No Fly Zone over Israel

February 13, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Syria possesses the ability to impose a no fly zone over northern Israel.

Syria possesses the ability to impose a no fly zone over northern Israel.

Interview with Gilad Atzmon on recent news by Alimuddin Usmani

http://lapravda.ch/

Alimuddin Usmani: On the 10th of February, Syrian anti-aircraft units managed to use an old Soviet anti-aircraft missile built in the sixties to shoot down an Israeli F-16.

 What is the significance of this military incident?

Gilad Atzmon:  I do not know much about the type of anti air missiles the Syrians used.  It seems that the Israelis were also perplexed by Syrian anti air capacity. But what we do know is that the Israeli F-16 wasn’t in Syria’s air space. It was well within Israel, in fact not too far from Haifa’s sky. This means that Syria possesses the ability to impose a no fly zone over northern Israel. This is undoubtedly  a positive development. It may even restrain Israeli aggression.

AA: According to Israeli minister Bennett, “Israel must act systematically against the Iranian octopus“.

GA: The reference to Iran as an octopus is new to me. I have seen the octopus imagery used to portray the idea of Jews having  domineering powers.  The image I am referring to is one of octopuses  decorated with a Star of David and holding the planet in their hands.  I do wonder what led Minister Bennett to use such a metaphor. Is it the fear of being encircled and eventually squashed by mighty Iran or maybe Bennett was simply projecting, attributing his own characteristics to the Iranians. This question can remain open. I can say with certainty that since Bennett is a religious Jew, he won’t eat calamari any time soon and he probably doesn’t even know what he misses.

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What is fascinating  about the incident is that for years we have seen Israeli politicians vow to attack Iran. We have seen Jewish leaders worldwide push for military actions and sanctions against Iran. The facts are undeniable: Israel feels surrounded and Bennett seems to admit it by employing the octopus metaphor.

AA: Recently a French-Syrian woman was forced to quit a song show due to some comments she made a while ago on Twitter criticizing the French government’s stance on terrorist attacks.

 What is you take on the above?

GA: This farce highlights the duplicity at the core of so-called multi culturalism and ‘diversity.’ We love and care for the ‘other’ but only so as long as the other conceals his or her otherness. We love Muslims as long as they pretend to be Jews. I see this form of  progressive  ‘diversity’ as an anti humanist oppressive force.

AA: Ahed Tamimi, a young Palestinian activist was arrested on the 19th of December for slapping an Israeli soldier who was standing outside her home. She is still in prison, awaiting a trial. What is your opinion about this girl?

GA: I am afraid that my linguistic abilities fall short in describing my admiration for this Palestinian teenager. I am not impressed by the Palestinian solidarity movement. And now many see the solidarity movement as a controlled opposition apparatus, largely dominated by Jewish organisations and outlets  (JVP, IJAN, Mondoweiss etc.). This has led to a discourse of the oppressed  shaped by the sensitivities of the oppressors. Instead of talking about the Right of Return we have been subject to a barrage of notions, ideas, tactics and political tools that are set to limit the resistance and in practice, facilitate recognition of the Jewish State and its right to exist (to read more  http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2015/5/16/the-jewish-solidarity-spin).

Ahed Tamimi represents uncompromising resistance. She wants her land to be free, and I don’t doubt  that her wishes will come through

AA: Tell us something about your next gigs.

GA: I am on my way to Barcelona. I am writing to you while seated in a plane. Tonight I will be talking about my new book Being in Time. I will probably be asked about Catalan independence in light of my  post political theory although I have nothing to say about it. I do not really understand the Catalan situation nor do I know how or where to locate it within my criticism of the current global dystopia, I hope that by the end of the night I will have learned  more about Catalonia. A lot of my ideas were born out of intense exchanges with the many people I have encountered while being on the road. It is the differences that  spark thinking and originality, concepts that are seriously lacking in the monolithic tyranny of correctness that is imposed on us.

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The Banality of Good pt. 6: Jewish Power and Identity Politics

February 03, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

By now, we are all Palestinians. Like the Palestinians we aren’t really allowed to dig into the true meaning of our oppression. Our opposition is shaped by the sensitivities of our oppressors.

By now, we are all Palestinians. Like the Palestinians we aren’t really allowed to dig into the true meaning of our oppression. Our opposition is shaped by the sensitivities of our oppressors.

 

By Clara S and Gilad Atzmon

Jewish Power and Identity Politics

Clara:   You show how Jewish institutions influence US policies, that it all happens in the open and that the Zionist lobbyists boast about their power. So, are Jews, in fact, controlling the world, just as the Nazis claimed they were?

Gilad: This is another multi layered question for which we must first clarify the terminology. Do the ‘Jews’ (the people) control the world? Absolutely not. But a few segments within the Jewish elite are certainly dominant and vastly over-represented within media, finance, culture, academia, politics, political lobbying, Hollywood and so on.  I elaborate on this volatile topic in my new book ‘Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto. The book was partially inspired by ‘The Jewish Century’, the monumental text by Yuri Slezkine that attempted to explain what it was within the Jews that made the 20th into their century: What is it about Jews and their culture that made them dominant in the West?  In Being in Time I offer a few of my original ideas. I also attempt to examine some other theories that have been largely rejected, but that I find  helpful.

My study suggests that the Jewish elite is extremely sophisticated as well as gifted.

Clara:   If they are so gifted, why do you see ‘their dominance in western culture’ as a problem? Can’t we all profit from their extraordinary talents?

Gilad:  To start with, we did and we do. That which we criticize is also that which makes our life special.  The obsession with the global free market which we hate is entangled with the imaginary sense of freedom we purport to celebrate.  The widespread  consumerism we hate is part of the illusion that we can posses whatever we want.

But this is a  problem as well.  The world we live in is not a nice place. It is  dystopic and we the people are becoming more nostalgic by the minute. At an earlier  point we saw ourselves as free subjects. Now not much is left of that decaying freedom.  We are reduced to consumers. The politicians who should  represent our needs and desires mostly just facilitate consumption by means of credit. Manufacturing has died on us and the prospect of a better future is remote. I addressed these troublesome issues in ‘Being in Time’. I believe that the identitarian revolution, or rather, the New Left ideology has a lot to do with the above. The Western subject has been indoctrinated to think and speak ‘as a’: as a gay, as a woman, as a black, etc. We learn to identify with our biology (gender, skin colour, sexual orientation, etc.)  We learn to see ourselves as an aggregation of biologically oriented tribes. Our people are a construct of multiple Israelite tribes, but the Israelites are better than anyone else at being Israelites, they have been doing it for 3000 years.

Clara: So identity politics are a Jewish construct?

Gilad: Exactly. And here is the most problematic twist. In ‘Being in Time’ I argue that the New Left has fallen into the Nazi trap. Dividing humanity by biology (race, skin colour, gender etc.) requires that we define ourselves and others in biological terms.  Instead of uniting under a dynamic universal ethos we are subject to new categories that make human universal harmony impossible.

We live in a totally fragmented society. Instead of fighting together for our common and universal needs, we are divided into identitarian groups and fight each other.

 Clara:   Biology? Doing what the Nazis did and even defining a ‘race’ when there is none? I see your point: a nice twist indeed.

Although defining oneself in terms of identity seems to be natural: we (nearly) all have experiences of loss and discrimination because of our ‘biological’ identity: as a woman, as a member of an ethnic minority, as somebody with a handicap, because of our sexual orientation, and on.

 Gilad: True. It is natural for people to identify with their biology.

This is why half of the Americans voted for Hillary Clinton. This is why ID politics is the only so called Left ideology that has gained in popularity. It also explains some of what what attracted the masses to Nazism.  And then, it also explains the logos at the core of Jewish tribalism.

 Clara: Gilad, I have a lot of sympathy for anti-discrimination and emancipatory movements. Without them I still would not have the right to vote and my independent career would not have been possible. The homosexual couple in my neighbourhood would have had to pose as cousins and a lot of barrier-free railway stations would be non-existent. And I, personally, love the mix of different ethnic cultures we experience in Germany, in spite of the problems that come with it.

For me as a teacher it has always been important to make sure I support those students who were not born with a silver spoon in their mouths. The motto of our school is ‘Diversity is our strength’ and I stand by that.

 When I first encountered criticism of identity politics I didn’t take it seriously because I found the criticism regressive: it came from the kind of people who want to send women back to, as the German saying goes, Kinder, Kueche, Kirche (kids, kitchen and church), forbid abortion, kick out foreigners and view homosexuality as something sick. Though there were increasingly aspects to the ‘multi-culti’ and open-border ideas that made me wonder. I must admit that it was not until the last American presidential race that I realized that within the Democratic Party, identitarian politics had replaced policies that were, in my opinion, ‘genuine Left’ such as improving people’s social and economic situation and anti-imperialism. And I realized that the same had happened to the left in Germany.

 So has the Left been captured by identitarians?

 Gilad: Yep, I fully understand. Like many others, I used to agree with Left ideology  but as I grew older I found the Left to be increasingly  delusional, dogmatic and frequently  duplicitous. I couldn’t detect any suggestion of dialectical thinking. Even the aspiration towards equality had somehow evaporated. In ‘The Wandering Who’ I shifted. Instead of asking what the ‘J-word’ represents, I asked what do people mean when they identify themselves as Jews? In ‘Being in Time’ I employed an identical strategy. I asked what is it that people who identify as Leftists adhere to?

The answer was pretty troubling. The New Left shares little or nothing  with old Left values. The New Left is tribal, biologically oriented, and it is authoritarian and often proto fascist. The Left was not simply captured by the identitarians, it was hijacked. The New Left is occupied territory and this is another reason why we are all Palestinians.

This is why I argue that by now the Left / Right dichotomy is meaningless and on the verge of futile. Welcome to the post-political condition.

Clara: We are all Palestinians?

Gilad: I believe that it was me who coined the popular adage, ‘by now, we are all Palestinians.’ The meaning of this saying is devastating.

Like the Palestinians we aren’t really allowed to dig into the true meaning of our oppression.  The boundaries of pro Palestinian discourse are shaped by Jewish sensitivities. Tragically, this is an adequate description of our Western dissent.  Our opposition is shaped by the sensitivities of our oppressors.

Clara:   So could we say that emancipation has been replaced by victimization? Are identity politics a  powerful movement of people who see the world through the restricted perspective of victims of racist, sexist or some other prejudice or discrimination?  Is its philosophy that ‘The world would be a better place, if everybody saw it the way I do’; ‘If xy changed his attitude, I could fulfill my  potential, I cannot do that because xy doesn’t let me do it’? Then it is always somebody else who is made responsible. No wonder that white males, who until now were symbols of oppression, also want to be recognized as victims. The steps from this thinking to hate and destructive violent behaviour are not that big:

“We shall have our manhood. We shall have it or the earth will be leveled by our attempts to gain it.” That is how Eldrige Cleaver  described the needs of blacks.  The way the MeToomovement brings down male ‘perpetrators’ also seems to be more driven by spite and the wish to humiliate than by the wish to bring wrong-doing to light and peace to women who have been scarred. True ‘souls on ice’!

And because we have to be ‘politically correct’ we are not allowed to criticize  victims so as not to hurt their feelings. But this doesn’t heal the harm. You go on feeding this particular ‘child,’  it will never be satisfied and will grow into a big fat monster crying ‘feed me!’ till the end of time.

But how does Jewish victimization and their huge success in the 20th century connect?

Gilad  It is amazing for me to read your comment  because I examined  ID politics and victimhood using a similar approach in ‘Being in Time’.  On the one hand we are all broken into biologically oriented tribes. We are defined by our skin, gender, mother’s gene, sexual orientation, yet it is only the biologically identified Jews who have a state, hundreds of atomic bombs, squadrons of F-35s and the question is why? Let me shock you. Because Jewish identity involves self- hatred. Early Zionism was the promise to change the Jews, to relieve them of their victimhood. To make them people like all other people. When identitarians learn how to hate themselves, they may start to move forward, they may even find their path back to the universal.

Clara:   Do you mean that self-hatred was the key to Zionism and if Jewishness hadn’t hijacked Zionism, the Jews could have found the path to the universal?
Gilad: Exactly, Zionism was driven by hard core self-loathing. A core principle of  Early Zionists was ‘negation of the Galut (Diaspora)’. This form of self-hatred  fuelled the fantasy of a new Jewish beginning. Zionism was a form of Jewish empowerment, that tried to replace victimhood.

Clara:   ‘… but I laugh, and eat well, and grow strong …’

Gilad: Yes. Instead of blaming the Goyim for anti-Semitic crimes, early Zionists looked into Jewish history and culture and tried to identify what is it in Jewish culture and politics that brings about anti-Semitism. This may explain why Jewish identitarianism has achieved far more than other  identitarian groups. Early Zionism, as far as I am concerned, was an astonishing transition in Jewish history.  Yet, the fact that it failed is even more significant. It might mean that there is no collective remedy to the Jewish question. If Jews want to rescue themselves, they must break out alone into the night, in the dark, with the hope that they may meet the universal at daybreak.  

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

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The Banality of Good pt. 2: Blaming the Victim?

January 26, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

blaming the victim.jpg

Blaming the Victim? 

By Clara S. and Gilad Atzmon

To read part 1 http://www.gilad.co.uk/

German: https://opablog.net

Clara:   You know, when I saw the pictures of the kids killed in Gaza while playing on the beach in 2014, I was shocked again. But I was told to accept that these people had brought their fate upon themselves using their kids as human shields. Hadn’t I heard that before? Didn’t the Nazis say the Jews deserved to die because they had brought so much evil upon the world?

And you have just told me, that the Holocaust survivors were treated kind of the same by their fellow-citizens.

So here’s my next question: When I read your book I couldn’t help to think,
“Does Gilad really want to say that the Jews were responsible themselves for what had happened to them”? 

In chapter 21 you write: “65 years after the liberation of Ausschwitz we should be able to ask – why? Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people stand up against their neighbours”? (The Wandering Who?)

Isn’t that just like telling a victim of rape that she should have dressed more properly or stayed at home altogether? That is outrageous!

Gilad: ‘Don’t blame the victim’ is a popular, however problematic, proclamation. It begs for attention. We must ask some crucial questions who and what is a victim? What forms victimhood? What are the circumstances in which a crime is taking place? As you may imagine, I actually gave a lot of thought to these questions.  The ethical judgment here is far from being a universal algorithm. On the contrary, it is the particularity of the judgment that aspires at a universal maxim instead.

Let’s for instance examine the case of young woman X who was raped in the park in the middle of the night. She was subject to sexual assault something she didn’t consent to. The case of a rape is established. X was a victim. However, we also learn that X made a conscious decision to cross the park half naked, in the middle of the night, knowing that this given park is known for its bad reputation as far as sex predatory activity is concerned. Will you agree that while X is a victim of a rape, she, to a certain extent, brought it on herself?  She took an unreasonable risk.  And what would you say about X if you learned that she has been raped in the same spot on a regular basis five times a week for the last two decades? X is still a victim, those who rape her are still criminals, yet would you be interested to examine X’s mental making?

The case of Jews, Jewry and Jewish history is actually different altogether.  To start with, we are dealing with an ethnic group (as opposed to an individual).  Furthermore, I myself do not deal with people; Moshe, Yossef or Yaakov. I deal instead with ideology, culture and politics. The answer to the questions ‘Why were the Jews hated? Or why did European people stand up against their neighbours?’ led me to a study of the culture, the ideology and the politics that form Jewish identity. I ask ‘what is it in Jewish culture, ID politics and ideology that evokes animosity in so many different places and different times in history’?
I do believe, and this is fundamental to my work, that Jews like all other people are born innocent. I argue that some elements in Jewish culture, such as tribal chosenness, have made things complicated for many Jews all along Jewish history.

Clara:    Wait a moment: of course this victim isn’t acting very sensibly. But still, I hold to it that I want to live in surroundings where my safety is secured and I do not have to expect that kind of “activity”, no matter how eccentric I may be …

Gilad: This is somehow more fundamental than just being eccentric.

I believe that since Jewish history is a chain of disasters, we must understand once and for all ‘what is it in Jewish culture, politics and ideology that puts Jews, the people, at risk’. By the way, I didn’t invent this question. It is this question exactly that initiated the Zionist movement. It was thinkers like Bernard Lazare who elaborated on the Jewish question in an attempt to grasp, once and for all ‘why the Jews?’ The difference between early Zionists (Herzl, Lazare, Borochov, Nordau etc.)  and myself is that early Zionists believed that Jews could be morphed collectively into something else.  I am not sure that this is the case. I am not convinced that there is a collective solution to the Jewish question. I believe that some break out as individuals. I hope that I, myself, have managed.

Clara:   It’s also what communists tend to believe in, that they can forge a new and better kind of human being. I used to think that way, too. Today I have some doubts about how realistic that idea is.
But back to the question of ‘blaming the victim’ once more:It is a well-established fact that victims of abuse tend to seek the reason for what has happened to them in themselves. The guilt they feel is a way of finding a meaning in the egregious things they had to suffer, of trying to control the uncontrollable. Aren’t you doing exactly the same?

Gilad:   I certainly do.  I believe that considering Jewish history being a chain of disasters, Jews must examine themselves by means of self reflection instead of accusing the Goyim. As you know, I am a follower of the Austrian philosopher Otto Weininger who revealed to us that in art self realization is realization of the world. The more I look into myself, the better I understand the world around me.

Clara:    Well, I’m not sure. Many victims blame themselves for things they are 100% not guilty of. That is not a healthy way to cope with traumatic experiences.

 Gilad:   Who decides? How do we figure out the exact percentage of our accountability? Should we care about such percentage? I actually believe that understanding reality in categorical terms is way more helpful. Examining, for instance, the case of X may reveal that being a rape victim satisfies X’s needs. I guess that you can extend this analogy as you wish.

Clara:    If it were that way, we would indeed have to think about X’s frame of mind. But for us who do not draw satisfaction from being a victim it maybe all comes down to the question of responsibility. To take responsibility for the things I can change and to accept that there are a lot of things I cannot. It’s hard enough for an individual to find out which is which. Can a group go through such a process? Having started and lost two world wars the Germans as a collective have been blamed and blaming themselves for all the bad things which happened to them as a result. Now some people have started questioning whether the shock and awe tactics of bombing Dresden and other cities really was necessary to win the war (not to forget the atomic bombs which destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki). My mother, for example, lost everything she had during the bombing of Leipzig, luckily no one in the family was killed. But this is seen by others as an attempt of justifying the atrocities committed by my people.

However, if an individual like yourself claims to take responsibility for a whole group, the other members might not be amused. No wonder that some of your fellow Jews call you a well-poisoner.

Gilad:   I do not think that those people are my ‘fellow Jews’ for I haven’t been a Jew for many years and they aren’t exactly my fellows.  Rather than blaming Jews I ask Jews to look into their culture, ideology and politics and ask themselves why? Why pogroms, the Holocaust, anti-Semitism?  Zionism promised to transform the Jews, to make them loved, it failed miserably, why? If Jews are struggling to come with an answer, as I mention before, early Zionism is a good start. I, once again recommend the work of LazareBorochovEhad Ha’am and even Herzl. Responsibility, if you wish, starts with self reflection.

Clara:   So how would you describe yourself if not as a Jew?

Gilad: To start with I avoid any form of political identification … I am a jazz artist, I am a writer, I am British, I am an ex Jew and ex Israeli, I follow the message of Christ but do not follow any organized religion.

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). 

Daily Sabah: Exclusive interview with Gilad Atzmon

Comment:

Brother Gilad said: To survive is to win.

I say: To Win is to Survive and to Survive is to Resist. To Win Palestinians should realize that Palestine is a Part of Greater Syria “Bilad Asham”. They should bury Afratat’s slogan about “Palestinian Independent  Decision”. Thanks to Syria and allies for keeping the Palestinian Cause alive. Thanks to Daesh for breaking Sykes-Picot borders. Thanks to stupid TRUMP for uniting real Arabs and Real Muslims and Real Humans.

UP

Daily Sabah: Exclusive interview with Gilad Atzmon

January 22, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

I left Israel because I didn’t want to live on someone else’s land.

I left Israel because I didn’t want to live on someone else’s land.

https://www.dailysabah.com/

Gilad Atzmon In an interview with Daily Sabah’s editor Burak Altun digging into  the current crisis in the Middle East

Burak Altun: Mr Atzmon, you are one of the most gifted jazz musicians around. In addition, you  are actively engaged in peace in the Middle East and criticize the state of Israel  within that context. I can see two separate identities here – you are a musician and a political activist. At the social and political level, you complain about identity politics in the West. What is it all about?

Gilad Atzmon: To start with, you are very kind in your description of me, but let me correct you. I am not a political activist, I have never been involved in politics and I prefer to stay away from the so called activist community. The reason is simple. Activists always know the answers. I am a philosopher. My task is refining the questions. I can easily live in peace with more than one answer and even with competing and contradicting  answers.

However, let me address your question regarding identity politics. In the world in which I grew up the role of the political and especially Left politics was to point at that which unites us. Our left icons insisted that it didn’t matter whether one is a Muslim, Black, Jew or Woman, we were all united against the mammonites, those capitalist plunderers in the City. But this has  changed. At a certain stage the Left decided to embrace new tactics. We were taught how to speak ‘as a’: as a woman, as a Jew, as a Black, as a gay and so on. Instead of being united we were set up to fight each other. In this New Left/progressive universe, we the people are divided by our biology yet the global market is united in its war against us the people, against humanity and humanism.

How do you explain the allegations of anti-Semitism, which are repeatedly directed against you? You yourself differentiate between Judaism (the religion) and Jewish politics.  According to the logic of those who accuse you, critics of “Islamism” must be Islamophobes.

The accusation of anti-Semitsm is obviously an empty one. It is designed to stifle criticism of Israel and Jewish power. In my entire life I have never criticized Jews or anyone else as a people, race, biology or ethnicity. I deal solely with ID politics, ideology and culture!   For me racism becomes a problem when blind hatred is performed, when you hate X for being X, when you hate Black people for being Black or when you hate White people for being White. I can’t think of anyone who hates Jews for being Jews. I would admit that more than a few may oppose Jews for what they interpret as Jewish politics, Jewish Lobbying, Jewish ideology and so on. This tendency deserves our attention. It clearly deserves Jewish attention but Jewish power is the power to suppress criticism of Jewish power.

Now, your point regarding Islamists and Islamophobia deserve attention. I don’t believe that there are such things as ‘Islamists’ or ‘Islamism.’ In Islam, like in Judaism, there is no distinction between the political and religio.  Islamism is a Zionist/Neocon invention. It was created in an attempt to draw an imaginary dichotomy between the religious reality and the political. It is basically a projection of the Jewish post-assimilation reality on the Muslim world. It was invented in order to provide a ‘rationale’ for America and Britain so they could flatten Arab cities on behalf of Zion.

You said once in an interview for Russia Today that your charm is your defense against the antisemitic allegations. Can you elaborate? Can a likeable person basically not be an anti-Semite? And do you sometimes wonder if your critics are secretly playing your music before they go to bed? 

My comment on George Galloway was obviously comical. It is pretty obvious that a person who plays music every night with many Jews and shares platforms with rabbis cannot be ‘anti-semitic.’ It is hardly a secret that many of my supporters are Jews and even Israelis.

I would have loved to think that my detractors can enjoy my music. But I do not have any reason to believe that they are aesthetically inclined.

You grew up in a Zionist family and witnessed the Lebanon War in 1982. Would you be so committed to peace in the Middle East today if you had not had that experience? How do you feel about it when you reflect on your past?

It is hard to say. I am not a political person. I am doing what I am doing because I am curious.

I left Israel because I didn’t want to live on someone else’s land. But when I witnessed the Jewish Diaspora Zionists’ hawkish attitude and even worse, the duplicity at the core of the Jewish anti-Zionist discourse, I realised how intense Jewish identity is. I started to dig into it. We are dealing with complex and fascinating people who are shaped by a very old tribal philosophy that morphs quickly. By the time you think that you understand Jewish ID politics, it only suggests that Jewish ID politics has already morphed into something else. 

My philosophy hero Otto Weininger taught me that in art, self exploration is exploration of the world. For me, self reflection is understanding the troubling affairs around us. I guess that this is why Jews are so troubled by self hatred. It is an attempt of unveiling the concealed, the deepest secrets Jews tend to hide from themselves.

I do not need to ask you how about your stand on the U.S. decision regarding Jerusalem – but it would be interesting to know if you see a long-term departure from the “Trump’s Middle East policy. At the moment, the outcry is particularly great – which is partly due to the relevance of  Jerusalem. However, there had been no constructive development in the Middle East under Obama’s leadership. How do you rate the role of the USA – and especially the Israel lobby? You once said that AIPAC offered you money to become a member. Was the amount not big enough? 

Trump doesn’t have a middle East policy. And this is not a bad thing. America is not a key player anymore and this is a very positive development. We should thank Trump and Kushner for it. But it is true that this deterioration didn’t start just a year ago. I believe Obama made a conscious decision to pull out from the region. 

There is no doubt that AIPAC has been dominating American Middle East policy for a long time and it is totally obvious that AIPAC was serving the interests of a foreign state rather than American national interests. Americans can only blame themselves for letting this happen.

Since I left Israel, I have never been approached by a single Israeli or a Zionist body who tried to buy my support or collaboration.  The Jewish institutions and people who attempted to bribe me a few times in the past were of the Jewish anti-Zionist persuasion. I was offered to be ‘looked after’ and protected as long as I accepted their duplicitous terminology or just dumped my own. They wanted me to limit the discussion to Zionism and to make sure I drift away from the study of Jewish ID politics. Several times I was asked to denounce and disavow several people. I always rejected any dialogue with these kinds of tribal agent. In some cases I exposed these attempts. 

How do you rate the recent move by the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) led by President Erdoğan against the Trump decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? Will the UN resolution do something?

I’ll be honest with you. I do not think that anyone, including President Erdoğan, can liberate the Palestinians except the Palestinians themselves. How they do that is indeed a complicated question. I believe that Abbas is right. Time is their weapon. To survive is to win. The only people who can destroy the Jewish state are the Jews themselves. This is how they have always done it along their history.

In recent years, President Erdoğan has repeatedly, loudly complained of the Israeli government’s behavior towards the Palestinians and used harsh words such as “terrorist state” or “child murderer” regarding Israel. Many leaders of Arab states would never dare to do so that concretely. So Erdoğan’s popularity in Palestine seems very high. Do you believe that President Erdoğan can build a powerful counter-pole to Israel and the United States? It seems as if the EU member states have also moved a bit toward the Palestinians politically since the last Jerusalem crisis – even if they are looking for political pressure against Israel in vain.

President Erdoğan was indeed outspoken when it comes to Israel but I do understand how volatile the situation he is in. He has to deal with a very complex situation. Syria, the Kurds, Gülen, NATO, Russia and the USA. Unfortunately, Israel is a key player in all of that. We have seen the Turks swinging on issues to do with Israel. At the end of the day, Erdogan was elected to serve the Turkish people and this mission is probably difficult enough considering the complexity involved.

Do you still believe in the possibility of a two-state solution?

I’ve never believed in a two State Solution. And I am not so sure that the discussion about solutions is leading anywhere. It is designed to keep some activists busy so they have something to shout in their gatherings and pickets. 

What we really see is facts on the ground. Israel and Palestine are one state. One electrical grid, one international pre dial number (+972), one sewage system yet this state is oppressive, abusive and often genocidal towards the indigenous people of the land. Why? Because Israel defines itself as ‘the Jewish State.’ It is a state of the Jews rather than ‘a State of its citizens.’ For the situation to be resolved Israel must be ‘de-Jewishified’ (stripped of its Judeo-centric  exceptionalism and become  a state of its citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or religion). However, when this happens Israel will become Palestine from the river to the sea.

Thank you very much for the interview Mr Atzmon, and good luck with your music and your political commitment to peace in the Middle East.

All the best…

 

All you need to know about Israel, The Lobby, Yinon Plan & Trump (video)

January 06, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

https://youtu.be/Z9xJWBn1B9M

10 minutes interview on the most popular political show  on Turkish TV.

Turkish Tv, YAZ BOZ; ” Ergün DİLER – Bekir HAZAR”: 29 Dec 2017

Witch Hunters United – Gerry Downing Speaks with Gilad Atzmon

January 05, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Gerry, you were accused of Anti-Semitism.  Along with thousands of other Labour Party members, you were labelled anti-Semitic and expelled from the party for expressing universalist ideas and opposing all forms of racism including Jewish racism.

Q: What is anti-Semitism?

GD: Anti-Semitism is the hatred of Jews as Jews. Full stop. Nothing else. It is not criticism of the state of Israel or Jewish institutions.

Q: Under this definition of anti-Semitism are you or your organization anti-Semitic?

GD: No. Not Gerry Downing or Ian Donovan nor any member or supporter of Socialist Fight, past or present, are in any way anti-Semitic. We are members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and are well-known defenders of Palestinian rights and opponents of the state of Israel. There is not a single act or political stance alleged that is in any way racist or anti-Semitic except in the minds of those who want to appease the Labour Party bureaucracy of Ian McNichol. These same people also attempt to prove that they are not revolutionary socialists and agree with McNichol that Trotskyists should not be afforded any democratic rights in a throwback to the Great Purges in the USSR in the 1930s and 1940s.

Q:  You are part of a radical Left group called Socialist Fight. Can you brief us shortly about this group and its principles?

GD: It is best summed up in the first point of the Where We Stand document on our website:

“We stand with Karl Marx: ‘The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves. The struggle for the emancipation of the working class means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies but for equal rights and duties and the abolition of all class rule’ (The International Workingmen’s Association 1864, General Rules). The working class ‘cannot emancipate itself without emancipating itself from all other sphere of society and thereby emancipating all other spheres of society’ (Marx, A Contribution to a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, 1843).”

Q: We met today because I learned from the British and Jewish press that Labour Against the Witch-hunt (LAW) a newly formed body, has decided to expel half of its members or more precisely, to kick out Socialist Fight from its ranks. Is that true?

GD:  The ostensibly broad campaign, LAW, was launched on 21 October 2017 after professor Moshé Machover was auto-excluded, and, as the Labour Party Marxists reported, he was only “one of a long line of socialists, Corbyn supporters and defenders of Palestinian rights expelled or suspended on bogus charges of anti-Semitism”. Socialist Fight participated in the formation of LAW, through Gerry Downing and Ian Donovan and contributed to the discussion and to collection, as Socialist Fight expected to participate in LAW’s work.

Soon after the launch, one Lee Rock began a vitriolic witch hunt against us on LAW’s Facebook page, claiming we were anti-Semitic and should be expelled from LAW. The three remaining LAW Steering Committee members, Tony Greenstein, Stan Keable and Jackie Walker (Peter Firmin had resigned), duly obliged by auto-excluding us without a hearing or right to appeal, the very practice the group had been set up to overturn in the Labour party. We were instructed not to attend the next LAW meeting as we were no longer members and we were blocked from the LAW Facebook page.

We did, however, turn up early for the meeting on 2nd December with 3 supporters and, as Tony Greenstein reported, the meeting was “effectively ambushed by a small Trotskyist grouping, Socialist Fight” i.e., our band of 5 managed to persuade the meeting, some 24 at its height, to refuse to accept the undemocratic, not to say autocratic, decisions of the triumvirate. We were accepted back in and reinstated to the Facebook page by Tony Greenstein.

Q: According to the Jewish press, LAW is led by Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein both of whom identify politically ‘as Jews.’ Both Greenstein and Walker were suspended from the Labour Party for being anti-Semitic. However, they believe that while the slur of anti-Semite is mostly delusional, on rare occasions they can decide it is real. Where do you think Greenstein/Walker set that kosher demarcation line?

GD: it is my belief that there are two key questions to understand in this. 1. the motivations of Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, which are slightly different and 2. The motivation of Jack Conrad, the leader of the Communist Party of Great Britain/Weekly Worker which has influence in the Labour Party Marxists, led by Stan Keable, another member of the LAW Steering Committee.

On the first point the key is found in the statement Tony Greenstein issued on March 22, 2016 made after he got a letter from the Labour Party informing him he had been suspended. He wrote the following:

“I can only assume, in the current climate of media engineered hysteria over ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party and amongst Corbyn supporters, that it is related to this.  I can think of no other reason. If this is the case what is involved is a witch hunt of anti-Zionists using the cover of anti-Semitism since even the Zionist Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD) and other Zionists have acknowledged my role in combatting Gilad Atzmon, a notorious anti-Semite who used to be associated with the Palestine solidarity movement.”

So, suspended from Labour for ‘anti-Semitism’ he (Greenstein) tried to ingratiate himself with the pro-Zionist witch hunters by pointing to his own role in witch hunting Gilad Atzmon. Today he is in a de-facto bloc with Zionist/Blairite witch hunters against Socialist Fight.

Jackie Walker is slightly different, she largely rejects the politics of identity and is more cosmopolitan than Greenstein. She also strongly champions black rights. She is repelled by the outright revolutionary politics of Socialist Fight as she revealed during the Labour Representation Committee AGM in 2012, when she verbally abused me for heckling a speaker who was defending the role of the ANC in the Marikana massacre after I had made a motion condemning them.

Jack Conrad suffered a major embarrassment at their annual Communist University when Socialist Fight exposed his narrative on the Russian Revolution, which he promotes in conjunction with the Swedish academic Lars T Lih. They put forward the revisionist theory that Lenin’s April Theses was of no particular significance, and that Kamenev, Zinoviev and Stalin were doing fine before Lenin returned in April and had only to make a slight adjustment, despite Lenin’s powerful condemnations of their capitulation to the provisional government. And then his accusation of treason against Kamenev and Zinoviev when they went public with the plans for the October insurrection, thereby putting all their lives in immediate danger.

Q:  In the recent LAW meeting Greenstein and Walker reportedly said that “making a connection between the number of Jewish billionaires in the US or who is Jewish amongst the richest sections of society and imperialist support for Israel is anti-Semitic.” I guess that Walker and Greenstein believe that Jewish politics and mammon are beyond criticism. Can you tell us which political school may adhere to such a peculiar approach? Is there any Left ideology or working-class politics that excludes criticism of Jewish mammon and influence?

GD: Of course, that ideology is Zionism. I can do no better than to quote Daniel Waterman, the famous author and anti-Zionist activist. His mother, Ruth Kupferschmidt, survived the Holocaust. He wrote on the LAW Facebook page in refutation of this cowardly capitulation:

The following statement (from Tony Greenstein) therefore makes for uncomfortable reading:

“‘Making a connection between the number of Jewish billionaires in the United States or who is Jewish amongst the richest sections of society and imperialist support for Israel is anti-Semitic.’

(To which Waterman replied:) NO NO NO! We all know that there are many Jewish millionaires and billionaires in the US. We also know that many of them are involved with determining policy with respect to Israel. We even know that many of them are outspoken supporters of Israel. Why on earth is it then taboo to speak about this openly?

Yes, mentioning the power of the Jewish lobby was and remains a tactic of antisemites. But that does not make the statement, or the reality, inherently anti-Semitic. The reason why ought to be clear to anyone with half a brain but let’s just spell it out: because not all Jews are billionaires and not all Jews are Zionists or supporters of Israel.

So, why has this issue become such a point in this group? First of all we can consider quite legitimate concerns about the possibility of any discussion of ‘Jewish billionaires supporting Israel’ being interpreted as anti-Semitic, but then that is also exactly why this group was created, to defend others who are legitimately criticising Israel ‘and making comparisons to Nazi Germany’ from being accused of antisemitism.”

Q: You and your political group were expelled by Greenstein/Walker in a non-democratic manner. You were pushed out despite the fact that the democratic vote of LAW members opposed your expulsion. What can we learn from this development about the authoritarian tendencies of Greenstein and Walker?  Do you believe that people of that type can present a better future for Britain’s working people?

GD: It really is shocking that the LAW Steering Committee are pursuing these utterly undemocratic and unprincipled manoeuvres against us. If we are all agreed that the way that John Lansman closed down the democratic structures of Momentum was utterly wrong and justly criticised him for that how can they do the same themselves? How can either John’s Lansman’s Momentum or the far smaller LAW group of Tony Greenstein fight to democratise the structures of the Labour Party when their own structures and practices are so undemocratic? And what kind of a new society of social and economic equality, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” can be forged with these methods? Do what I say, don’t do what I do, as Joe Stalin and Ian McNichol hypocritically might say.

Q: What is next? I understand that on Saturday Greenstein/Walker are planning another bogus meeting in an attempt to overrule their previous defeat. How can we help you? Can we attend the meeting? Where is it?  

GD: The Labour Against the Witch hunt meeting was due to be held at 12 noon on Saturday 6 January in the Calthorpe Arms, 252 Greys Inn Road, London, WC1X 8JR. Please get there by 11.30.

However, on the one hand, Tony Greenstein tells us the landlord of the Calthorpe Arms has rung him up cancelling the meeting: “There will therefore be no meeting on Saturday, the meeting is cancelled”. Stan Keable, the LAW Secretary on the other hand, tells us that a nearby alternative venue has been found and we can all come. Stan Keable: “We regret that Calthorpe Arms has cancelled our booking, but the meeting will go ahead in a nearby alternative venue. Please come to Calthorpe Arms, 252 Grays Inn Road, at 12 noon, and we will direct you to the nearby alternative venue.”

We will move a simple motion along these lines:

“We defend the right of Socialist Fight Comrades to attend and participate in the Labour Against the Witch hunt and reject the slurs of anti-Semitism directed against Socialist Fight and its two leading comrades, Gerry Downing and Ian Donovan.”

Hot Off The Press: British Anti Witch-Hunt Group expelled half its supporters

January 04, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

When you think that British ‘Left’ has reached rock bottom you wake up to learn that this political comedy act has no limits.

We learned today that the ‘anti witch-hunt’ labour group LAW (Labour Against the Witch-hunt ) has expelled half of its members over ‘anti-Semitism.’

Times of Israel reports today that LAW has cut ties to Socialist Fight because of the views of its members. Socialist Fight is accused of being “supportive of controversial Israeli-born author Gilad Atzmon.”

Needless to mention that I am thrilled by all of that. I enjoy being supported by proper radical left groups; people who adhere to universal principles of equality and human brotherhood. Despite the fact that in my entire life, I have never been a member of any political body or party, I can clearly see that my writing is now making a change.

If you are wondering what it is that I am saying that pushes LAW leaders Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, two self identified (political) Jews, over the edge, to the point that they themselves have decided to act, in the open, as witch hunters, I will provide a brief answer.

I argue that if Israel defines itself as a Jewish State we must ask who are the Jews, what is Jewishness and what is Judaism. We should then proceed and  examine Israeli politics and Jewish lobbying in the light of the above questions. I basically argue that Zionism is just one symptom of Jewish choseness. I actually identify the exact same exceptionalist tendencies in Jewish Left and in particular in Walker and Greenstein’s political act. To add to my sins, I am also responsible for the popular adage “by now, we are all Palestinians.” Like the Palestinians we are not allowed to articulate the true nature of our oppression.

No one could articulate this observation better than Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein. In the minutes of the LAW meeting, Walker and Greenstein apparently said “Making a connection between the number of Jewish billionaires in the US or who is Jewish amongst the richest sections of society and imperialist support for Israel is anti-Semitic.”

For Walker and Greenstein pointing at a concentration of mammon and political influence as the core of Zionist power is a ‘hate crime.’ For Walker and Greenstein a principled universal socialist position based on dialectical materialism is crude ‘antisemitism.’

I am delighted as well as amused to see myself, an immigrant saxophonist at the centre of this ridiculous political storm. But I may assure you that none of this is new to Brits. They have seen it all before, they know about the People’s Front of Judea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WboggjN_G-4

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). 

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