into Jewishness, the ideology at the core of choseness, of which Zionism is just one symptom, provides many answers. Further, if I am correct, it may suggest that the solidarity movement was led astray for decades and didn’t achieve a thing for good reason. I should also mention that in my work I have never criticised Jews as people, or as a race, biology or ethnicity. I also refrain from dealing with Judaism (the religion). I restrict myself to criticism of ideology, politics and culture.

MM: … and what about the Holocaust?

Atzmon: My position in regard to the Holocaust is very clear. I argue that history is the attempt to narrate the past as we move along. As such, it must remain an open dynamic discourse that is open to change and revision. I contend that history is essentially, a revisionist adventure. I am therefore against all history laws (Nakba, Armenian Genocide, Holocaust etc.) Like many other scholars, I see that the Holocaust has been reduced to a religion. It is dogma. It lost its universal reflective qualities, it is not about an ethical message anymore. And if the Holocaust is the new religion, all I ask is to be an atheist.

To address your question. The notion of ‘Holocaust relativization’ is in itself a meaningless or absurd notion. History is a relative adventure. We grasp the past by, for example, equating Hitler with Stalin. We examine the difference between the ethnic cleansing committed by the 3rd Reich and that in Palestine by Israel.

Hence the demand to stop thinking about the past in relative terms is in itself a religious dogmatic demand for blind adherence. I won’t surrender to such a ludicrous rule and no one else should.

MM: You once said that you are proud to be a self-hating Jew. Why don’t you just convert to another religion as you have already changed your citizenship?

Atzmon: To start with, I do not discuss my personal religious affairs in public. But I can assure you that I have not been a Jew for many years. I am not the type of a person who could easily join any organised religion. But I enjoy following Jesus’ ecumenical lesson in my own way. I learned to love my neighbours, and to seek truth and peace. This is my personal Jihad.

MM: There are quite a number of Jews, including those in Israel, who resist the policy of occupation. For example, we had the honor of interviewing peace activist Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan. Your criticism of Israeli society is portrayed as completely undifferentiated in the media. Is your view really that sweeping?

Atzmon: I don’t agree with that portrayal. I have a lot of respect for some Israeli dissident voices such as Shlomo Sand, Gideon Levy, Uri Avnery, Nurit Peled, Yoav Shamir, Israel Shamir, Israel Shahak and others. I refer to their work occasionally. I was the first one, outside of Israel, to review Sholomo Sand’s ‘The Invention of the Jewish People.’ As I mentioned above, I do not criticise people or religion. I deal with ideology, politics and culture.

MM: As an Israeli army soldier you were in Lebanon and saw Palestinian refugee camps. What influence did this experience have on your development?

Atzmon: It was Lebanon 1982 that made it clear to me that I shared little with my people and would have to drift away sooner or later. It was in Lebanon, upon seeing the refugee camps that I grasped the extent of the ethnic cleansing that took place in Palestine in 48. While In Lebanon, I realised that me dwelling in a Jewish State on someone else’s land was crossing an ethical red line. You have to understand that back in 82 no one in Israel spoke about the Nakba. Then and there, I saw first hand how duplicitous the Israeli project was.

MM: A few days ago, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a severely handicapped man whose legs had been amputated. What is the effect of such cruel acts by their own army on the population of Israel?

Atzmon: As far as I can tell, the effect is minimal, and this is exactly where my research begins. How is it possible that people who have suffered so much throughout their history can inflict so much pain on others? How is it that the oppressed becomes the oppressor? How is it possible that just 3 years after the liberation of Auschwitz the newly born Jewish State ethnically cleansed Palestine?

MM: After all that has happened, can you imagine a day that Jews, Christians and Muslims will live together in peace in Jerusalem?

Atzmon: This is history for you. The European Jewish past is an endless chain of disasters. In the Muslim world, on the other hand, Jews enjoyed their life and prospered. It is more than possible that culturally and ideologically equating Arab Jews with Ashkenazi Jews could provide all the answers we need, but this is exactly the type of research we are prevented from conducting.

MM: Let’s discuss the event in Berlin a few days ago, which some had tried to prevent. What was your impression of the event and were you able to convey your message?

Atzmon: I thought the event was incredible. It was well attended. You could breathe the spirit of resistance. The crowd was mixed. Many youngsters. I was shocked by the support I received.

MM: What is the motivation for your nerve-wracking and multi-sacrifice commitment to justice and peace in Palestine? We ask this question to encourage others who sooner or later give up in the face of the apparent superiority of the Zionist state.

Atzmon: It is way beyond Palestine by now. It is Syria, Libya, Iraq, and it extends to Greece and Portugal, and then Britain the USA and beyond. By now we are all Palestinians. We are all oppressed by that which we are not even allowed to articulate.

I am living on this planet and like others, I want to be emancipated. I guess that the ferociousness of the animosity against me suggests that some people out there are really afraid of my message. Considering that I am not a political figure nor am I an activist, I take it to mean that they must be afraid of my thoughts. This is worrying but it is also a compliment.

MM: What are your next projects, can we expect another book?

Atzmon: I never know what’s next. But I can tell you, it could be many things, except boring.

MM: Mr. Atzmon, we thank you for the interview.

German original:

 

22.12.2017

Gilad Atzmon ist 1963 in Jerusalem in eine jüdische Familie geboren. Sein Großvater war Mitglied in der zionistischen Terrororganisation Irgun. Er soll großen Einfluss auf die gesamte Familie gehabt haben. Nach seiner Schulausbildung begann Atzmon seinen Wehrdienst in der israelischen Armee. Als im Juni 1982 die israelische Armee im Libanon einmarschiert ist, empfand er großen Unmut. Als Mitglied im Musikkorps der israelischen Luftwaffe (IAFO) musste er im Sommer 1984 an einer Konzertreise bei den israelischen Truppen im Libanon teilnehmen. Er sah das israelische Gefängnis Ansar im Südlibanon und traf Tausende gefangener Palästinenser, die unter unmenschlichen Bedingungen eingesperrt waren. Diese Erfahrungen prägten seine späteren Aktivitäten im Einsatz für Frieden.

Gilad Atzmon verließ Israel und lebt seit 1993 in Großbritannien. Da sein Musikstudium ihm nicht genügte, obwohl er zu den weltbesten Jazzmusikern aufgestiegen war (er spielt Saxophon, Klarinette und andere Holzblasinstrumente), studierte er Philosophie an der Universität von Essex. Im Jahr 2002 wurde er britischer Staatsbürger. Im gleichen Jahr erschien sein erster Roman: A guide to the perplexed. Er griff den Titel einer berühmten, auf Arabisch abgefassten Schrift des jüdischen Philosophen Moses Maimonides auf: Anleitung für Zweifelnde. Sein Roman wurde in 18 Sprachen übersetzt. Der Roman versetzt den Leser in das Jahr 2052 und blickt zurück auf den Untergang des Staates Israel. Sein zweiter Roman My one and only love gilt ebenfalls als  scharfe Abrechnung mit der Kultur und Politik Israels.

Im Jahr 2011 wurde sein Buch The wandering who? A study of Jewish identity politics veröffentlicht. Gemäß Atzmon ist ein jüdischer Staat „grundsätzlich unfähig, die Region in eine Aussöhnung zu führen“, solange nicht aus der jüdischen Identität „alle Spuren ideologischen Überlegenheitsdenkens getilgt werden“. Seine klare antizionistische Haltung hat zu extremer Feindschaft aus Kreisen der Israel-Lobby geführt, die ihn nicht nur inhaltlich, sondern auch persönlich angreifen. Das Buch wurde in zwölf Sprachen übersetzt und erschien in Deutschland beim Zambon-Verlag.

Gilad Atzmon ist verheiratet, hat zwei Kinder und lebt mit seiner Familie in London.

Das Interview wurde in englischer Sprache geführt. Um mögliche Schwächen der Übersetzung zu vermeiden, wird das englische Original im unteren Teil hinzugefügt.

MM: Sehr geehrter Herr Atzmon, in den westlichen Medien wird sehr viel Unsinn über Sie verbreitet, weil Sie Israel gegenüber sehr kritisch sind. Wir wollen gerne dieses Interview dazu nutzen, Ihre authentische Meinung zu verstehen und die Falschmeldungen zu korrigieren. So heißt es z.B., dass Sie die Verbrechen Hitlers an den Juden relativieren würden. Ist das wahr?

Atzmon: Ich will mich so klar ausdrücken wie möglich aus. Zunächst bin ich Verleumdungen und Diffamierungen ausgesetzt, weil ich die Kritik an Israel über die Grenzen der bloßen politischen Kritik oder der Denunzierung des “Zionismus” hinaus ausgeweitet habe.

Ich habe erkannt, dass, wenn sich Israel als jüdischer Staat definiert, wir besser herausfinden sollten, wofür das “J-Wort” steht: Wer sind die Juden? Was ist Judentum und was bedeutet Jüdischsein? Während die israelischen Juden diese drei Begriffe relativ gut verstehen, wie sie zueinander in Beziehung stehen, zum Zionismus, zur israelischen Politik und zur israelischen Existenz, bevorzugen die jüdische Diaspora und die jüdische Linke im Besonderen diese Begriffe verschwommen und verwirrend zu bewahren. Dies ist der Hauptgrund für die Kampagne gegen mich. Ich habe den Diskurs über den banalen Zionismus gegen “Anti”-Tiraden hinausgehoben. Diejenigen, die meiner Arbeit folgen, verstehen, dass das Eintauchen in das Jüdischsein, die Ideologie mit dem Kern des Auserwähltheit, bei der der Zionismus nur ein Symptom ist, viele Antworten liefert. Fall ich also recht habe, könnte das auch darauf hindeuten, dass die Solidaritätsbewegung jahrzehntelang in die Irre geführt wurde und aus gutem Grund nichts erreicht hätte. Ich sollte auch erwähnen, dass ich in meiner Arbeit niemals Juden als Menschen, Rasse, Biologie oder ethnische Zugehörigkeit kritisiert habe. Ich unterlasse es auch, mich mit dem Judentum (als Religion) zu befassen. Ich beschränke mich auf Kritik an Ideologie, Politik und Kultur.

MM: … und wie ist es mit der Holocaust?

Atzmon: Meine Haltung zum Holocaust ist sehr klar. Ich behaupte, dass Geschichte der Versuch ist, die Vergangenheit zu erzählen, während wir uns voran bewegen. Als solches muss es ein offener dynamischer Diskurs bleiben, der offen für Veränderungen und Überarbeitungen ist. Ich behaupte, dass Geschichte im Wesentlichen ein revisionistisches Erlebnis ist. Ich bin deshalb gegen alle Geschichtsgesetze (Nakba, Armenien Genozid, Holocaust etc.). Wie viele andere Gelehrte behaupte ich, dass der Holocaust nun zu einer Religion reduziert worden ist. Es ist ein Dogma. Es hat seine universellen Reflexionseigenschaften verloren, es ist keine ethische Botschaft mehr. Und wenn der Holocaust die neue Religion ist, erbitte ich Atheist sein zu dürfen.

Um Ihre (ursprüngliche) Frage zu beantworten. Der Begriff der “Holocaust-Relativierung” ist an sich eine sinnlose oder absurde Vorstellung. Geschichte ist ein relatives Erlebnis. Wir begreifen die Vergangenheit, um beispielsweise Hitler mit Stalin zu vergleichen, um den Unterschied zwischen ethnischer Säuberung durch das 3. Reich und in Palästina durch Israel zu untersuchen.

Daher ist die Forderung, nicht mehr über die Vergangenheit im Hinblick auf vergleichbare Bedingungen nachzudenken, eine religiöse dogmatische Forderung nach blindem Gehorsam. Ich werde mich einer solch lächerlichen Regel nicht beugen und niemand sollte das tun.

MM: Sie sollen einmal gesagt haben, dass Sie stolz seien, ein selbsthassender Jude zu sein. Warum konvertieren Sie nicht einfach in eine andere Religion? Die Staatsbürgerschaft haben sie ja bereits gewechselt.

Atzmon: Grundsätzlich diskutiere ich meine persönlichen religiösen Angelegenheiten nicht öffentlich. Aber ich kann Ihnen versichern, dass ich seit vielen Jahren kein Jude mehr bin. Ich bin nicht der Typ einer Person, die sich leicht einer organisierten Religion anschließen könnte. Aber ich erfreue mich daran, die ökumenische Lektion Jesu auf meine Weise zu befolgen. Ich lernte meine Nachbarn zu lieben, und Wahrheit und Frieden anzustreben. Das ist mein persönlicher Dschihad.

MM: Es gibt eine ganze Reihe von Juden, auch in Israel, die sich gegen die Besatzungspolitik wehren. Wir hatten z.B. die Ehre die Friedensaktivistin Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan zu interviewen. Ihre Kritik an der israelischen Gesellschaft wird in den Medien immer sehr undifferenziert dargestellt. Ist Ihre Kritik wirklich so pauschal?

Atzmon: Ich stimme der Darstellung nicht zu. Ich habe großen Respekt vor einigen israelischen Dissidenten wie Shlomo Sand, Gideon Levy, Uri Avnery, Nurit Peled, Yoav Shamir, Israel Shamir, Israel Shahak und anderen. Ich beziehe mich gelegentlich auf ihre Arbeiten. Ich war der erste aus Israel, der Shlomo Sands “Die Erfindung des jüdischen Volkes” rezensiert hat. Wie ich bereits erwähnt habe, kritisiere ich weder Menschen noch eine Religion. Ich beschäftige mich mit Ideologie, Politik und Kultur.

MM: Als Soldat der israelischen Armee waren Sie auch im Libanon und haben palästinensische Flüchtlingslager gesehen. Welchen Einfluss hatte diese Erfahrung auf Ihre Entwicklung?

Atzmon: Es war der Libanon 1982, der mir klar machte, dass ich wenig mit meinen Mitmenschen teile und früher oder später wegdriften müsste. Es war im Libanon, als ich die Flüchtlingslager sah, als ich das Ausmaß der ethnischen Säuberungen in Palästina im Jahr 48 begriffen hatte. Im Libanon wurde mir klar, dass in einem jüdischen Staat im Land von anderen zu wohnen ein ethische rote Linie überschritt. Sie müssen verstehen, dass rückblickend in 82 niemand in Israel über die Nakba sprach. Ich erkannte dann und dort aus erster Hand, wie doppelzüngig das israelische Projekt war.

MM: Erst vor wenigen Tagen haben israelische Soldaten einen schwer behinderten Mann, dessen Beine amputiert sind, erschossen. Welche Rückwirkung haben solche grausamen Taten der eigenen Armee auf die Bevölkerung in Israel?

Atzmon: Soweit ich das beurteilen kann, ist der Effekt minimal und genau hier beginnt mein Erforschen. Wie ist es möglich, dass Menschen, die in ihrer Geschichte so viel gelitten haben, anderen so viel Leid zufügen können? Wie kommt es, dass die Unterdrückten zum Unterdrückern werden? Wie ist es möglich, dass nur drei Jahre nach der Befreiung von Auschwitz der neu geborene jüdische Staat Palästina ethnisch gesäubert hat?

MM: Können Sie sich nach allem, was geschehen ist, vorstellen, dass Juden Christen und Muslime eines Tages gemeinsam in Frieden in Jerusalem leben?

Atzmon: Das ist Geschichte für Sie. Die europäisch-jüdische Vergangenheit ist eine endlose Kette von Katastrophen. Auf der anderen Seite genossen Juden in der muslimischen Welt ihr Leben und entwickelten sich. Es ist mehr als nur möglich, dass sich kulturell und ideologisch angleichende arabische Juden mit aschkenasischen Juden alle Antworten bereitstellen, die wir benötigen. Doch genau dies ist die Art von Forschung, an der wir gehindert werden.

MM: Kommen wir zu der Veranstaltung in Berlin vor wenigen Tagen, die einige versucht haben zu verhindern. Wie war Ihr Eindruck von der Veranstaltung und konnten Sie Ihre Botschaft herüberbringen?

Atzmon: Ich fand die Veranstaltung unglaublich. Es war gut besucht. Man konnte den Geist des Widerstands atmen. Die Menge war gemischt, viele Jugendliche. Ich muss zugeben, ich war überwältigt durch die Unterstützung, die ich aus dem Saal erhielt.

MM: Was ist Ihr Antrieb für diesen nervenaufreibenden und mit vielen Opfern verbundenen Einsatz für Gerechtigkeit und Frieden in Palästina? Wir fragen diese Frage um anderen Mut zu machen, die früher oder später vor der scheinbaren Übermacht der zionistischen Gegenwehr aufgeben.

Atzmon: Es geht weitaus um mehr als Palästina. Es geht um Syrien, Libyen, den Irak, und es erstreckt sich auf Griechenland und Portugal, und dann Großbritannien, die USA und darüber hinaus. Inzwischen sind wir alle Palästinenser. Wir sind alle unterdrückt durch das, was wir nicht einmal artikulieren dürfen.

Ich lebe auf diesem Planeten und wie andere möchte ich befreit sein. Ich vermute, dass die Wildheit der Feindseligkeit gegen mich auch darauf hindeutet, dass einige Leute da draußen wirklich Angst vor meiner Botschaft haben. In Anbetracht der Tatsache, dass ich keine politische Figur bin und nicht einmal ein Aktivist, nehme ich an, dass einige Angst vor meinen Gedanken haben müssen. Das ist beunruhigend, aber es ist auch eine Anerkennung.

MM: Was sind Ihre nächsten Projekte, können wir mit einem weiteren Buch rechnen?

Atzmon: Ich weiß nie, was als nächstes kommt. Aber ich kann Ihnen sagen, es könnten viele Dinge sein außer Langeweile.

MM: Herr Atzmon, wir danken für das Interview.

Englisches Original

“Don’t Interfere With Our Ability To Look At The Past. Let Us Debate It Ethically.”

Gilad Atzmon on Richie Allen Show talking about `Germany, the past, the Holocaust and the Nakba. We also looked at the vision of the past in the work of David Irving, Timothy Snyder and David Cesarani.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61GqNYqQn2o

Ludwig Watzal – Disinformation Agent

December 17, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

For the last few days, a few agents within our ranks together with the entire German Zionist media have waged a vile defamation campaign against me in a desperate attempt to portray me as an ‘anti-Semite’ and a ‘holocaust denier.’ The Die Welt and similar outlets made no attempt to substantiate their claims. The German news outlets didn’t even attempt to actually refer to my work. Two nights ago in Berlin, at the NRhZ humanitarian award ceremony, I delivered a public statement that addressed these insane accusations. My videoed statement is due to appear shortly. I intend to take all necessary measures to combat this fake news Blitz Krieg.

Since Ludwig Watzal, a supposed ‘Palestinian supporter,’ claims to have found the ‘evidence’ of my ‘anti-Semitism,’ let’s spend a few minutes digging into Watzal’s duplicity.

Here  is what is alleged to be a  ‘quote’  from my 2011 book, ”The Wandering Who?”: ‘If Iran and Israel Fought a Nuclear War some may be enough to argue that ‘Hitler might have been right after all’ (179 ).

My writing has been crudely doctored to portray me as a Hitler supporter. My actual words in the book convey exactly the opposite message:

“We, for instance, can envisage an horrific situation in which an Israeli so-called ‘pre-emptive’ nuclear attack on Iran escalates into a disastrous nuclear war, in which tens of millions of people perish. I guess that amongst the survivors of such a nightmare scenario, some may be bold enough to argue that ‘Hitler might have been right after all.’

The above is obviously a fictional scenario, and by no means a wishful one…” (179)

Let’s ask, Why did Watzal feel the need to subvert the clear meaning of my words? Who does he work for?

This is the next duplicitous  mis‘quote’ Watzal makes.

“Goyim’s blood was indeed empty or groundless (185).”

Fortunately, nothing  in The Wandering Who resembles these words or can possibly be given this interpretation. Here is what I wrote.

“I remember my high school class visit to Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem located next to Deir Yassin, a Palestinian village that was wiped of its inhabitants in 1948. I was fourteen years old at the time. I asked the emotional tour guide if she could explain the fact that so many Europeans loathed the Jews so much and in so many places at once. I was thrown out of school for a week. It seems I didn’t learn the necessary lesson because when we studied the middle age blood libels, I again wondered out loud how the teacher could know that these accusations of Jews making Matza out of young Goyim’s blood were indeed empty or groundless. Once again I was sent home for a week.”

The writing obviously has a completely different meaning. In the Wandering Who? I protest against the dismissal of historical thinking that I (along with many others) believe is symptomatic of Jewish culture and ideology.

And the question again. If I were truly evil, why would Watzal need to resort to crude deception to show it?

Then Watzal exceeds his own low standards. The following isn’t remotely a quote. It just does not exist in my book. Watzal invented  a statement and provided an arbitrary citation apparently assuming that no one would check. “The history of Jewish persecution is a myth, and if there is any persecution the Jews have it on them (175, 182).”

When, and it is rare, Watzal cites my work correctly, it is only because he is too dim to understand that his attempt to defame me actually validates my point.  Watzal quotes:  The “Judaic God” described in Deuteronomy 6: 10-12 “is an evil deity, who leads his people to plunder, robbery and theft.”

This is clearly the case. I suggest that Watzal spend some euros and buy a copy of the Old Testament. This is what he will find in Deuteronomy 6:10-12:

“When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build,  houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 1be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

“Atzmon,” Watzal writes,  “explains that “Israel and Zionism … have instituted the pledges promised by the Hebrew God in the Judaic holy scriptures” (121).

I suggest that Watzal read Deuteronomy 6:10-12 and rethink the meaning of Zionist plunder of Palestine within the context of the Biblical words.

Then Watzal quotes: “The moral of the Book of Esther is that Jews had better infiltrate the corridors of power if they wish to survive (158).”

This is in indeed how I interpret the Book of Esther. At the time, my thoughts were  original. However, as of now, my views of Esther and her book have been widely accepted. In fact, light Zionist Peter Beinart has repeated them almost verbatim. In Beinart’s recent article,  AIPAC Reflects Heroism Of Jewish Power — And Its Perils, Beinart wrote: “On Purim, Jews read the Book of Esther, which tells the story of a Jew who unexpectedly gains influence with a mighty king….That’s also the story of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. American Jews are Esther. They have won influence with the most powerful government on earth. They could keep their heads down, focusing only on preserving their own safety and privilege…”

Of course, I am well aware of why Ludwig Watzal feels the need to lie about me. I also understand why The Die Welt did the same.  My reading of Jewish culture and politics suggests that our attitudes towards the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the Lobby have been completely wrong. Our ‘Palestinian solidarity’ movement  didn’t lead anywhere because it was set to lead us astray.

In my universe, truth will set you free. I guess that Watzal and I share little in our adherence to integrity. I am inspired by Athens, Watzal obviously belongs in Jerusalem.

 

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, 

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk). 

Exploring the Truth on German Soil (Holocaust, History & Palestine)

 

December 18, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

Following is the talk I delivered in Babylon, Berlin on 14.12.2017. Together with Ken Jebsen, Evelyn Echt Galinski and the organisers (Marxist outlet NRhZ) I have been subject to an insane defamation campaign. Despite being banned by the venue’s owner Mr. T. Grossman, I delivered my message and as you could hear, the room was ecstatic. Mr Grossman, on the other hand,  was shamelessly booed off stage. Truth is clearly way more poplular than censorship.

English and German Texts are available here. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0YOJKGuNzQ&t=0m48s

German voice over:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUzLVuEDH9A&t=0m50s

German voice over:

Antisemitism, the Holocaust and Palestine

December 16, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

UPDATE: I just added the video recording of my Berlin statement. You can hear for yourself how excited the audience are by the idea of openness, tolerance and their past being subject to revision. We are talking here about humanity and the human conditions. It goes beyond politics and ideological battles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUzLVuEDH9A&t=0m50s

A Statement  Delivered  By Gilad Atzmon at Babylon Theatre Berlin (14.12.2017)

In the last few days, in advance of the NRhZ’s humanitarian award ceremony, like Ken (FM) Jebsen and others, I have been subject to an insane defamation campaign. None of it was substantiated. It was comprised of fabricated quotes: I was called a ‘holocaust denier’ and a ‘holocaust relativist.’ Yet, not a single genuine reference was made to my writings or talks.  In my work I criticise reducing the holocaust into a crude religion, an intolerant dogma. In my writing I protest against all history laws (Nakba laws, Armenian Genocide laws, Holocaust laws etc.) History for me, is the attempt to narrate the past as we are moving along. As such, it must be sustained as a dynamic discourse, subject to constant change and revision, even if this change happens to be slightly uncomfortable. For me, history is an ethical message –Only when we revise the past may we be able to, once again,  rethink our future and destiny.

In recent days some of the German press referred to me as an ‘anti-semite.’ Am I? Have I  ever criticized anyone including Jews as a ‘people’, as a ‘race,’ as a ‘biology,’ or as an ‘ethnicity’? Never. My work is anti racist. I have dedicated my entire adult life to fighting racism through my music, my writing and my performances. I am opposed to all forms of biologically-oriented politics: White, Black, Gender as well as Jewish. I am searching instead for that which brings humans together. In my writing and talks I make a clear distinction between the Jews (the people) whom I never criticize, Judaism (the religion) which I rarely deal with and Jewishness (the ideology, politics and culture). In my work I focus on the last- – the ideology , the politics and the culture, assuming that we all agree these (ideology, politics and culture) must be open to criticism.

But if you want to talk about holocaust denial, I will tell you something about denial. To deny intellectuals, authors and artists the right to express their views in the open is where fascism starts. What I saw in Germany in the last few days suggests to me that some segments within your society really learned nothing from the history of your country. To deny the holocaust is to deny its meaning, to turn your eyes away when you see evil, to let your heart become cold when you yourself participate in evil or celebrate hatred.  To deny the holocaust is to fail to address your own  inability to tolerate others and otherness. It is beyond painful for me to witness Germany being led blindly into the same trap just seven decades after the liberation of Auschwitz.

But I would like to add one more line on Palestine. Some Germans claim to be tormented by their past, by the atrocities of the 3rd Reich. If this is indeed the case, let me please remind you of a simple but embarrassing fact – the Palestinians are the last victims of Hitler.

It was the extent of the Shoah that brought support to Zionism and led to the formation of the Jewish State in Palestine. But it is the innocent Palestinians who, for the last seven decades, have been paying the price for crimes committed by Europeans.

If you feel guilty about Hitler, stand for Palestine and the Palestinians!

If they want to burn it, you want to read it…

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Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, 

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk). 

 

Stellungnahme von Gilad Atzmon

In den letzten Tagen, im Vorfeld der Karls-Preisverleihung der NRhZ, wurden Ken Jebsen, Andere und ich selbst das Ziel einer aberwitzigen Verleumdungskampagne. Nichts davon wurde begründet. Es folgten erfundene Zitate – ich wurde als „Holocaustleugner“ und „Holocaustrelativierer“ bezeichnet. Und nicht eine einzige wahre Referenz zu meinen Schriften oder Reden wurde herangezogen.

 

In meinen Arbeiten kritisiere ich, dass der Holocaust auf eine plumpe Religion, ein intolerantes Dogma reduziert wird. In meinen Schriften protestiere ich gegen alle Gesetze, die Geschichte betreffen (Nakba-Gesetze, Gesetze über den armenischen Genozid, Holocaust-Gesetze usw.)

Geschichte ist für mich der Versuch, die Vergangenheit zu erzählen während wir voranschreiten. Geschichte muss als dynamischer Diskurs ausgehalten werden, der konstanter Veränderung und Neubetrachtung unterliegt, auch wenn solche Veränderung leichtes Unwohlsein hervorruft. Für mich ist Geschichte eine ethische Botschaft. Nur wenn wir die Geschichte prüfen, können wir unsere Zukunft, unser Schicksal neu überdenken.

 

In den vergangenen Tagen haben mich manche deutsche Presseorgane als „Antisemiten“ bezeichnet. Bin ich das?

 

Habe ich jemals irgendjemand, Juden eingeschlossen, kritisiert als „Volk“, als „Rasse“, als „Biologie“, als „Ethnizität“? Niemals!

 

Meine Arbeit ist antirassistisch. Durch meine Musik, meine Texte und Aufführungen habe ich mein ganzes erwachsenes Leben dem Kampf gegen Rassismus gewidmet. Ich bin gegen alle Formen der biologisch orientierten Politik: „Weiße Politik“, „Schwarze Politik“, geschlechterspezifische Politik, jüdische Politik. Ich suche stattdessen nach dem, was Menschen zusammen führt.

 

In meinen Schriften und Reden unterscheide ich klar zwischen den Juden (das Volk), welches ich nie kritisiere, dem Judaismus (die Religion), mit dem ich mich selten befasse, und dem „Jüdischsein“ (die Ideologie,  Politik und Kultur). In meiner Arbeit konzentriere ich mich auf das Letztere – die Ideologie, die Politik und die Kultur – und gehe davon aus, dass wir uns alle einig darin sind, dass diese kritisiert werden dürfen.

 

Wenn Sie von Holocaustleugnung sprechen wollen, teile ich Ihnen auch etwas über Leugnung/Verweigerung mit. Intellektuellen, Autoren und Künstlern das Recht abzusprechen, in der Öffentlichkeit ihre Meinung zu äußern, ist der Moment in dem Faschismus beginnt.

 

Was ich in Deutschland in den letzten Tagen beobachtete, führt bei mir zu dem Schluss, dass manche Teile Ihrer Gesellschaft wirklich nichts aus der deutschen Geschichte gelernt haben. Den Holocaust leugnen heißt, seine Bedeutung zu leugnen, die Augen abzuwenden, wenn man Böses sieht, das Herz erkalten zu lassen, wenn man sich an Bösem beteiligt oder den Hass zelebriert. Den Holocaust leugnen heißt, die eigene Unfähigkeit auszublenden, Andere und Anderssein zu tolerieren.

 

Es ist mehr als schmerzhaft für mich, Zeuge davon zu werden, wie Deutschland nur sieben Jahrzehnte nach der Befreiung von Auschwitz blind in dieselbe Falle tappt

 

Ich möchte noch einen Satz über Palästina hinzufügen: Manche Deutsche behaupten, dass sie von ihrer Vergangenheit, den Gräueltaten des 3. Reiches, gequält werden. Wenn dies wirklich der Fall ist, dann darf ich Sie an eine einfache, bedrückende Tatsache erinnern – die Palästinenser sind die letzten Opfer Hitlers.

 

Es war das Ausmaß der Shoah, das zur Unterstützung des Zionismus und so zur Gründung des jüdischen Staates in Palästina führte. Aber es sind die unschuldigen Palästinenser, die in den letzten 7 Jahrzehnten den Preis für die durch Europäer begangenen Verbrechen bezahlen.

Wenn Ihr Euch wegen Hitler schuldig fühlt, dann steht ein für Palästina und die Palästinenser!

 

Watch This: The Holocaust in the eyes of Israeli TV’s Satire, The Jews are Coming

 

This is a segment taken from the genius Israeli TV’s satire The Jews are Coming. As you can see, the Israelis are having a lot of fun with the holocaust. They are pretty creative and often humorous when it comes to Jewish history and suffering. But what about the rest of humanity, can others also apply some sarcasm to Jewish past?

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